Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Science. 2019 May 31;364(6443):881-886. doi: 10.1126/science.aau5525.

The uncertain future of protected lands and waters.

Author information

1
Department of Environmental Science and Policy, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA, USA. rachelelizabethgolden@gmail.com.
2
Moore Center for Science, Conservation International, Arlington, VA, USA.
3
Geography Department, Humboldt University of Berlin, Berlin, Germany.
4
School of Biological Sciences, Monash University, Clayton, VIC, Australia.
5
Graduate School of Geography, Clark University, Worcester, MA, USA.
6
Round River Conservation Studies, Patagonia, Chile.
7
International Conservation Consultant, Bogotá, Colombia.
8
Conservation International Guyana, Georgetown, Guyana.
9
Conservação Internacional Brasil, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
10
School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA.
11
Department of Environmental Science and Policy, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA, USA.
12
UMR ESPACE-DEV, Montpellier University, L'Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, Guyane University, Reunion University, Antilles University, Centre Universitaire de Formation et de Recherche, Mayotte, France.
13
Conservación Internacional Bolivia, La Paz, Bolivia.
14
Department of Biology, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA, USA.
15
Fundación Universitaria Los Libertadores, Bogotá, Colombia.
16
Department of Environmental Studies, Simon Bolivar University, Caracas, Venezuela.

Abstract

Protected areas are intended to safeguard biodiversity in perpetuity, yet evidence suggests that widespread legal changes undermine protected area durability and efficacy. We documented these legal changes-protected area downgrading, downsizing, and degazettement (PADDD) events-in the United States and Amazonian countries and compiled available data globally. Governments of the United States and Amazonian countries enacted 269 and 440 PADDD events, respectively. Between 1892 and 2018, 73 countries enacted 3749 PADDD events, removing 519,857 square kilometers from protection and tempering regulations in an additional 1,659,972 square kilometers; 78% of events were enacted since 2000. Most PADDD events (62%) are associated with industrial-scale resource extraction and development, suggesting that PADDD may compromise biodiversity conservation objectives. Strategic policy responses are needed to address PADDD and sustain effective protected areas.

Comment in

PMID:
31147519
DOI:
10.1126/science.aau5525

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire
Loading ...
Support Center