Measuring the extent and effectiveness of protected areas as an indicator for meeting global biodiversity targets.

UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre, Cambridge, UK.
Philosophical Transactions of The Royal Society B Biological Sciences (Impact Factor: 6.31). 03/2005; 360(1454):443-55. DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2004.1592
Source: PubMed

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.

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    ABSTRACT: Tropical deforestation in Southeast Asia is one of the leading causes of carbon emissions and reductions of biodiversity. Spatially explicit analyses of the dynamics of deforestation in Indonesia are needed to support sustainable land use planning but the value of such analyses has so far been limited by data availability and geographical scope. We use remote sensing maps of land use change from 2000 to 2010 to compare Bayesian computational models: autologistic and von Thünen spatial-autoregressive models. We use the models to analyze deforestation patterns in Indonesia and the effectiveness of protected areas. Cross-validation indicated that models had an accuracy of 70–85%. We find that the spatial pattern of deforestation is explained by transport cost, agricultural rent and history of nearby illegal logging. The effectiveness of protected areas presented mixed results. After controlling for multiple confounders, protected areas of category Ia, exclusively managed for biodiversity conservation, were shown to be ineffective at slowing down deforestation. Our results suggest that monitoring and prevention of road construction within protected areas, using logging concessions as buffers of protected areas and geographical prioritization of control measures in illegal logging hotspots would be more effective for conservation than reliance on protected areas alone, especially under food price increasing scenarios.
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    ABSTRACT: During the life-cycle of a protected area (PA), the evaluation of management effectiveness of the PA administrating and managing authorities including the whole PA context becomes increasingly important, both for securing and improving the conservation of biodiversity, but also for the acceptance of stakeholders and funding bodies. Currently, there are numerous approaches to evaluating management effectiveness of parks; many international institutions have drafted and implemented such evaluation instruments. The current paper has focused on a specific evaluation instrument that emphasizes the process of evaluation from the perspective of a range of important stakeholders. The “European Site Consolidation Scorecard” (ESCS) is an evaluating instrument with four large groups of indicators dealing with strategic planning, conservation activities and results, long-term financing, and site constituency. The instrument thus has become part of the governance system of the park contributing to social learning both of the PA staff as well as local stakeholders in manifold dimensions.
    Protected Area Management, Edited by Sladonija B., 12/2012: chapter Chapter 7: pages 129-148; InTech Rijeka., ISBN: 978-953-51-0697-5

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