The Task Force on Protected Areas Law and Policy is composed of international legal experts and protected areas specialists and is expected to analyse existing models and provide advice on improving governance of protected areas, including National Parks and Reserves, to governments and international organisations.
The Task Force will contribute to the development of guidelines for the improved governance of protected areas worldwide and act as an expert advisory body for the Environmental Law Centre of the World Conservation Union (IUCN). It will analyse the legal issues raised by private and community owned or managed protected areas and propose legal solutions to accommodate rights and enforce responsibilities. The Task Force will also facilitate contact among specialists and conduct workshops involving protected area managers (including managers of privately managed and community conserved areas), legal researchers and other groups.
Dr. Shah who is a long serving member of the World Commission on Protected Areas and an elected member of the International Council of Environmental Law, has been requested to contribute his expertise in developing policy and legislation and his knowledge gathered from running both government and NGO managed protected areas. His experience in working with privately owned islands to rehabilitate island ecosystems and to rescue endangered species has also been identified to assist in developing codes and best practices for co-management with the private sector.
The Task Force is expected to run for three years and among other results will deliver a publication that demonstrates the application of different measures for protected areas including community–conserved protected areas, co-managed protected areas, and privately-held protected areas. It will produce best practice guidelines for all types of protected areas and will hold workshops and training sessions. In addition it is collaborating with the University of Ottawa and the IUCN Academy of Environmental Law on an international project to compare legal frameworks of protected areas from different countries.