Protected areas are a cornerstone strategy for terrestrial and increasingly marine biodiversity conservation, but their use for conserving inland waters has received comparatively scant attention. In 2010, the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) included a target of 17% protection for inland waters, yet there has been no meaningful way of measuring progress toward that target. Defining and evaluating “protection” is especially complicated for rivers because their integrity is intimately linked to impacts in their upstream catchments.

Several intergovernmental policy instruments, including the World Heritage Convention of UNESCO and the Convention on Biological Diversity, have proposed to develop integrated strategies to build bridges between biological and cultural diversity agendas. We contend that to succeed in this endeavor, it is crucial to link biocultural revitalization to conservation practice.

Overexploitation is one of the main pressures driving wildlife closer to extinction, yet broad-scale data to evaluate species’ declines are limited. Using African pangolins (Family: Pholidota) as a case study, we demonstrate that collating local-scale data can provide crucial information on regional trends in exploitation of threatened species to inform conservation actions and policy. We estimate that 0.4-2.7 million pangolins are hunted annually in Central African forests.

In some parts of the world, proprietorship, price incentives, and devolved responsibility for management, accompanied by effective regulation, have increased wildlife and protected habitats, particularly for iconic and valuable species. Elsewhere, market incentives are constrained by policies and laws, and in some places virtually prohibited. In Australia and New Zealand, micro economic reform has enhanced innovation and improved outcomes in many areas of the economy, but economic liberalism and competition are rarely applied to the management of wildlife.

The unique values of Australia's Great Barrier Reef (GBR) are under threat from environmental change and the unforeseen, cumulative consequences of coastal development. Development decisions are underpinned by Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) but these are plagued by inconsistent methods and a lack of independent evaluation, leading to perceptions of inadequate scientific rigor. To be credible and effective, EIAs should be subject to independent peer review, the yardstick applied in the normal process of science.

Protected areas are a key strategy in conserving biodiversity, and there is a pressing need to evaluate their social impacts. Though the social impacts of development interventions are widely assessed, the conservation literature is limited and methodological guidance is lacking. Using a systematic literature search, which found 95 relevant studies, we assessed the methods used to evaluate the social impacts of protected areas.

Original Source

We identify policies that would provide a solid foundation in key international negotiations to ensure that primary forests persist into the 21st Century. A novel compilation of primary forest cover and other data revealed that protection of primary forests is a matter of global concern being equally distributed between developed and developing countries. Almost all (98%) of primary forest is found within 25 countries with around half in five developed ones (USA, Canada, Russia, Australia, and NZ).

In an unprecedented response to the rapid decline in wild tiger populations, the Heads of Government of the 13 tiger range countries endorsed the St. Petersburg Declaration in November 2010, pledging to double the wild tiger population. We conducted a landscape analysis of tiger habitat to determine if a recovery of such magnitude is possible.

Climate change poses profound, direct, and well-documented threats to biodiversity. A significant fraction of Earth's species is at risk of extinction due to changing precipitation and temperature regimes, rising and acidifying oceans, and other factors.

"Offsetting" habitat destruction has widespread appeal as an instrument for balancing economic growth with biodiversity conservation. Requiring proponents to pay the nontrivial costs of habitat loss encourages sensitive planning approaches.

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