This paper explores the political ecology of conservation, particularly the establishment of PAs. It discusses the implications of the idea of pristine nature, the social impacts of and the politics of PA establishment and the way the benefits and costs of PAs are allocated. It considers three key political issues in contemporary international conservation policy: the rights of indigenous people, the relationship between biodiversity conservation and the reduction of poverty, and the arguments of those advocating a return to conventional PAs that exclude people.Resource Type: Journal Papers
Information on elephant ranges and numbers is vital for their effective conservation and management. This is especially true in West Africa where elephant populations are small and scattered. Digya National Park in Ghana is home to some of the least studied elephant populations in Africa. A dung count of the Digya elephant population was conducted to determine the density and distribution of elephants in the park using a systematic segmented track line design.
The mean density of dung-piles was 323 dung-piles per sq km and mean dung survival time was estimated to be 44 days (SD = 2.0 days). An estimated 341±53 (95% confidence interval) elephants with density of 0.41 elephants/km2 were obtained in the study. This makes the Digya elephant population the second largest in Ghana. Elephants occurred mainly in the south-western forested part of the park. This may be related to local abundance of wild fruits and/or conflict with squatters in other parts of the park. The possibility of the estimate being higher has been discussed. This current baseline information augments the Regional Elephant Database and should facilitate strategic planning and management programmes.
UNEP-WCMC produces reports for a number of fora including CITES, the European Commission and the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS). Recent examples of these reports can be downloaded here in PDF format.Resource Type: Reports
The expansion of Protected Areas systems is urgently needed to ensure that further biodiversity losses do not occur. The need to evaluate the effectiveness of protected area management has become well recognized over the past ten years, as we have seen that declaration of protected areas does not always result in their adequate protection. Assessments have been carried out for different purposes, differing in methodology, geographic and topical scope. In order to assist in the harmonization and application of different systems through the WCPA Framework, the IUCN-WCPA is carrying out a global review of management effectiveness assessments.Resource Type: Journal Papers
Between 2000 and 2005, we estimate that 1.75 million ha of forest were lost from protected areas in humid tropical forests, causing the emission of 0.25–0.33 Pg C. Protected areas lost about half as much carbon as the same area of unprotected forest. We estimate that the reduction of these carbon emissions from ongoing deforestation in protected sites in humid tropical forests could be valued at USD 6,200–7,400 million depending on the land use after clearance. This is > 1.5 times the estimated spending on protected area management in these regions. Improving management of protected areas to retain forest cover better may be an important, although certainly not sufficient, component of an overall strategy for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD).Resource Type: Journal Papers
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
Current global marine protection targets aim to protect 10–30% of marine habitats within the next 3–5 years. However, these targets were adopted without prior assessment of their achievability. Moreover, ability to monitor progress towards such targets has been constrained by a lack of robust data on marine protected areas. Here we present the results of the first explicitly marine-focused, global assessment of protected areas in relation to global marine protection targets.Resource Type: Journal Papers
A fully comprehensive network of areas for the conservation of African mammals, especially those facing extinction, is not yet in place, and further reserves may be needed in the Horn of Africa (Somalia in particular), the Cameroon Highlands, parts of the eastern African coastal forests and Eastern Arc Mountains, and parts of the Albertine Rift Mountains. More and larger reserve areas are also required to adequately cover all the species of South Africa. Parts of these gaps are already covered by government forest reserves, and the importance of this reserve category for the conservation of African mammals, especially threatened species, needs to be better recognized.Resource Type: Journal Papers
Growing deterministic and stochastic threats to many wild populations of large vertebrates have focused attention on the conservation significance of captive breeding and subsequent reintroduction. However, work on both gorillas and black rhinos questions this shift in emphasis. In these species, field-based conservation can be effective if properly supported and, although this is not cheap, per capita costs may still be considerably lower than for ex situ propagation in captivity. Here we attempt to broaden the scope of this debate by contrasting the breeding success and costs of in situ and captive programmes for a range of threatened mammals.Resource Type: Journal Papers
A toolkit to support conservation by indigenous peoples and local communities:
Building capacity and sharing knowledge for Indigenous Peoples’ and Community Conserved Territories and Areas (ICCAs)
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