Skip to main content

Biodiversity and Protected Areas

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.

Scheduling incremental actions to build a comprehensive national protected area network for Papua New Guinea

Systematic conservation planning identifies priority areas to cost-effectively meet conservation targets. Yet, these tools rarely guide wholesale declaration of reserve systems in a single time step due to financial and implementation constraints. Rather, incremental scheduling of actions to progressively build reserve networks is required. To ensure this incremental action is guided by the original plan, and thus builds a reserve network that meets all conservation targets, strategic scheduling, and iterative planning is needed.

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?

Tropical mammal functional diversity increases with productivity but decreases with anthropogenic disturbance

A variety of factors can affect the biodiversity of tropical mammal communities, but their relative importance and directionality remain uncertain. Previous global investigations of mammal functional diversity have relied on range maps instead of observational data to determine community composition.

Locally-managed marine areas: multiple objectives and diverse strategies

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.

A global network of marine protected areas for food

Marine protected areas (MPAs) are conservation tools that are increasingly implemented, with growing national commitments for MPA expansion. Perhaps the greatest challenge to expanded use of MPAs is the perceived trade-off between protection and food production. Since MPAs can benefit both conservation and fisheries in areas experiencing overfishing and since overfishing is common in many coastal nations, we ask how MPAs can be designed specifically to improve fisheries yields.

Change in Terrestrial Human Footprint Drives Continued Loss of Intact Ecosystems

Human pressure mapping is important for understanding humanity’s role in shaping Earth’s patterns and processes. We provide the latest maps of the terrestrial human footprint and provide an assessment of change in human pressure across Earth. Between 2000 and 2013, 1.9 million km2 of land relatively free of human disturbance became highly modified. Our results show that humanity’s footprint is eroding Earth’s last intact ecosystems and that greater efforts are urgently needed to retain them.

The Pacific Islands Roundtable for Nature Conservation (PIRT)

The Pacific Islands Roundtable for Nature Conservation (PIRT) is a coalition of nature conservation and development organizations, governments, inter-government, donor agencies and community groups created to increase effective conservation action in the Pacific Island Region. It was established in 1998 at the request of Pacific island countries and territories which was voiced at the 6th Pacific Islands Conference on Nature Conservation and Protected Areas in 1997.