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Making Protected Areas Relevant: A guide to integrating protected areas into wider landscapes, seascapes and sectoral plans and strategies

Making Protected Areas Relevant: A guide to integrating protected areas into wider landscapes, seascapes and sectoral plans and strategies

Protected areas are the cornerstone of any strategy for conserving biodiversity. To date, 12.2% of land, and 5.9% of territorial marine areas are under some form of legal protection. Protected areas are remarkably efficient tools for the achievement of the aims of the Convention on Biological Diversity — to conserve biodiversity and ensure its sustainable use, while also equitably sharing its benefits. Protected areas contribute to the survival of genetic resources and species and the health of ecosystems around the globe. At the same time, protected areas provide livelihoods for nearly 1.1 billion people, are the primary source of drinking water for over a third of the world’s largest cities, are a major factor in ensuring global food security through the protection of fisheries, wild crop relatives and ecosystem services, and provide a critical safety net for the one billion people living on less than a dollar a day. Governments are facing national and global economic crises, increased poverty, increased fragmentation and habitat loss across landscapes, and increasing impacts from climate change. These pressures conspire to create unprecedented challenges in establishing, managing and maintaining comprehensive protected area networks. Yet never has this work been more important than today...