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.
Hotspot Ecosystem Research on the Margins of European Seas (HERMES) was one of the 40 most successful projects under the EU's 6th Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development. Following completion of the project in March 2009, The HERMES Story is published jointly by HERMES and UNEP to inform policy and decision makers from around the world about the lessons learned and the amazing new insights into deep-sea biodiversity, structure, function and dynamics discovered under HERMES. The HERMES Story highlights the need for concerted action to protect the deep sea against the increasing pressures, threats and impacts from human activities and climate change, and provides inspiration for the development of similar deep-sea research projects in other regions.Resource Type: Reports
Advice on assessment of biodiversity impacts is required to support trade negotiations and reduce risks of unforeseen consequences for important biodiversity and those who depend on it for their livelihoods. This paper explores linkages between biodiversity and trade and draws on examples from the agriculture sector to reinforce the need to build a biodiversity-inclusive process for as-sessing impacts of trade policies and agreements.Resource Type: Journal Papers
UNEP-WCMC, with the financial support of the UN-REDD programme, wrote a paper on biodiversity monitoring for REDD+ published in the journal "Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability" as part of ongoing work on REDD+ safeguards. The paper observes the following three challenge to biodiversity monitoring for REDD: choosing which aspects of biodiversity to monitor, the difficulty of attributing particular changes to REDD+ and the likely scarcity of resources for biodiversity monitoring. It proposes three responses which may address these challenges: 1) agreed policy targets that identify what should be monitored; 2) making links to existing biodiversity monitoring and to monitoring to estimate GHG emissions and removals; and 3) developing clear theories of change to assist in determining which changes in biodiversity can be attributed to REDD+. The paper is available on the journal website here.Resource Type: Tools / Applications
Recent CITES decisions that accepted an obligation to take into account the impacts of CITES listings on the livelihoods of the poor, have some affinities with the ‘Do no harm’ approach to the livelihoods of the poor. The process will produce guidelines and rapid assessment tools. If these guidelines and tools are to be effective they will need to take account of the context-specific nature of solutions in this area. The CITES case provides lessons for other international conservation institutions whose activities affect the livelihoods of the poor at the local level.Resource Type: Journal Papers
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
UNEP-WCMC produces regular outputs of net trade in wild-collected fauna and flora listed on CITES Appendix II as part of the CITES Review of Significant Trade process.
UNEP-WCMC also produced Reviews of Significant Trade for the species selected for review following CoP14 for recent Animals and Plants Committee meetings (including AC25, PC19 and AC26).Resource Type: Reports
The deep sea is the oldest and largest biome on Earth, yet we have little knowledge of the ecosystems and processes in these dark, hidden depths. Only in the last two decades have new technologies enabled scientists to start exploring this last frontier – and their discoveries are fascinating but alarming: the deep sea is teeming with life but is already showing clear signs of anthropogenic impacts despite its remoteness. Many vulnerable deep-sea habitats and communities are being destroyed by fishing and are under threat from increasing exploitation of their mineral and living resources.Resource Type: Reports
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.
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