The residual nature of protected areas in Brazil

Vieira, Raísa R.S., Pressey, Robert L., and Loyola, Rafael (2019) The residual nature of protected areas in Brazil. Biological Conservation, 233. pp. 152-161.

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Abstract

In recent decades, the number and extent of protected areas (PM) have increased, covering > 10% of the Earth. However, protection tends to be residual because PAs have been consistently established on marginal lands that minimize costs and conflicts with extractive uses instead of focusing on places important to biodiversity. Here, we provide a panorama of the current network of PAs in Brazil, examine the biases of protection in relation to slope and land use intensity, and determine whether biases vary between biomes. We measured protection bias by accounting for differences between PAs and the municipalities in which they were established, indicating the direction and strength of bias. Brazil has 18% of its land under protection, but 70% of this is in the Amazon. Brazil's other biomes hardly reach 10% of their territories under protection and have strong protection bias. Generally, PAs are strongly biased towards lands with low intensity of use before they were established compared to their background landscapes. There was a small bias towards high slope, but most PM had the same slope profile as their background landscapes. Trusting percentages of area under protection as a measure of conservation success risks misdirecting conservation actions to areas of lower biological importance and lower threat. To promote effective conservation actions more evidence-informed strategies should be used, based on appropriate ecological criteria and explicit objectives that allow us to measure the likely conservation impacts.

Item ID: 58414
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1873-2917
Keywords: Conservation policy, Convention on Biological Diversity, Protected areas, Residual protection, Systematic conservation planning
Copyright Information: © 2019 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Funders: Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior - Brasil (CAPES), Australian Research Council (ARC), Brazilian National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq)
Projects and Grants: CNPq grant 306694/2018-2
Date Deposited: 29 May 2019 07:37
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9607 Environmental Policy, Legislation and Standards > 960701 Coastal and Marine Management Policy @ 100%
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