Environmental Management

, Volume 46, Issue 5, pp 685–698

A Global Analysis of Protected Area Management Effectiveness


  • Fiona Leverington
    • School of Integrative SystemsUniversity of Queensland
  • Katia Lemos Costa
    • School of Integrative SystemsUniversity of Queensland
  • Helena Pavese
    • UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre
  • Allan Lisle
    • School of Land, Crop and Food SciencesUniversity of Queensland
    • School of Integrative SystemsUniversity of Queensland
    • UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre

DOI: 10.1007/s00267-010-9564-5

Cite this article as:
Leverington, F., Costa, K.L., Pavese, H. et al. Environmental Management (2010) 46: 685. doi:10.1007/s00267-010-9564-5


We compiled details of over 8000 assessments of protected area management effectiveness across the world and developed a method for analyzing results across diverse assessment methodologies and indicators. Data was compiled and analyzed for over 4000 of these sites. Management of these protected areas varied from weak to effective, with about 40% showing major deficiencies. About 14% of the surveyed areas showed significant deficiencies across many management effectiveness indicators and hence lacked basic requirements to operate effectively. Strongest management factors recorded on average related to establishment of protected areas (legal establishment, design, legislation and boundary marking) and to effectiveness of governance; while the weakest aspects of management included community benefit programs, resourcing (funding reliability and adequacy, staff numbers and facility and equipment maintenance) and management effectiveness evaluation. Estimations of management outcomes, including both environmental values conservation and impact on communities, were positive. We conclude that in spite of inadequate funding and management process, there are indications that protected areas are contributing to biodiversity conservation and community well-being.


Protected areaNational parkManagement effectivenessGlobalEvaluationAssessmentBiodiversityConservation

Supplementary material

267_2010_9564_MOESM1_ESM.doc (172 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 172 kb)

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010