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  • preservation of species and genetic diversity;

  • maintenance of environmental services;

  • protection of specific natural and cultural features;

  • tourism and recreation;

  • education;

  • sustainable use of resources from natural ecosystems; and

  • maintenance of cultural and traditional attributes.

There are several important features of the IUCN categorization scheme that it is important to note. They are:

  • the basis of categorization is by primary management objective;

  • assignment to a category is not a commentary on management effectiveness;

  • the categories system is international;

  • national names for protected areas of the same category vary;

  • all categories are important; and

  • though the primary objective of an MPA will determine the category, the MPA may contain zones which have other objectives. However, for the purpose of categorization, at least 3/4 of the MPA must be managed for the primary objective and the management of the remaining area must not conflict with that primary objective.


Strict Nature Reserve - Wilderness Area: Protected Area Managed Mainly for Science or Wilderness Protection


Strict Nature Reserve: Protected Area Managed Mainly for Science


Area of land and/or sea possessing some outstanding or representative ecosystems, geological or physiological features and/or species, available primarily for scientific research and/or environmental monitoring.

Objectives of Management

  • to preserve habitats, ecosystems and species in as undisturbed a state as possible;

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