Estimates of reserve effectiveness are confounded by leakage.
ABSTRACT In situ conservation often requires the designation of sites where land-use is restricted, such as protected areas and no-fishing zones. Such areas are designed to reduce human impacts on the ecosystem, but the overall benefits of this approach might be compromised if 'leakage' takes place--that is, if impacts that would take place inside the restricted area are displaced to a nearby, unrestricted area. Recently, Oliveira and colleagues became the first group to measure leakage from newly created forest concessions. They showed that restricting land-use reduced deforestation within the concession areas, but dramatically increased it in the surrounding areas. We discuss these findings in the wider context of growing global interest in quantifying the effectiveness of nature reserves.
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Article: No forest left behind.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Mitigating climate change by reducing deforestation should involve incentives for countries that currently have high forest cover and low deforestation rates.PLoS Biology 09/2007; 5(8):e216. · 12.69 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: There are now over 100000 protected areas worldwide, covering over 12% of the Earth's land surface. These areas represent one of the most significant human resource use allocations on the planet. The importance of protected areas is reflected in their widely accepted role as an indicator for global targets and environmental assessments. However, measuring the number and extent of protected areas only provides a unidimensional indicator of political commitment to biodiversity conservation. Data on the geographic location and spatial extent of protected areas will not provide information on a key determinant for meeting global biodiversity targets: 'effectiveness' in conserving biodiversity. Although tools are being devised to assess management effectiveness, there is no globally accepted metric. Nevertheless, the numerical, spatial and geographic attributes of protected areas can be further enhanced by investigation of the biodiversity coverage of these protected areas, using species, habitats or biogeographic classifications. 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.Philosophical Transactions of The Royal Society B Biological Sciences 03/2005; 360(1454):443-55. · 6.23 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Firmly incorporated into the Kyoto Protocol, market mechanisms offer an innovative and cost-effective means of controlling atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases. However, as with markets for many other goods and services, a carbon market may generate negative environmental externalities. Possible interpretations and application of Kyoto provisions under COP-6bis and COP-7 raise concerns that rules governing forestry with respect to the Kyoto carbon market may increase pressure on native forests and their biodiversity in developing countries. In this paper, we assess the following two specific concerns with Kyoto provisions for forestry measures. First, whether, under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), by restricting allowable forestry measures to afforestation and reforestation, and explicitly excluding protection of threatened native forests, the Kyoto Protocol will enhance incentives for degradation and clearing of forests in developing countries; second, whether carbon crediting for forest management in Annex I (industrialized) regions under Article 3.4 creates a dynamic that can encourage displacement of timber harvests from Annex I countries to developing nations. Given current timber extraction patterns in developing regions, additional harvest pressure would certainly entail a considerable cost in terms of biodiversity loss. In both cases, we find that the concerns about deleterious impacts to forests and biodiversity are justified, although the scale of such impacts is difficult to predict. Both to ensure reliable progress in managing carbon concentrations and to avoid unintended consequences with respect to forest biodiversity, the further development of the Kyoto carbon market must explicitly correct these perverse incentives. We recommend several steps that climate policymakers can take to ensure that conservation and restoration of biodiversity-rich natural forests in developing countries are rewarded rather than penalized. To correct incentives to clear natural forests through CDM crediting for afforestation and reforestation, we recommend for the first commitment period that policymakers establish an early base year, such as 1990, such that lands cleared after that year would be ineligible for crediting. We further recommend an exception to this rule for CDM projects that are explicitly designed to promote natural forest restoration and that pass rigorous environmental impact review. Restoration efforts are typically most effective on lands that are adjacent to standing forests and hence likely to have been recently cleared. Thus, we recommend for these projects establishing a more recent base year, such as 2000. For the second and subsequent commitment periods, we recommend that climate policymakers act to restrain inter-annex leakage and its impacts by ensuring that crediting for forest management in industrialized countries is informed by modelling efforts to anticipate the scale of leakage associated with different Annex I 'Land use, land-use change and forestry' policy options, and coupled with effective measures to protect natural forests in developing countries. The latter should include expanding the options permitted under the CDM to carbon crediting for projects that protect threatened forests from deforestation and forest degradation. Ultimately, carbon market incentives for forest clearing can be reduced and incentives for forest conservation most effectively strengthened by fully capturing carbon emissions associated with deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries under a future emissions cap. Finally, we note that these recommendations have broader relevance to any forest-based measures to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions developed outside of the specific context of the Kyoto Protocol.Philosophical Transactions of The Royal Society A Mathematical Physical and Engineering Sciences 09/2002; 360(1797):1875-88. · 2.89 Impact Factor