Protected areas (PAs) are a cornerstone of conservation efforts and now cover nearly 13% of the world's land surface, with the world's governments committed to expand this to 17%. However, as biodiversity continues to decline, the effectiveness of PAs in reducing the extinction risk of species remains largely untested. This paper analyzes PA coverage and trends in species' extinction risk at globally significant sites for conserving birds (10,993 Important Bird Areas, IBAs) and highly threatened vertebrates and conifers (588 Alliance for Zero Extinction sites, AZEs) (referred to collectively as ‘important sites’). Species occurring in important sites with greater PA coverage experienced smaller increases in extinction risk over recent decades: the increase was half as large for bird species with>50% of the IBAs at which they occur completely covered by PAs, and a third lower for birds, mammals and amphibians restricted to protected AZEs (compared with unprotected or partially protected sites). Globally, half of the important sites for biodiversity conservation remain unprotected (49% of IBAs, 51% of AZEs). While PA coverage of important sites has increased over time, the proportion of PA area covering important sites, as opposed to less important land, has declined (by 0.45–1.14% annually since 1950 for IBAs and 0.79–1.49% annually for AZEs). Thus, while appropriately located PAs may slow the rate at which species are driven towards extinction, recent PA network expansion has under-represented important sites. The paper concludes that better targeted expansion of PA networks would help to improve biodiversity trends.Resource Type: Journal Papers
This review examines the challenges of developing protected area categorization beyond the traditional state-led model. We review private protected areas in Kenya and Tanzania, exploring their tenure, the nature of the private sector organizations managing them, and the extent of control exercised within them. Drawing on this we develop a working typology with the aim to encourage further discourse amongst the conservation community on the emerging phenomenon of private protected areas.Resource Type: Reports
This report describes a new map-based approach to defining areas best suited for NTFP commercialization. Uganda is used as a case study. As one of the most rapidly growing economies in Africa, its rich natural heritage highlights the conflict between national development efforts and the need for a globally responsible approach to biodiversity conservation.Resource Type: Reports
The study reviews the situation regarding Protected Area extent, legal status and management constraints in each country and territory of East Asia, using a regional review and gap analysis by applying a simple GIS overlay approach. The WDPA has available a near complete GIS cover of PAs in the region and most large PAs are represented by polygons (boundary information). A few large PAs and many very small PAs are represented by circles of correct area around known centre points of the PAs held in the database.
This study assesses the global gaps in forest conservation with reference to the target of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), which calls for the effective conservation of "at least 10% of the world's forest types" by 2010 (decision VIII/15). The results are expected to guide forest conservation policies and planning at national and international levels.Resource Type: Reports
This report illustrates several of the cumulative environmental impacts of piecemeal infrastructure development, population growth, water shortage and climate change in the Greater Asian Mountain region. The scope of this report is the broad, regional scale land use change.Resource Type: Reports
In recognizing the challenge of producing relevant scientific solutions to current environmental problems, Earthwatch-sponsored scientists were invited to submit papers that contribute to this topic: Translating Scientific Results into Conservation Actions.
Six contributors were invited to participate in the 2007 Earthwatch Annual Principal Investigator Conference. The following compendium includes all submitted papers and summarizes the workshop discussion.
This brief review outlines the strong need for gathering reliable data on the livelihoods impacts of protected areas, and illustrates some of the approaches being taken. It notes that the question of social benefits of protected areas for local people is only a part of the issue at hand. There are also social benefits and costs at national levels and even at global levels. Tracking these costs and benefits at multiple scales is possible, but very difficult.Resource Type: Reports
In 1993 and 1995 the World Conservation Monitoring Centre surveyed over 600 protected area agencies throughout the world to obtain data on their budgets and staffing levels. Budget data was provided by 108 countries with 3.7 million km2 under protection (28% of global protected areas), and staffing data was provided by 78 countries with 3.0 million km2 under protection (23% of global protected areas).
Protected area budgets and staffing levels are positively correlated with economic development (per capita income) and population density. Budgets (per km2) and staffing (per 1000 km2) are negatively correlated to mean protected area size and country's biological richness. Priority countries for financial assistance, identified based on low budget inputs and high biological richness, are clustered in the Congo river basin of Africa, the Indo-China peninsula, and Meso-America.Resource Type: Reports
This guidance document is one of a series produced with the support of the 2010 Biodiversity Indicators Partnership (2010 BIP) to assist Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) to track their progress towards the 2010 BiodiversityTarget. Coverage of Protected Areas has been selected as one of the indicators suitable for assessing progress towards and communicating the 2010 Target at the global level. The aim of this document is to provide guidance to support the calculation and interpretation of the Coverage of Protected Areas indicator at the national and regional scales.
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