The information you will need to prepare
Below are brief descriptions on the information you will need to submit as part of your application process.
The Criteria information you will need to provide
For full details of the criteria and indicators click here.
The following five criteria must be met to achieve Wildlife Heritage Area designation:
Criterion 1: Cultural importance of wildlife. Wildlife within the Wildlife Heritage Area is of exceptional cultural importance and a key feature of the local community's identity. Evidence must be provided for four indicators under this criterion.
Criterion 2: Respectful human-wildlife coexistence. The community working to protect the Wildlife Heritage Area has developed a responsible framework to manage the relationship between people and wildlife. Evidence must be provided for six indicators under this criterion.
Criterion 3: Responsible wildlife tourism (Criterion 3 is only required if tourism experiences and visitor attractions involving wildlife exist or are being planned within the Wildlife Heritage Area.) The community providing wildlife experiences within the Wildlife Heritage Area utilises collaborative management and ongoing research to put the needs of wildlife before commercial interests. Evidence must be provided for seven indicators under this criterion.
Criterion 4: Steering Committee. The Wildlife Heritage Area is guided by an active steering committee representing the community. This steering committee has authority to make and implement decisions supporting the criteria and delivered through a management plan. Evidence must be provided for two indicators under this criterion.
Criterion 5: Management Plan. The Wildlife Heritage Area steering committee has authority to make and implement decisions supporting the criteria and delivered through a management plan. Evidence must be provided for two indicators under this criterion.
The information on species or habitats in your area you will need to provide
Applicants are asked to provide information on up to five species and up to five habitats identified by your community as being of high cultural significance or high importance for ongoing protection. This includes information on population status, IUCN Red List status, threats, actions taken to protect the species or habitat, the importance of the species or habitat for the health and wellbeing of people living in your Wildlife Heritage Area, interesting facts, and any responsible wildlife watching guidelines available for this species or habitat.
The information on the tourist experiences in your area you will need to provide
This part of the application is designed to help you tell everyone about all the ways in which they can experience your Wildlife Heritage Area in a responsible and sustainable way. Applicants can provide details of as many experiences as they wish. Each experience must operate in line with Wildlife Heritage Area Guiding Principles. Wildlife tours must adhere to responsible wildlife-watching guidelines. Experiences can include everything from festivals to museums.
The information on your Area steering committee you will need to provide
Each Wildlife Heritage Area is guided by an active steering committee representing the community. This steering committee must be capable of making and implementing decisions that will deliver on the goals of your Wildlife Heritage Area as outlined by this criterion and in the Management Plan. The steering committee must be an elected body that seeks to be inclusive and representative of all stakeholders. Your assessor can provide advice on how to set up a steering committee and engage the wider community to participate.
The information and assets for your public listing page you will need to provide
This will be your public listing page to showcase the most inspiring facts, stories, and information for everyone from wildlife experts to tourists to get engaged and involved in your incredible project. Think of this as a magazine article that promotes what you do to the world! While the rest of your application is primarily for assessors, this is for the public so needs to be written in a clear, concise, and engaging way. In this section you will create a virtual wildlife tour, describe your Wildlife Heritage Area, describe your focal species or habitat, describe any threats to wildlife, interview people to tell their most amazing wildlife stories, add image and video content, and more.
Working with experts
Our goal is to ensure that the application process is as supportive as possible. Through the Wildlife Heritage Network, applicant communities can reach out to experts from around the world, including community champions from other Wildlife Heritage Areas, to seek advice on a range of topics.
As part of the application process to become a Wildlife Heritage Area, each applicant community will be matched with a specialist wildlife NGO. This NGO will support the community within the Wildlife Heritage Area through the application process and, once evidence has been uploaded, assess this evidence and designate the Area when the standards required have been met.
Wildlife Heritage Area applicants can either choose an NGO member of the Wildlife Heritage Network or, recommend an NGO to the network to be trained as an assessor. An Independent Review Panel, made up of people from designated Wildlife Heritage Areas, will review designations every six months to sense-check the process.
To maintain designation, each Wildlife Heritage Area will provide updated information and evidence every three-years. This will be reviewed by the Independent Review Panel.