Multiple-use protected areas are critical to equitable and effective conservation

Elsevier, One Earth, Volume 6, 15 September 2023
Adams V.M., Chauvenet A.L.M., Stoudmann N., Gurney G.G., Brockington D., Kuempel C.D.

Protected areas are widely used to stem biodiversity loss, with global conservation policy mandating their use in meeting area-based conservation targets, such as the recent target to protect 30% of Earth's surface by 2030. Over the last two decades, the role of multiple-use and other protected areas in meeting conservation targets has increased, now representing 55% of terrestrial and 75% of marine protected areas globally. Given their substantial contributions to meeting area-based targets, we review evidence of multiple-use protected areas in meeting global policy goals. We found that multiple-use protected areas can be effective in conserving biodiversity and are more likely to be under equitable governance arrangements than their strict counterparts. Our results show that multiple-use and other protected areas provide important environmental and socio-economic benefits that are needed to achieve the 2030 target. Closing knowledge gaps around when and where they are most effective and equitable is needed to ensure that further growth in the protected and conserved estate meets global policy goals.