Towards reducing misrepresentation of national achievements in marine protected area targets

Smallhorn-West, Patrick, and Govan, Hugh (2018) Towards reducing misrepresentation of national achievements in marine protected area targets. Marine Policy, 97. pp. 127-129.

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Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) adopted 20 targets, known as the Aichi Targets, to benchmark progress towards protecting biodiversity. These targets include Target 11 relating to Marine Protected Area coverage and the World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA) is the accepted international database for tracking national commitments to this target. However, measuring national progress towards conservation targets relies on sound data. This paper highlights the large-scale misrepresentation, by up to two orders of magnitude, of national marine protected area coverage from two Pacific Island nations in multiple online databases and subsequent reports, including conclusions regarding achievements of Aichi 11 commitments. It recommends that for the target driven approach to have value, users of the WDPA data should carefully consider its caveats before using their raw data and that countries should strive for a greater degree of accountability. Lastly it also concludes that protected area coverage may not be the best approach to environmental sustainability and that the remaining 19 targets should be considered to a greater extent.

Item ID: 56336
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1872-9460
Keywords: Aichi target 11, World Database on Protected Areas, Protected area misrepresentation, Ha'apai Conservation Area, Phoenix Island Protected Area
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Copyright Information: copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd
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A version of this publication was included as Appendix 1 of the following PhD thesis: Smallhorn-West, Patrick (2020) Assessing the impact of coral reef community management in the Kingdom of Tonga. PhD thesis, James Cook University, which is available Open Access in ResearchOnline@JCU. Please see the Related URLs for access.

Date Deposited: 28 Nov 2018 08:42
FoR Codes: 41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410401 Conservation and biodiversity @ 100%
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