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Ambio. 2004 Dec;33(8):520-9.

Globalization and multi-spatial trends in the coverage of protected-area conservation (1980-2000).

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  • 1Department of Geography, University of Wisconsin, Madison, 53706, USA.


This study is focused on the global expansion of protected-area coverage that occurred during the 1980--2000 period. We examine the multi-scale patterning of four of the basic facets of this expansion: i) estimated increases at the world-regional and country-level scales of total protected-area coverage; ii) transboundary protected areas; iii) conservation corridor projects; and iv) type of conservation management. Geospatial patterning of protected-area designations is a reflection of the priorities of global conservation organizations and the globalization of post-Cold War political and economic arrangements. Local and national-level factors (political leadership and infrastructure) as well as international relations such as multilateral and bilateral aid combine with these globalization processes to impact the extent, type, and location of protected-area designations. We conclude that the interaction of these factors led to the creation and reinforcement of marked spatial differences (rather than tendencies toward worldwide evenness or homogenization) in the course of protected-area expansion during the 1980--2000 period.

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