Which potential conservation initiatives are eligible to be OECMs?

The international guidelines developed by IUCN-WCPA on recognising and reporting OECMs, state that while protected areas must have a primary conservation objective, OECMs may be managed with conservation as a primary or secondary objective or long-term conservation may be the ancillary result of management activities.

Further, an OECM should qualify under the following criteria:

Criterion A

Area must not be recognized as a protected area

Criterion B

Area should be effectively governed and managed, and it should be geographically defined

Criterion C

Area should achieve sustained and effective in situ conservation of biodiversity

Criterion D

Area should deliver associated ecosystem functions and services and cultural, spiritual, socio-economic and other locally relevant values

Please note that those conservation initiatives which have been notified as ‘reserved forests’ by the Forest Survey of India (FSI) will not qualify as potential OECMs in India as they are already being counted as Protected Areas.