Shortfalls and Solutions for Meeting National and Global Conservation Area Targets
Version of Record online: 24 FEB 2015
Copyright and Photocopying: © 2015 The Authors. Conservation Letters published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Volume 8, Issue 5, pages 329–337, September/October 2015
How to Cite
Butchart, S. H.M., Clarke, M., Smith, R. J., Sykes, R. E., Scharlemann, J. P.W., Harfoot, M., Buchanan, G. M., Angulo, A., Balmford, A., Bertzky, B., Brooks, T. M., Carpenter, K. E., Comeros-Raynal, M. T., Cornell, J., Ficetola, G. F., Fishpool, L. D.C., Fuller, R. A., Geldmann, J., Harwell, H., Hilton-Taylor, C., Hoffmann, M., Joolia, A., Joppa, L., Kingston, N., May, I., Milam, A., Polidoro, B., Ralph, G., Richman, N., Rondinini, C., Segan, D. B., Skolnik, B., Spalding, M. D., Stuart, S. N., Symes, A., Taylor, J., Visconti, P., Watson, J. E.M., Wood, L. and Burgess, N. D. (2015), Shortfalls and Solutions for Meeting National and Global Conservation Area Targets. Conservation Letters, 8: 329–337. doi: 10.1111/conl.12158
- Issue online: 26 OCT 2015
- Version of Record online: 24 FEB 2015
- Accepted manuscript online: 3 FEB 2015 04:41AM EST
- Manuscript Accepted: 29 DEC 2014
- Manuscript Received: 30 AUG 2014
- Aichi Targets;
- Alliance for Zero Extinction;
- Convention on Biological Diversity;
- Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas;
- IUCN Red List;
- Key Biodiversity Areas;
- protected areas
Governments have committed to conserving ≥17% of terrestrial and ≥10% of marine environments globally, especially “areas of particular importance for biodiversity” through “ecologically representative” Protected Area (PA) systems or other “area-based conservation measures”, while individual countries have committed to conserve 3–50% of their land area. We estimate that PAs currently cover 14.6% of terrestrial and 2.8% of marine extent, but 59–68% of ecoregions, 77–78% of important sites for biodiversity, and 57% of 25,380 species have inadequate coverage. The existing 19.7 million km2 terrestrial PA network needs only 3.3 million km2 to be added to achieve 17% terrestrial coverage. However, it would require nearly doubling to achieve, cost-efficiently, coverage targets for all countries, ecoregions, important sites, and species. Poorer countries have the largest relative shortfalls. Such extensive and rapid expansion of formal PAs is unlikely to be achievable. Greater focus is therefore needed on alternative approaches, including community- and privately managed sites and other effective area-based conservation measures.