Research suggests that most protected areas, most of the time, conserve ecosystems and help secure local livelihoods better than alternative management approaches. For example, in some deforestation fronts, protected areas have helped retain forests even though forest loss is occurring right up to their borders.
Poorly governed and under-resourced protected areas are unlikely to withstand intense deforestation pressures. Along with expanding the area under protection, success depends on strengthening management and building capacity. Every $1 invested in the effective management of natural resources in protected areas results in $100 worth of value in benefits for people — in the form of clean water, food, natural medicines and more.