Protection of biodiversity

  • An often applied measure for protecting biodiversity is the creation of protected areas in the sea and on land.
  • Recent findings suggest that protected areas alone will not slow biodiversity loss and that additional measures to tackle human population growth and the increased use of natural resources are necessary.
  • Findings reveal that although designated protected areas have increased over the past decades, land and marine biodiversity loss remains significant.
  • Human activities that threaten biodiversity include harvesting of natural resources, habitat conversion and introduction of invasive species.
  • Protected areas may also succumb to poaching, corruption, poor funding and local population displacement. Key to the success of protected areas is in ensuring community buy-in and support in the design and management of protected areas.

In the UK development of protected areas is in competition with issues such as wind farms, transport routes, urbanisation and agriculture. Faced with a plurality of pressures, combating biodiversity loss will require creative bridging solutions, foremost being the securing of community support and the identification of a balance between progress and protection.

** This article was taken from the Science for Environment Policy DG Environment News Alert Service. Citation to the academic article is provided below.
Mora, C., Sale, P.F. (2011) Ongoing global biodiversity loss and the need to move beyond protected areas: a review of the technical and practical shortcomings of protected areas on land and sea. Marine Ecology Progress Series. 434:251-266.

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