Marine conservation lags behind terrestrial in the establishment of protected areas. This was recognized by the Convention on Biological Diversity, whose members, in 2004, agreed to establish “comprehensive, effectively managed, and ecologically representative” systems of marine protected areas (MPAs) by 2012. Halfway toward this target date, we look at the coverage of the world’s 5045 MPAs from a biogeographic perspective.Resource Type: Journal Papers
Biologists view Protected Areas (PAs) as natural areas established and managed primarily for the conservation of nature. However, many early Pas were established for aesthetic or socio-economic reasons and received little scientific input to their design. More recently, scientists have identified gaps in PA networks and various contemporary PAs have been established to provide for habitats and species in need of protection.
Scientists have also modelled minimum areas and population sizes that should be protected to prevent extinctions arising from demographic or chance causes. However, these theoretical ideals are difficult to put into practice, particularly as PAs increasingly face more immediate external threats. If scientists are to influence future PA design, and if PAs are to succeed in the long term, these concepts must be applied in practice. Therefore, sufficient protection must be integrated with human needs and aspirations in the design of future protected areas.
This paper reviews the current global extent of protected areas in terms of geopolitical and habitat coverage, and considers their value as a global indicator of conservation action or response. The paper discusses the role of the World Database on Protected Areas and collection and quality control issues, and identifies areas for improvement, including how conservation effectiveness indicators may be included in the database to improve the value of protected areas data as an indicator for meeting global biodiversity targets.Resource Type: Journal Papers
The Convention on Biological Diversity Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 was adopted at the 10th Conference of the Parties in Nagoya, Japan. The plan outlines 20 Aichi Targets to achieve global biodiversity conservation. A fundamental global approach to biodiversity conservation is the use of protected areas. Arguably all 20 Aichi Targets have implications for the establishment and management of protected areas, but only Target 11 addresses them directly. This paper carries out a clause by clause analysis of Target 11 and makes recommendations to countries on interpreting each clause in order to best achieve biodiversity conservation using protected areas. Despite containing only 61 words, Target 11 is surprisingly dense. It applies to both marine and terrestrial ecosystems, and sets goals for spatial planning (representativeness, ecological connectivity and areas of importance for biodiversity); protected areas management (including management effectiveness and social equity); and criteria about what counts toward being a protected area under Target 11. The authors argue for a holistic interpretation of Target 11 as a way for the global community to use protected areas to change the current unacceptable trends in global biodiversity loss.Resource Type: Journal Papers
Through the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the world’s governments recently adopted a target to protect at least 17% of the global land area by 2020. This paper evaluates current levels of protection for mountains at multiple scales. It shows that the CBD’s 17% target has already been almost met at a global scale: 16.9% of the world’s mountain areas outside Antarctica fall within protected areas. However, protection of mountain areas at finer scales remains uneven and is largely insufficient, with 63% (125) of countries, 57% (4) of realms, 67% (8) of biomes, 61% (437) of ecoregions and 53% (100) of Global 200 priority ecoregions falling short of the target. The CBD target also calls for protected areas to be focussed “especially [at] areas of particular importance for biodiversity”. Important Bird Areas and Alliance for Zero Extinction sites represent existing global networks of such sites. It is therefore of major concern that 39% and 45% respectively of these sites in mountain areas remain entirely unprotected. Achievement of the CBD target in mountain regions will require more focused expansion of the protected area network in addition to enhanced management of individual sites and the wider countryside in order to ensure long term conservation of montane biodiversity and the other ecosystem services it provides.Resource Type: Journal Papers
In order to build on the momentum created by the 2010 target of the Convention on Biological Diversity, we propose a shift away from a large set of static targets towards a smaller number of specific targets. Specifically, we present three categories of targets (red, green and blue) with examples of each. These relate respectively to (1) those biodiversity outcomes that must be avoided to avert situations that are deleterious for people, (2) the highly valued biodiversity conservation priorities, and (3) an improved scientific understanding necessary for adaptive management now and into the future.Resource Type: Journal Papers
With a view to the future, the book points the reader to the Mountain Biodiversity Portal (http://www.mountainbiodiversity.org) that has just been launched by the GMBA and the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF). This tool has the potential to greatly facilitate access to mountain biodiversity data because it allows users to find GBIF data for specific elevational and thermal belts within their region of interest. A very similar tool already allows users of the World Database on Protected Areas (http://www.wdpa.org) to find GBIF data for a protected area of interest. Thanks to these collaborative efforts, researchers will increasingly get the data they require without the need to carry out time-consuming overlays of species and other data sets for their region of interest. The GMBA/GBIF Mountain Biodiversity Portal is a fine example for the technical possibilities of our time and will certainly help to further stimulate the creative use of georeferenced biodiversity data promoted by this book.Resource Type: Journal Papers
As the importance of mountain spaces is more widely recogised, it seems necessary to establish a coherent definition of these spaces. The UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) proposed the first global delineation in 2000. However, certain European countries have used national definitions of mountain spaces since the 1950s. Within the framework of social and economic integration policies at the heart of the European Union, an agreed delineation of European mountain spaces has been established, based on the definition proposed by UNEP-WCMC. The process of adaptation of the global definition to the European context is described, as well as the results for 29 European countries.Resource Type: Journal Papers
In the past few years, a number of analyses have been undertaken to measure progress towards the 2010 and 2012 CBD targets. This report demonstrates how the measurement of progress is influenced by decisions on which protected areas are included (for instance, whether internationally designated sites, or sites without an assigned IUCN category are included) and which biogeographic datasets used (for instance which mountain dataset is chosen), and highlights the need for standardised methods and datasets.Resource Type: Journal Papers
Two recent analyses have measured protected area coverage for each of the world’s realms, biomes and ecoregions - UNEP-WCMC, 2008 and Jenkins and Joppa, 2009 Expansion of the global terrestrial protected area system, Biological Conservation 142 (2009), pp. 2166–2174, using the WWF Terrestrial Ecoregions of the World.
However, data handling procedures differ between these analyses, resulting in differences in the protection statistics reported. Here we outline differences in the use of datasets, present alternative analyses of the protected area coverage of WWF realms, biomes and ecoregions for 2009, and compare the two estimates of protected area coverage.
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