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Covering more than 15 per cent of the world’s land surface and three per cent of the oceans, protected areas are the cornerstone of international efforts to conserve biodiversity. They offer a lifeline to some of the most precious and threatened places on earth, and safeguard vital ecosystem services, upon which communities and businesses depend.

Yet protected areas face a broad range of challenges, and evidence from the IUCN demonstrates that many sites are struggling to meet minimum standards, potentially leading to ineffective conservation. Lack of staff training in business planning and other key organisational skills is a significant contributing factor to this, but staff rarely get the opportunity for training in this area.

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Companies have a wealth of experienced staff and devote significant resources on training for effective business management. Yet there are often few opportunities for their managers to consider the value of natural capital to the business.

The Earth Skills Network bridges this gap by bringing together leaders from the business world with protected area managers, in a mentor-mentee relationship, to share knowledge and transfer key business skills.

The network makes the following possible:

  • Sharing key business skills that can strengthen management of the world’s most precious natural areas
  • Facilitating open and constructive dialogue between leaders from the conservation and business communities to support mutual learning and understanding   
  • Providing corporate employees with the chance to sharpen professional competencies and better understand business risk, impact and dependencies within the context of protected areas

TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES IN 2015

To find out more about opportunities to join the Earth Skills Network in 2015 and to apply, please follow the relevant link below.




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“Tapping in to the rich and diverse human resource wealth of the private sector to build capacity amongst protected area managers is a smart idea we fully endorse.”


– Marc Patry, Senior Programme Specialist, UNESCO


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“Where the quality of management has been assessed, the majority of protected areas had either only basic management or major deficiencies, while only 24% had sound management... Lack of effective management remains one of the single largest problems facing the current global protected area system.”


– Protected Planet Report 2014

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