Assessing the management effectiveness of a protected area system can enable policymakers to develop strategic, systemwide responses to pervasive management problems. The World Wide Fund for Nature International has developed the Rapid Assessment and Prioritization of Protected Area Management (RAPPAM) methodology. This article summarizes results from the implementation of the RAPPAM methodology in Bhutan, China, Russia, and South Africa. Five threats emerged warranting concerted policy effort: poaching, alien plants, tourism, logging, and encroachment. Similarly, five management issues emerged that influence protected area management effectiveness: funding, staffing, research and monitoring, resource inventories, and community relations. By identifying the most pressing issues in protected areas, an assessment of management effectiveness can be used to improve protected area management.
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Vol. 53 • No. 9