Making parks make a difference: poor alignment of policy, planning and management with protected-area impact, and ways forward

Pressey, Robert L., Visconti, Piero, and Ferraro, Paul J. (2015) Making parks make a difference: poor alignment of policy, planning and management with protected-area impact, and ways forward. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London Series B, 370 (1681). pp. 1-19.

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Abstract

Policy and practice around protected areas are poorly aligned with the basic purpose of protection, which is to make a difference. The difference made by protected areas is their impact, defined in program evaluation as the outcomes arising from protection relative to the counterfactual of no protection or a different form of protection. Although impact evaluation of programs is well established in fields such as medicine, education and development aid, it is rare in nature conservation. We show that the present weak alignment with impact of policy targets and operational objectives for protected areas involves a great risk: targets and objectives can be achieved while making little difference to the conservation of biodiversity. We also review potential ways of increasing the difference made by protected areas, finding a poor evidence base for the use of planning and management 'levers' to better achieve impact. We propose a dual strategy for making protected areas more effective in their basic role of saving nature, outlining ways of developing targets and objectives focused on impact while also improving the evidence for effective planning and management.

Item ID: 41850
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 0962-8436
Keywords: policy targets, conservation planning, performance management, impact evaluation, saving biodiversity
Additional Information:

© 2015 The Authors. Published by the Royal Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/, which permits unrestricted use, provided the original author and source are credited.

Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC)
Date Deposited: 08 Dec 2015 18:36
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050205 Environmental Management @ 50%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050209 Natural Resource Management @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960507 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Marine Environments @ 70%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 30%
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