This User Manual provides information and guidance about the data held within the WDPA, including the history of the database, how the data are collected, managed and distributed, and how they should be interpreted and used for analyses and research. The Manual has been prepared for WDPA data providers and users. Version 1.6 is the first to include information on the development of the OECM database, its relationship with the WDPA, and how OECM data are collected. The manual is structured in 5 sections and includes 6 appendices.
Section 1 is a brief introduction to the WDPA, its history and current structure, and its relation to IUCN Protected Area Management and Governance standards.
Section 2 is a brief introduction to OECMs and the OECM database, providing a short background on the term and the development of the OECM database.
Section 3 describes the Protected Planet Data Standards, which apply to both the WDPA and OECM database. These standards ensure that the data are supplied in a common format that is globally interoperable and useable.
Section 4 explains how the databases are compiled through a quality control process underpinned by the Protected Planet data standards.
Section 5 addresses the use of the WDPA including how it can be accessed, how it should be cited and interpreted, and some recommendations on its use.
The user manual is a dynamic and evolving document. It is recommended that all parties interested in using the WDPA or OECM database read these guidelines prior to using either database for any analyses that will inform research or decision making. For any queries regarding collation, use, processing of the database, or any feedback regarding this manual please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.