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IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas Tourism Specialist Group (TAPA SG)

The priorities of the TAPA-SG are to contribute to the work of the IUCN and World Commission on Protected Areas to (1) conserve biodiversity, (2) generate knowledge, (3) build awareness and (4) improve governance and equity.
The objectives of the TAPA-SG are:
(a) Provide strategic advice to governments and others on the optimum approaches to sustainable tourism in protected and natural areas;
(b) Strengthen the capacity and effectiveness of protected area managers and policy makers and others in relation to sustainable tourism, through learning, exchange and the development of information and guidance in a managed professional network;
(c) Enhance the level of tourism contribution to the goals of protected areas and protected area systems; and
(d) Enhance the capacity of WCPA through the TAPAS group, including through co-operative ventures with networks and partners and, in particular IUCN members, and recognize their contributions.
(e) Develop and disseminate knowledge on tourism and protected areas, including case studies and best practice syntheses.
(f) Provide an interactive forum for individuals working on protected areas and tourism, which allows them to network, communicate, collaborate, and develop partnerships.


Activities of TAPA-SG include the following:
• provide support for international initiatives relevant to protected areas in their country/region on sustainable tourism;
• foster professionalism and technical competence in the establishment and management of sustainable tourism and visitation to protected areas including assisting with publications, education and capacity building where applicable;
• work with colleagues from other WCPA Specialist Groups and Task Forces, IUCN Commissions and partner organisations to further the key role of protected areas in achieving sustainable tourism that contributes to biodiversity conservation and sustainable use of natural heritage;
• provide technical advice on sustainable tourism, biodiversity and heritage protection and conservation, where IUCN’s advice is sought;
• Develop guidelines and tools for the management of tourism that supports sustainable development, local economic development, biodiversity conservation, human and natural health outcomes, environmental education, awareness raising and fosters attachment and support for nature;
• Develop case studies and syntheses to investigate best practice models and policies for sustainable tourism management;
• Communicate best practice tourism and visitor planning and management to policy makers, planners, protected area managers, the tourism industry, development agencies and others;
• Provide opportunities for collaboration between protected area, tourism, and local stakeholders ;
• Support the Parties and the CBD Secretariat, Working Groups and Task Forces in delivering the goals of the CBD Programme of Work on Protected Areas.

Type of organisation: 
Development organisation
(not applicable)

Dr Anna Spenceley (Specialist Group Leader)
Tel/Fax: +27 31 2085523 / +27 72 311 5700

Dr Anna Spenceley
PO Box 543, Sonpark, 1206, South Africa
Phone/Fax: +27 31 7440087