These guidelines set out the various actions needed to make an effective MPA, from the early planning stages to implementation. However, they do not deal in detail with every operational aspect of the day-to-day management of MPAs. Nor, for reasons of length, do they provide guidance on integrated coastal management, even though that is the broader context within which MPAs should be managed. We want these guidelines to be useful to natural resource managers at all levels, whether working on conservation of nature or sustainable use of marine resources. They therefore contain material of help to policy-makers, planners and field managers.