Protected areas are key to biodiversity conservation. While the value of protected areas is generally undisputed, challenges remain. Many areas designated as protected were created for objectives other than biodiversity conservation, and those objectives can conflict with biodiversity conservation. Protected area legal status is, in many cases, impermanent.
During the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, management authorities of numerous Protected Areas (PAs) had to discourage visitors from accessing them in order to reduce the virus transmission rate and protect local communities. This resulted in social–ecological impacts and added another layer of complexity to managing PAs. This paper presents the results of a survey in Snowdonia National Park capturing the views of over 700 local residents on the impacts of COVID-19 restrictions and possible scenarios and tools for managing tourist numbers.
COVID-ERA POLICIES AND ECONOMIC RECOVERY PLANS: ARE GOVERNMENTS BUILDING BACK BETTER FOR PROTECTED AND CONSERVED AREAS?
The COVID-19 pandemic is having a major impact on conservation policies and practice at multiple scales, including protected and conserved areas (PCAs). There is a need to understand the implications for PCAs of recent actions, enacted or promoted in the wake of COVID-19. To fill this knowledge gap, we reviewed economic stimulus packages and other government policies that were implemented or advanced between January and October 2020.
Formal and semi-formal networks are emerging as effective, collaborative, and adaptable approaches for addressing complex, rapidly evolving ocean governance issues. One such group of networks, which we refer to as marine-related learning networks, play multifaceted roles within ocean governance systems by facilitating knowledge creation, exchange, and dissemination, and by building the capacity of individuals and institutions to address problems and improve coastal and ocean governance.
PARKS The International Journal of Protected Areas and Conservation, Issue 27 Special Issue on COVID-19 MARCH 2021
This special issue of PARKS is devoted to the impact and implications of COVID-19 on the world’s protected and conserved areas. It features 11 peer reviewed papers and 14 essays that have brought together the knowledge and findings of numerous experts from all parts of the world, supported by several wide-ranging surveys. The resulting global synthesis of experience answers some key questions: why did the pandemic occur? what has it meant for protected and conserved areas, and the people that depend on them? what were the underlying reasons for the disaster we now face?
This Blue Pacific Ocean 2021 Report (BPOR) is indeed a first of its kind. While sectoral approaches to reporting on development and implementation in the various areas of ocean governance has been the norm, the BPOR is unique in the sense that it is the first attempt at the regional level to compile a comprehensive, multi-facetted, cross-cutting and holistic review and stock take of the state of affairs of ocean governance in the region, in the contemporary period.
We report three major and confronting environmental issues that have received little attention and require urgent action. First, we review the evidence that future environmental conditions will be far more dangerous than currently believed. The scale of the threats to the biosphere and all its lifeforms—including humanity—is in fact so great that it is difficult to grasp for even well-informed experts. Second, we ask what political or economic system, or leadership, is prepared to handle the predicted disasters, or even capable of such action.
Gender equality is a mainstream principle of good environmental governance and sustainable development. Progress toward gender equality in the fisheries sector is critical for effective and equitable development outcomes in coastal countries. However, while commitments to gender equality have surged at global, regional and national levels, little is known about how this principle is constructed, and implemented across different geographies and contexts. Consequently, progress toward gender equality is difficult to assess and navigate.
Community-based management and co-management are mainstream approaches to marine conservation and sustainable resource management. In the tropical Pacific, these approaches have proliferated through locally-managed marine areas (LMMAs). LMMAs have garnered support because of their adaptability to different contexts and focus on locally identified objectives, negotiated and implemented by stakeholders. While LMMA managers may be knowledgeable about their specific sites, broader understanding of objectives, management actions and outcomes of local management efforts remain limited.
Humanity will soon define a new era for nature—one that seeks to transform decades of underwhelming responses to the global biodiversity crisis. Area-based conservation efforts, which include both protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures, are likely to extend and diversify. However, persistent shortfalls in ecological representation and management effectiveness diminish the potential role of area-based conservation in stemming biodiversity loss.