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.
Protected areas can act as a case study for REDD: lessons can be learnt from their success or otherwise in reducing deforestation and supporting local livelihoods. Further research into the most effective management and governance frameworks for acheiving goals on carbon emissions, biodiversity and communities, and the extent to which protected areas reduce (or merely displace) deforestation within national boundaries would be useful in informing REDD implementation.Resource Type: Journal Papers
Protected areas (PAs) are the cornerstone of global conservation efforts but their performance in maintaining populations of their key species remains poorly documented. Here, we address this gap using a new database of 583 population abundance time series for 69 species of large mammals in 78 African PAs.Resource Type: Journal Papers
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
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.
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
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