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.
Over the past 10 years a number of studies and consultations have been carried out to develop and refine the Global Strategy for achieving a balanced, representative and credible World Heritage List that reflects the world’s diverse heritage. This review is an important addition to that process, focusing on the inter-related elements of biogeography, habitats and biological diversity that underpin much of what we consider ‘natural heritage’.Resource Type: Reports
A European Study on protected area management effectiveness assessments was carried out between May 2009 and March 2010, to provide an overview of existing studies, evaluation methods and results. This study was initiated in response to the Global Study’s insufficient coverage of the European sub-region, and as protected area governance in Europe has distinct characteristics that justified a separate analysis. The study was led by the Universities of Greifswald and Queensland, in partnership with UNEP-WCMC, EUROPARC Federation and the German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN).Resource Type: Reports
The Global Study into management effectiveness evaluation was conducted between late 2005 and 2010. In cooperation with many people across the world, it aimed to strengthen the management of protected areas by compiling the existing work on management effectiveness evaluation, reviewing methodologies, finding patterns and common themes in evaluation results, and investigating the most important factors leading to effective management.Resource Type: Reports
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.
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
The success of protected areas as a tool for conservation is based around the assumption that they are managed to protect the values that they contain. To be effective, management should be tailored to the particular demands of the site, given that each protected area has a variety of biological and social characteristics, pressures and uses. Achieving effective management is not an easy task – it requires adopting appropriate management objectives and governance systems, adequate and appropriate resourcing and the timely implementation of appropriate management strategie and processes. It is unlikely to be achieved fully without an approach to management that is inquiring an reflective – that seeks to understand how effective the current management regime is and how it could be improved. Information on management effectiveness is thus a cornerstone of good management.
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
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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