Photo by Tomasz Pezold
Tb eNEWS - 11 - October 2017 - newsletter cover
Tb eNEWS - 11 - October 2017

IN FOCUS: Saxon-Bohemian Switzerland in the heart of Europe

A conservation atlas for transboundary conservation areas

Restoration of the Rio Bravo-Grande

New diagnostic tool to guide transboundary conservation planners
Plitvice Lakes WHS/Boris Erg
Plitvice Lakes WHS/Boris Erg

A new tool by Transboundary Conservation Specialist Group (TBC SG) of IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) provides guidance to transboundary conservation planners and initiators by helping them more efficiently plan a successful transboundary process.

The “Diagnostic tool for transboundary conservation planners: Suggested questions to determine feasibility for transboundary conservation” consists of 91 carefully selected questions to help protected area authorities, governments, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), local communities, and other interested parties in determining the need for transboundary conservation approach, readiness of stakeholders to engage in the process, multiple opportunities that could either fasten and/or be generated by the process, and the risks that could hinder the process.

This practical tool also includes a report which is automatically developed while completing the questionnaire. The report provides a set of guiding principles on the most urging issues relevant for initiating a transboundary conservation process, e.g. the compelling reason(s) for undertaking a transboundary approach, capacity status and needs of key stakeholders, opportunities and risks in a number of thematic areas.

The diagnostic tool was developed by Maja Vasilijević, Chair of WCPA TBC SG, in consultation with Boris Erg, Director of IUCN Programme Office for South-Eastern Europe, and members of the TBC SG, with technical support in designing the scoring methodology by Eco Horizon NGO from Croatia. It was initially developed for the purpose of a new publication by IUCN and its partners, WCPA TBC SG, WWF Mediterranean Programme, and SNV Netherlands Development Organization, “Initiating effective transboundary conservation: A practitioner’s guideline based on the experience from the Dinaric Arc”, a volume edited by Boris Erg (IUCN), Maja Vasilijević (WCPA), and Matthew McKinney (University of Montana). The tool was further technically enhanced to allow easy compilation of results and translated to electronic format. This electronic edition is designed in a user-friendly manner by allowing automatic scoring and automatic report development, and is available at and

The diagnostic tool is an innovative expert package that can be applied to various ecosystems and geographical regions worldwide. Due to its technically advanced possibilities, its key advantage is that it can be completed by anyone planning to initiate a transboundary conservation process between two or more countries, not only transboundary conservation experts or external consultants. It also provides for self-assessment and qualitative results based on quantitative analysis.  

Currently, the tool is available only in English with plans to translate it to French and Spanish, and widely test it on pilot sites. Comments, feedback and detection of potential pilot sites for applying the tool on the ground can be sent to