1 Tahrcountry Musings: All is not well with protected area networks says researchers

Friday, July 29, 2011

All is not well with protected area networks says researchers

Ongoing global biodiversity loss and the need to move beyond protected areas: a review of the technical and practical shortcomings of protected areas on land and sea
Camilo Mora and Peter F. Sale
Mar Ecol Prog Ser
Vol. 434: 251–266, 2011
doi: 10.3354/meps09214

Here is a thought provoking paper on, protected areas and its effectiveness. The researchers relied on a broad range of data and a review of the literature to show that the effectiveness of existing, and the current pace of the establishment of new, protected areas will not be able to overcome current trends of loss of marine and terrestrial biodiversity.
The authors say there are significant shortcomings in the usual process of implementation of protected areas. They go on to add that the shortcomings include techni-cal problems associated with large gaps in the coverage of critical ecological processes related to individual home ranges and propagule dispersal, and the overall failure of such areas to protect against the broad range of threats affecting ecosystems. They stress the point that budget constraints, conflicts with human development, and a growing human population that will increase not only the extent of anthropogenic stressors but the difficulty in successfully enforcing protected areas.
The authors sign off with these words  “Whileefforts towards improving and increasing the number and/or size of protected areas must continue, there is a clear and urgent need for the development of additional solutions for biodiversity loss, particularly ones that stabilize the size of the world’s human population and our ecological demands on biodiversity”

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