A new way to measure the world's protected area coverage

Barr, Lissa M., Pressey, Bob, Fuller, Richard A., Segan, Dan, Mcdonald-Madden, Eve, and Possingham, Hugh (2011) A new way to measure the world's protected area coverage. PLoS ONE, 6 (9). e24707-e24707.

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Protected areas are effective at stopping biodiversity loss, but their placement is constrained by the needs of people. Consequently protected areas are often biased toward areas that are unattractive for other human uses. Current reporting metrics that emphasise the total area protected do not account for this bias. To address this problem we propose that the distribution of protected areas be evaluated with an economic metric used to quantify inequality in income— the Gini coefficient. Using a modified version of this measure we discover that 73% of countries have inequitably protected their biodiversity and that common measures of protected area coverage do not adequately reveal this bias. Used in combination with total percentage protection, the Gini coefficient will improve the effectiveness of reporting on the growth of protected area coverage, paving the way for better representation of the world's biodiversity.

Item ID: 20735
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1932-6203
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This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Date Deposited: 06 Mar 2012 05:11
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960899 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity of Environments not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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