The relevance and resilience of protected areas in the Anthropocene

Cumming, Graeme S. (2016) The relevance and resilience of protected areas in the Anthropocene. Anthropocene, 13. pp. 46-56.

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People's dominance of ecosystems is changing conservation. Issues of revenue, food security, human wellbeing, and equity dominate political decisions. Protected areas are increasingly expected to justify their existence by demonstrating that they both conserve biodiversity and provide benefits that can compete with those offered by alternative land uses. In navigating the Anthropocene, four themes are particularly important: (1) protected areas are complex social-ecological systems and must be treated as such; (2) parks are under particular pressure in the most biodiverse parts of the world, and their value and effectiveness must be rigorously demonstrated to retain political support; (3) most protected areas are not isolated landscape elements, but rather members of networks that contribute to current and future human wellbeing at a wide variety of scales; and (4) if protected areas are to offer a sustainable strategy for the future of biodiversity through the Anthropocene, we will need to periodically re-evaluate, re-negotiate, and re-envision their social and their ecological roles to ensure that they remain relevant. Enhancing protected area resilience will require recognizing and managing the spatial connections between protected areas and their surroundings; resolving the challenge of managing for biodiversity in situations of conflict and poor governance; understanding and providing for the reliance of the poor on ecosystem goods and services in times of crisis; and making people aware of the importance of protected areas for their own wellbeing.

Item ID: 45788
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2213-3054
Keywords: park, reserve, conservation, network, scale mismatch, equity
Copyright Information: Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Date Deposited: 21 Sep 2016 07:41
FoR Codes: 41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410401 Conservation and biodiversity @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9613 Remnant Vegetation and Protected Conservation Areas > 961399 Remnant Vegetation and Protected Conservation Areas not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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