A Handbook on International Wilderness Law and Policy

Front Cover
Cyril F. Kormos
Fulcrum Pub., 2008 - Law - 400 pages
The first comprehensive guide to international wilderness laws, this handbook offers a detailed how-to guide for conservation professionals interested in developing new wilderness laws or policies in their countries.

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--John Shultis, the Interntional Journal of Wilderness
"Many countries have specialized legislation and policy designed to create designated and de facto wilderness areas. The numerous lessons
learned in these national and regional efforts have not been easily available to other countries considering wilderness protection. In response to this need, The WILD Foundation took on the task of collating and describing the efforts of 16 countries around the world in protecting wilderness through legislation and policy; they hoped that such a handbook would aid in the creation of new and improved global wilderness legislation and policy.
The book focuses on areas corresponding to the IUCN’s Category 1b-Wilderness classification. These areas are said to have three key values—biological, social, and iconic—that no other protected area classification can provide. The first of four sections in this book provides an overview of the wilderness concept, discusses the importance of creating law and policy to protect wilderness, and generates a list of compatible, rarely compatible, and incompatible forms of land use. The latter list may be somewhat controversial, as it is primarily based on the American conception of wilderness. For example, grazing is considered rarely compatible, and mechanized recreation is considered incompatible. The first section also provides a useful matrix of international wilderness definitions, legislative purpose, allowed activities, and administration and management of wilderness. As little discussion of this matrix is provided, this chapter might have been included as an appendix.
A related useful addition would be an appendix providing copies of wilderness legislation, or to save space, a list of websites that provided each country’s legislation and policy. The second and largest section of the book provides an analysis of wilderness legislation from 11 countries. I found the discussion in each chapter that outlined the idiosyncratic history and primary issues affecting the creation of wilderness legislation in each nation to be the most interesting reading, and was disappointed not to see additional discussion of each country’s limitations and enabling factors that led to the protection of wilderness via legislation. Although beyond the scope of this handbook, it would be interesting to have a global analysis of the critical success (and failure) factors, to allow individuals and groups to learn from these lessons. The third section reviews wilderness policy from countries in Africa and Europe, and the final section discusses future directions for wilderness law and policy. In the latter chapter, issues such as ocean, indigenous, and private sector wilderness are discussed, and key findings from previous chapters are briefly outlined.
This handbook admirably succeeds in its attempt to provide a state of the art review of global wilderness legislation and policy. I have no doubt that governments and nongovernmental organizations throughout the world would be well served to obtain a copy of this book to aid in their efforts to give wilderness the global protection it deserves."
--John Shultis, the Interntional Journal of Wilderness


Chapter llntroduction
Chapter 3Australia
Chapter 4Canada
Chapter 5The Mission Mountains Tribal Wilderness Area
Chapter 6Fin1and
Chapter 7Iceland
Chapter 8Iapan
Chapter 9México
Chapter 13Sri Lanka
Chapter l4Ihe United States
Chapter l5Southern and Eastern Africa
Chapter 17Ukraine
Part IVNew Directions for Wilderness Law
Chapter 19Conclusion

Chapter 10New Zealand
Chapter l1The Russian Federation
Chapter l2South Africa

About the author (2008)

Cyril Kormos is the vice president for policy at The WILD Foundation.

Bibliographic information