Southeast Asian protected areas are effective in conserving forest cover and forest carbon stocks compared to unprotected areas

Graham, Victoria, Geldmann, Jonas, Adams, Vanessa M., Negret, Pablo Jose, Sinovas, Pablo, and Chang, Hsing-Chung (2021) Southeast Asian protected areas are effective in conserving forest cover and forest carbon stocks compared to unprotected areas. Scientific Reports, 11. 23760 -23760.

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Abstract

Protected areas aim to conserve nature, ecosystem services, and cultural values; however, they have variable success in doing so under high development pressure. Southeast Asian protected areas faced the highest level of human pressure at the turn of the twenty-first century. To estimate their effectiveness in conserving forest cover and forest carbon stocks for 2000–2018, we used statistical matching methods to control for the non-random location of protected areas, to compare protection against a matched counterfactual. We found Southeast Asian protected areas had three times less forest cover loss than similar landscapes without protection. Protected areas that had completed management reporting using the Management Effectiveness Tracking Tool (METT) conserved significantly more forest cover and forest carbon stocks than those that had not. Management scores were positively associated with the level of carbon emissions avoided, but not the level of forest cover loss avoided. Our study is the first to find that METT scores could predict the level of carbon emissions avoided in protected areas. Given that only 11% of protected areas in Southeast Asia had completed METT surveys, our results illustrate the need to scale-up protected area management effectiveness reporting programs to improve their effectiveness for conserving forests, and for storing and sequestering carbon.

Item ID: 75850
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2045-2322
Copyright Information: Open Access. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http:// creat iveco mmons. org/ licen ses/ by/4. 0/.
Date Deposited: 30 Aug 2022 01:31
FoR Codes: 41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410404 Environmental management @ 80%
44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4407 Policy and administration > 440704 Environment policy @ 20%
SEO Codes: 18 ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT > 1806 Terrestrial systems and management > 180601 Assessment and management of terrestrial ecosystems @ 100%
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