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Title: Understanding the development and characteristics of conservation area networks
Author: Sykes, Rachel
ISNI:       0000 0005 0287 397X
Awarding Body: University of Kent
Current Institution: University of Kent
Date of Award: 2020
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Protected areas are an essential component of efforts to halt biodiversity loss and they are widely used to protect species and habitats, and maintain essential ecosystem services that underpin human society and wellbeing. This is reflected by the Convention on Biological Diversity’s Aichi Target 11, which commits signatory nations by 2020 to protect at least 17% of the terrestrial realm through various state, private and community conservation designations, which are placed in areas important for biodiversity, representative, well-managed and integrated into the wider landscape. This target will be revisited at the 2020 Conference of the Parties, where it is expected that the target may be raised to perhaps as much as 30%. This is an ambitious commitment, and while there is a substantial body of research on protected areas, gaps remain in our understanding of how to rapidly build a global protected area network that covers a significant proportion of the Earth’s surface and is effective in maintaining its conservation value and supporting neighbouring people. In this thesis I aim to address some of these gaps. Chapter 2 addresses the problem of expanding a protected area network in the context of a densely populated and highly transformed country, in which remaining habitats exist only in small, scattered fragments. I examine the trade-offs involved, between the area of land necessary to meet representation targets and minimum protected area size thresholds, and the opportunity costs that may be incurred due to lost agricultural land. Chapter 3 examines the characteristics of a conservation area network comprising state-owned and managed protected areas, and other conservation areas owned and managed by private individuals and communities. I study the different contributions that conservation areas of differing governance types could make to the overall extent and representativeness of a network. Chapter 4 presents a conceptual framework in which I explore what drives the establishment of conservation areas across the globe. I highlight many frequently overlooked socio-economic and political factors that help explain why conservation area network extent differs so greatly between countries, and describe what conditions may be necessary to create an enabling environment for the growth of networks in the future. Chapter 5 presents a new methodology developed to improve the accuracy of estimates of global conservation area coverage. I produce a sample of the terrestrial realm that is representative of 10 key biogeographical and socio-economic factors that can be used as the focus for data collection efforts.
Supervisor: Smith, Bob ; Davies, Zoe G. ; Burgess, Neil ; Kingston, Naomi Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: QH75 Conservation (Biology)