Drivers of successful biodiversity outcomes in terrestrial protected areas
The Task Force has completed a terrestrial analysis for the globe, for Africa, for Europe, for mammals and for birds. These models use the slope of species population time series as the dependent variable. There are 20 predictor variables representing 6 categories of PA management, ecology and socio-economic context. This study is complete and was submitted to Science for publication. As often happens with Science, that journal decided not to review the paper. We are in the process of reformatting for another significant journal.
In addition, we have conducted a global terrestrial study on the standardized Management Effectiveness Tracking Tool (METT), using METT scores as the dependent variable and the same set of predictor variables. This analysis, led by Jonas Geldmann, was just completed and will be submitted for publication very soon.
Ecological outcomes in marine protected areas
The Task Force works with a consortium of partners under the US National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (University of Maryland) to look at ecological outcomes in marine protected areas. We have assembled 5 datasets to look at ecological outcomes inside and outside protected areas (e.g. biomass, species richness, percent cover). They have been standardized into response ratios to allow for analysis. These responses are being modeled against a range of contextual and governance variables. The final modelling workshop for this “Solving the mystery of Marine Protected Area Performance” project will be held in Annapolis, USA on March 23-25. In addition to a global model for marine protected area effectiveness, we will also develop regional models (e.g. Caribbean). The marine studies are extremely promising because there are far more counterfactual data (inside compared to outside) that on land.
Impact assessment of GEF support to protected areas
The Global Environment Facility (GEF) of the World Bank, working with a set of implementing agencies such as the UNDP, has been the most important funding source to protected areas in developing countries. The Task Force has been assisting the Independent Evaluation Offices of the GEF and the UNDP with an evaluation of the impacts of GEF project support on biodiversity outcomes in protected areas. We carried out a quantitative impact assessment of GEF support to protected areas using three different conservation-relevant measures: management effectiveness scores, rates of forest loss and changes in abundance of wildlife populations. Results of these analyses will be published in the peer reviewed literature after they have gone through the GEF and UNDP evaluation processes.
Part of the process of conducting the analysis for the GEF was to create a database of the available Management Effectiveness Tracking Tools (METTs). Lauren Coad led a team to create this data base with design input from Fiona Leverington (WCPA Task Force on Management Effectiveness) and Jonas Geldmann. It was truly global effort. Date were entered in Cambodia through a firm called Digital Divide. Quality control was done by experts in Columbia. The resulting database will is now housed at UNEP-WCMC, where it has already been added to. The future hope plan is to integrate this with the the larger Protected Areas Management Effectiveness Data base (PAME) and make connections to the Protected Planet Data base. This will be an important tool for researchers and park managers.
World Parks Congress
The results of Objective 1 were profiled at the 2014 World Parks Congress in two Stream 1 sessions on Biodiversity Outcomes of Protected Areas. We are working to make the videos and presentations from all Stream 1 sessions available through a dedicated YouTube channel.