A Global Analysis of Protected Area Management Effectiveness

We’re sorry, something doesn't seem to be working properly.

Please try refreshing the page. If that doesn't work, please contact support so we can address the problem.

Abstract

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.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3

References

  1. Ahrends A, Burgess ND, Milledge SAH, Bulling MT, Fisher B, Smart JRC, Clarke GP, Mhoro BE, Lewis SL (2010) Predictable waves of sequential forest degradation and biodiversity loss spreading from an African city. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science of USA 107:14556–14561

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Andam KS, Ferraro PJ, Pfaff A, Sanchez-Azofeifa GA, Robalino JA (2008) Measuring the effectiveness of protected area networks in reducing deforestation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 105(42):16089–16094

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Belokurov A, Besançon C, Burgess ND, Dudley N, Hockings M, Leverington F, MacKinnon K, Pavese H, Stolton S, Whitten T (2009) New resources for assessing the effectiveness of management in protected areas. Oryx 43:14

    Google Scholar 

  4. BirdLife International (2006) Monitoring Important Bird Areas: a global framework, Version 1.2. BirdLife International, Cambridge, UK

  5. Blom A, Yamindou J, Prins HHT (2004) Status of the protected areas of the Central African Republic. Biological Conservation 118:479–487

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Brooks JS, Franzen MA, Holmes CM, Grote MN, Mulder MB (2006) Testing Hypotheses for the Success of Different Conservation Strategies. Conservation Biology 20:1528–1538

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Bruner AG, Gullison RE, Rice RE, Da Fonseca G (2001) Effectiveness of parks in protecting tropical biodiversity. Science 291:125–128

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Butchart SHM, Walpole M, Collen B, van Strein A, Scharlemann JPW, Almond REA, Baillie J, Bomhard B, Brown C, Bruno J, Carpenter K, Carr GM, Chanson J, Chenery C, Csirke J, Davidson NC, Dentener F, Foster M, Galli A, Galloway JN, Genovesi P, Gregory R, Hockings M, Kapos V, Lamarque J-F, Leverington F, Loh J, McGeogh M, McRae L, Minasyan A, Morcillo MH, Oldfield T, Pauly D, Quader S, Revenga C, Sauer J, Skolnik B, Spear D, Stanwell-Smith D, Symes A, Spear D, Stuart S, Tyrrell TD, Vie J-C, Watson R (2010) Global biodiversity: indicators of recent declines. Science 328:1164–1168

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Carrillo E, Wong G, Cuaron AD (2000) Monitoring mammal populations in Costa Rican protected areas under different hunting restrictions. Conservation Biology 14(6):1580–1591

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Chape S, Harrison J, Spalding M, Lysenko I (2005) Measuring the extent and effectiveness of protected areas as an indicator for meeting global biodiversity targets. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences 360(1454):443–455

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Cifuentes M, Izurieta A, de Faria H (2000) Measuring protected area management effectiveness. Technical Series No. 2. WWF, IUCN, GTZ, Costa Rica, 105 pp

  12. Coad L, Burgess ND, Fish L, Ravillious C, Corrigan C, Pavese H, Granziera A, Besançon C (2008) Progress towards the Convention on Biological Diversity terrestrial 2010 and marine 2012 targets for protected area coverage. Parks 17:35–42

    Google Scholar 

  13. Convention on Biological Diversity (2004) Decisions adopted by the conference of the parties to the convention on biological diversity at its seventh meeting UNEP/CBD/COP/7/21. Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, Montreal, Canada

  14. Corrales L (2004) Midiendo el éxito de las acciones en las áreas protegidas de Centroamérica: Medición de la Efectividad de Manejo. PROARCA/APM, Guatemala de la Asunción, Guatemala

  15. Dunlop M, Brown PR (2008) Implications of climate change for Australia’s National Reserve System—a preliminary assessment. Report to the Department of Climate Change, February 2008. Department of Climate Change, Canberra, Australia

  16. Ervin J (2003a) Protected area assessments in perspective. Bioscience 53:819–822

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. Ervin J (2003b) WWF: Rapid Assessment and Prioritization of Protected Area Management (RAPPAM) methodology. WWF, Gland, Switzerland

    Google Scholar 

  18. Ervin J, Gidda SB, Salem R, Mohr J (2008) The PoWPA—a review of global implementation. Parks 17:4–11

    Google Scholar 

  19. Ewers RM, Rodrigues ASL (2008) Estimates of reserve effectiveness are confounded by leakage. Trends in Ecology & Evolution 23(3):113–116

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. Figueroa F, Sánchez-Cordero V (2008) Effectiveness of natural protected areas to prevent land use and land cover change in Mexico. Biodiversity and Conservation 17:3223–3240

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. Gaveau DLA, Epting J, Lyne O, Linkie M, Kumara I, Kanninen M, Leader-Williams N (2009) Evaluating whether protected areas reduce tropical deforestation in Sumatra. Journal of Biogeography 36(11):2165–2175

    Article  Google Scholar 

  22. Guachalla MCZOP, Zegada JA (2001) Metodología medición de la efectividad del manejo del SNAP (MEMS). Ministerio de Desarrollo Sostenible, Servicio Nacional de Áreas Protegidas de Bolivia (SERNAP), La Paz, Bolivia

    Google Scholar 

  23. Guilford JP (1954) Psychometric methods. McGraw-Hill, New York, pp 417–443

    Google Scholar 

  24. Hannah L, Midgley G, Andelman S, Araújo M, Hughes G, Martinez-Meyer E, Pearson R, Williams P (2007) Protected area needs in a changing climate. Frontiers in Ecology and Environment 5:131–138

    Article  Google Scholar 

  25. Hockings M (2003) Systems for assessing the effectiveness of management in protected areas. BioScience 53(9):823–832

    Article  Google Scholar 

  26. Hockings M, Phillips A (1999) How well are we doing? Some thoughts on the effectiveness of protected areas. Parks 9:5–14

    Google Scholar 

  27. Hockings M, Stolton S, Dudley N (2004) Management effectiveness: assessing management of protected areas? Journal of Environmental Policy and Planning 6:157–174

    Article  Google Scholar 

  28. Hockings M, Stolton S, Dudley N, Leverington F, Courrau J (2006) Evaluating effectiveness: a framework for assessing the management of protected areas, 2nd edn. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland, 105 pp

    Google Scholar 

  29. Hockings M, Stolton S, Dudley N, James R, Mathur V, Courrau J, Makombo J, Parrish J (2008) Enhancing our Heritage Toolkit: assessing management effectiveness of natural World Heritage sites. UNESCO World Heritage Papers No. 23. UNESCO, Paris, 104 pp

  30. Hockings M, Cook C, Carter RW, James R (2009) Accountability, reporting or management improvement? Development of a State of the Parks Assessment System in New South Wales. Environmental Management 43:1013–1025

    Article  Google Scholar 

  31. Jenkins CN, Joppa L (2009) Expansion of the global terrestrial protected area system. Biological Conservation 142(10):2166–2174

    Article  Google Scholar 

  32. Joppa LN, Loarie SR, Pimm SL (2008) On the protection of “protected areas”. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 105:6673–6678

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  33. Korean National Parks Service (KNPS) (2009) Korea’s Protected Areas: evaluating the effectiveness of South Korea’s protected area system. KNPS, Seoul, Korea, 148 pp

    Google Scholar 

  34. Leverington F, Hockings M (2004) Evaluating the effectiveness of protected area management: the challenge of change. In: Barber CV, Miller KR, Boness M (eds) Securing protected areas and ecosystem services in the face of global change. IUCN, WCPA, WRI, Gland, Switzerland, pp 169–214

  35. Mathur VB (2008) Management Effectiveness Evaluation (MEE) of Protected Areas Network in India: recent experiences. In: Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, Implementation of the CBD Programme of Work on Protected Areas: Progress and Perspectives. Abstracts of poster presentations at the second meeting of the ad hoc open-ended working group on protected areas, Rome, Italy, 11–15 February 2008, pp 100–102; Technical Series No. 35

  36. Nagendra H (2008) Do parks work? Impact of protected areas on land cover clearing. Ambio 37:330–337

    Article  Google Scholar 

  37. Naughton-Treves L, Holland MB, Brandon K (2005) The role of protected areas in conserving biodiversity and sustaining local livelihoods. Annual Review of Environment and Resources 30:219–252

    Article  Google Scholar 

  38. NSW Department of Environment and Conservation (2005) State of the Parks 2004. DEC, Sydney, Australia

    Google Scholar 

  39. Parks Canada (2010) State of Parks reports for national parks. Parks Canada website http://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/docs/bib-lib/docs5hi.aspx. Accessed 23 May 2010

  40. Parks Victoria (2007) Victoria’s State of the Parks report. Parks Victoria, Melbourne, Australia, 259 pp

  41. ParksWatch (2007) Park profiles. http://www.parkswatch.org/parkprofile.php?l=eng. Accessed 18 Dec 2009

  42. Parrish JD, Braun DP, Unnasch RS (2003) Are we conserving what we say we are? Measuring ecological integrity within protected areas. Bioscience 53(9):851–860

    Article  Google Scholar 

  43. Patton MQ (2008) Utilization-focused evaluation, 4th edn. Sage, Thousand Oaks

  44. Redford KH, Feinsinger P (2003) The half-empty forest: Sustainable use and the ecology of interactions. In: Reynolds J, Mace G, Redford KH, Robinson JG (eds) Conservation of exploited species. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, pp 370–399

    Google Scholar 

  45. Rivero Blanco C, Gabaldon M (1992) The evaluation of natural protected area systems: a numeric method. Parks 3:11–13

    Google Scholar 

  46. Rodrigues ASL, Andelman SJ, Bakarr MI, Boitani L, Brooks TM, Cowling RM, Fishpool LDC, Da Fonesca GAB, Gaston KJ, Hoffmann M, Long JS, Marquet PA, Pilgrim JD, Pressey RL, Schipper J, Sechrest W, Stuart SM, Underhill LG, Waller RW, Watts MEJ, Yan X (2004) Effectiveness of the global protected area network in representing species diversity. Nature 428:640–643

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  47. Saterson KA, Christensen NL, Jackson RB, Kramer RA, Pimm SL, Smith MD, Wiener JB (2004) Disconnects in evaluating the relative effectiveness of conservation strategies. Conservation Biology 18:597–599

    Article  Google Scholar 

  48. Scharlemann JPW, Kapos V, Campbell A, Lysenko I, Burgess ND, Hansen MC, Gibbs HK, Dickson B, Miles L (2010) Securing tropical forest carbon: the contribution of protected areas to REDD. Oryx 44:352–357

    Article  Google Scholar 

  49. Shadie P, Epps M (eds) (2008) Securing protected areas in the face of global change: key lessons learned from case studies and field learning sites in protected areas. IUCN Asia Regional Office, Bangkok, Thailand

    Google Scholar 

  50. Southworth J, Nasendra H, Munroe DK (2006) Introduction to the special issue: Are parks working? Exploring human-environment tradeoffs in protected area conservation. Applied Geography 26:87–95

    Article  Google Scholar 

  51. Stolton S, Hockings M, Dudley N, MacKinnon K, Whitten T, Leverington F (2007) Reporting progress in protected areas: a site-level Management Effectiveness Tracking Tool, 2nd edn. http://assets.panda.org/downloads/mett2_final_version_july_2007.pdf. Accessed 18 Dec 2009

  52. Stoner KE, Vulinec K, Wright SJ, Peres CA (2007) Hunting and plant community dynamics in tropical forests: a synthesis and future directions. Biotropica 39:385–392

    Article  Google Scholar 

  53. Sutherland WJ, Pullin AS, Dolman PM, Knight TM (2004) The need for evidence-based conservation. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 19:305–308

    Article  Google Scholar 

  54. The Nature Conservancy (2007) Parks in Peril, 1990–2007: foundation for a sustainable future in Latin America and the Caribbean. The Nature Conservancy, Arlington, VA

    Google Scholar 

  55. The Nature Conservancy Parks in Peril Program (2004) Measuring success: the Parks in Peril Site Consolidation Scorecard Manual (Updated May 10, 2004). http://www.parksinperil.org/howwework/files/pip_scorecard_english_5_10_04.pdf. Accessed 18 Dec 2009

  56. Timko JA, Innes JL (2009) Evaluating ecological integrity in national parks: case studies from Canada and South Africa. Biological Conservation 142(3):676–688

    Article  Google Scholar 

  57. Timko J, Satterfield T (2008) Criteria and indicators for evaluating social equity and ecological integrity in national parks and protected areas. Natural Areas Journal 28(3):307–319

    Article  Google Scholar 

  58. UNEP-WCMC (2008) State of the world’s protected areas: an annual review of global conservation progress. UNEP-WCMC, Cambridge, UK

  59. Whitehurst AS, Sexton JO, Dollar L (2009) Land cover change in western Madagascar’s dry deciduous forests: a comparison of forest changes in and around Kirindy Mite National Park. Oryx 43(02):275–283

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgments

The Global Study was funded by The Nature Conservancy, WWF and the University of Queensland and supported by IUCN. The later phase of the project was supported by the 2010 Biodiversity Indicator Partnership with funding from the Global Environment Facility through the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre. Additional funding for regional studies which were incorporated into the study was provided by IABIN (InterAmerican Biodiversity Information Network) and the German Government (BfN). Some of the information in this article appeared in the project report for the global study but data has since been updated and re-analyzed. We could not have undertaken the study without the use of information and assistance given freely and generously by many sources, including country agencies, conservation organizations and individuals. In particular we are indebted to J. Courrau, J. Ervin, S. Stolton, N. Dudley, M. Marr, K. MacKinnon, M. Zimsky, S. Butchart, S. Pauquet, C. Besançon, B. Bomhard, L. Lacerda, L. Higgins-Zogib, A. Belokurov, J. Spensley, E. Díaz Pascacio, N. Burgess, T. Whitton, V. Mathur, M. Stern, S. Valenzuela, P. Stathis, C. Nolte, A. Dinu, S. Stoll-Kleeman, A. Kettner, G. Neilsen and J. Parrish. N. Burgess and two anonymous reviewers provided very helpful comments on the manuscript.

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Marc Hockings.

Electronic supplementary material

Below is the link to the electronic supplementary material.

Supplementary material 1 (DOC 172 kb)

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Leverington, F., Costa, K.L., Pavese, H. et al. A Global Analysis of Protected Area Management Effectiveness. Environmental Management 46, 685–698 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00267-010-9564-5

Download citation

Keywords

  • Protected area
  • National park
  • Management effectiveness
  • Global
  • Evaluation
  • Assessment
  • Biodiversity
  • Conservation