Classifying conservation actions

An article in PLoS Biology recently suggested that IUCN should change the classification system it uses for protected areas (PAs).1 Currently reflecting management intent (e.g. “National Park: managed mainly for ecosystem protection and recreation”), the idea would be for the new categories to rather “be based on the quality and quantity of the contribution of each PA to conservation of biodiversity (and associated sociocultural values).” So: actual result, rather than intent; and “what ” and “how much” rather than “how.” Seems like a pretty good idea. And it also seems like the concept could be applied not just to protected areas, but to conservation actions in general. That would spell the doom of the tired old in situ/ex situ dichotomy. Not a minute too soon, as far as I’m concerned.

  1. Change the IUCN Protected Area Categories to Reflect Biodiversity Outcomes Boitani L, Cowling RM, Dublin HT, Mace GM, Parrish J, et al. PLoS Biology Vol. 6, No. 3, e66 doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.0060066. []

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