Environmental Management

, Volume 46, Issue 5, pp 685–698 | Cite as

A Global Analysis of Protected Area Management Effectiveness

  • Fiona Leverington
  • Katia Lemos Costa
  • Helena Pavese
  • Allan Lisle
  • Marc HockingsEmail author


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 area National park Management effectiveness Global Evaluation Assessment Biodiversity Conservation 



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.

Supplementary material

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


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fiona Leverington
    • 1
  • Katia Lemos Costa
    • 1
  • Helena Pavese
    • 2
  • Allan Lisle
    • 3
  • Marc Hockings
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.School of Integrative SystemsUniversity of QueenslandSt. LuciaAustralia
  2. 2.UNEP World Conservation Monitoring CentreCambridgeUK
  3. 3.School of Land, Crop and Food SciencesUniversity of QueenslandGattonAustralia

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