Research suggests that most protected areas, most of the time, conserve ecosystems and wildlife 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.

However, poorly governed and under-resourced protected areas are unlikely to withstand intense deforestation pressures and not all protected areas have been effective in conserving natural ecosystems. Along with expanding the area under protection, success depends on strengthening management and building capacity.

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Share WHY protected areas and indigenous reserves are important and HOW they can be improved and scaled up.

11 comments

AV
Analiz Vergara 23-Mar-2016 19:46 GMT

Protected Areas are the most important strategy to prevent deforestation and ecosystem degradation - contributing to climate change mitigation-, and constitute a climate adaptation strategy due to their capacity to reduce risks and buffer impacts from extreme events and to maintain provision of ecosystem services. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sBQd4UhQkLE http://wwf.panda.org/wwf_news/?257791/InvestinginProtected-Areas

AJK
Ann Jebet Komen 22-Mar-2016 09:11 GMT

Supporting communities to use local sustainable indigenous knowledge in managing and benefiting from forests will inculcate a sense of ownership and sustainable use of forests

MT
Martin Taylor 22-Mar-2016 05:32 GMT

Fully protected areas free of livestock, logging and other consumptive resource use are the most critical and most effective way to stop forest loss and degradation and loss of biodiversity.

In Australia we also have land clearing laws to curtail deforestation, but as we have seen to widespread alarm, these laws can be wound-back depending on the government of the day. Protected areas provide a much stronger guarantee against forest loss and degradation.

Protected areas go beyond just preventing habitat loss however. Protected areas are an in perpetuity pledge by landholders (or marine area owners- mostly governments), to manage for conservation outcomes rather than production/resource exploitation outcomes.

As everywhere, protected areas desperately need to be scaled up in Australia. Our latest Safety Net report (http://www.wwf.org.au/news_resources/resource_library/?11700/Building-Natures-Safety-Net-2014) shows that despite gross land area protected exceeding the CBD 2020 target of 17%, the protected area system is ecologically un-representative, with excessive emphasis on low risk, already well protected ecosystems, whereas areas with alarming and growing rates of loss like the brigalow forests of central Queensland, are very poorly protected.

The single most important thing that needs to happen is restoration of national government grants for strategic acquisition of new protected areas. After a period of high levels of investment from 2008-2012, and spectacular growth, the national funding program was axed in 2012, and dtrategic growth is frozen.

DO
Denise Oliveira 21-Mar-2016 17:44 GMT

Without forests there is no freshwater! Protected areas and indigenous lands protected natural forests, freshwater resources, and innumerous species, besides extremely important for the maintenance of indigenous cultures.

AB
Alexander Belokurov 21-Mar-2016 11:56 GMT

Protected Areas are natural solutions to climate change. Ensuring PAs climate adaptation is essential for securing future for our forests.
http://www.panda.org/naturalsolutions

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