This course includes a generic curriculum and comprehensive set of materials for teaching law related to protected areas.  The materials are divided into a series of 12 modules, which can be used individually or in combination and can be adapted for specific settings and learners. Each module includes seminar presentations, exercises and videos developed by IUCN, and additional materials uploaded by users.  Please read more about how to use this course.

If you use these materials, please ELCSecretariat [at] (send us feedback.)  If you modify or add to these materials, or generate other materials that you would like to share with other educators, please contribute.

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Guide to using course materials for different teaching situations.

How to use this course

  • Module 1: Introduction

    Introduction to basic concepts related to law and protected areas, including basic legal concepts and basic protected areas concepts to set the context for different students.

  • Module 2: Governance

    Broad overview of the concept of governance in the context of protected areas. Covers understanding governance, legal factors, international law, types of governance, and voluntary frameworks.

  • Module 3: Pre-Drafting, Preliminary Provisions

    First module on generic elements of protected area legislation. Covers pre-drafting preparations and legislative provisions on definitions, scope and application, objectives and principles, and institutional arrangements.

  • Module 4: Planning, Types, Establishment

    Second module on generic elements of protected area legislation. Covers protected area planning, categories of protected areas, establishment processes, and procedures for disestablishment or alteration.

  • Module 5: Management

    Third module on generic elements of protected area legislation. Covers management authorities and powers, management plans, co-management arrangements, zoning and monitoring and reporting.

  • Module 6: Regulation, Compliance, Financing

    Fourth module on generic elements of protected area legislation. Covers regulated activities, impact assessments, powers and duties of authorities, compliance and enforcement measures, and financing.

  • Module 7: International Law

    Broad introduction to, and overview of, international and regional laws of relevance to protected areas. Covers sources and nature of international law and relevant instruments and programmes.

  • Module 8: Connectivity: Introduction

    Description of nature, form, concepts and benefits associated with connectivity conservation. Covers connectivity science and management, benefits of connectivity, and governance for connectivity.

  • Module 9: Connectivity: Legal Aspects

    Exploration of the manner in which law promotes connectivity conservation at varying scales and through different legal mechanisms. Covers international and national law relevant to connectivity.

  • Module 10: MPAs: Special Features

    Discussion of special considerations applicable to marine protected areas. Covers marine features requiring special attention, marine connectivity conservation and relevant international and regional law.

  • Module 11: MPAs: Legal Considerations

    Introduction to issues that require special attention in drafting, implementing, reviewing or amending protected areas law relating to marine protected areas and marine connectivity conservation.

  • Module 12: Transboundary PAs

    Introduction to the concept of transboundary protected areas and the special legal considerations that are relevant to their establishment and management.