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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2021

Frontiers of protected areas versus forest exploitation: Assessing habitat network functionality in 16 case study regions globally

Angelstam, Per; Albulescu, Andra-Cosmina; Andrianambinina, Ollier Duranton F.; Aszalos, Reka; Borovichev, Eugene; Cardona, Walter Cano; Dobrynin, Denis; Fedoriak, Mariia; Firm, Dejan; Hunter, Malcolm L., Jr.; de Jong, Wil; Lindenmayer, David; Manton, Michael; Monge, Juan J.; Mezei, Pavel; Michailova, Galina; Brenes, Carlos L. Munoz; Pastur, Guillermo Martinez; Petrova, Olga, V; Petrov, Victor;
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Exploitation of natural forests forms expanding frontiers. Simultaneously, protected area frontiers aim at maintaining functional habitat networks. To assess net effects of these frontiers, we examined 16 case study areas on five continents. We (1) mapped protected area instruments, (2) assessed their effectiveness, (3) mapped policy implementation tools, and (4) effects on protected areas originating from their surroundings. Results are given as follows: (1) conservation instruments covered 3-77%, (2) effectiveness of habitat networks depended on representativeness, habitat quality, functional connectivity, resource extraction in protected areas, time for landscape restoration, "paper parks", "fortress conservation", and data access, (3) regulatory policy instruments dominated over economic and informational, (4) negative matrix effects dominated over positive ones (protective forests, buffer zones, inaccessibility), which were restricted to former USSR and Costa Rica. Despite evidence-based knowledge about conservation targets, the importance of spatial segregation of conservation and use, and traditional knowledge, the trajectories for biodiversity conservation were generally negative.


Biodiversity conservation targets; Green infrastructure; Governance effectiveness; Landscape approach; Matrix effects; Policy instruments

Published in

AMBIO: A Journal of the Human Environment
2021, volume: 50, number: 12, pages: 2286-2310
Publisher: SPRINGER

Authors' information

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, School for Forest Management
Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences
Albulescu, Andra-Cosmina
Alexandru Ioan Cuza University
Andrianambinina, Ollier Duranton F.
Madagascar National Parks
Aszalos, Reka
Hungarian Centre for Ecological Research
Borovichev, Eugene
Russian Academy of Sciences
Cardona, Walter Cano
Int Union Conservat Nat Project Integrat Protecte
Dobrynin, Denis
University of Eastern Finland
Fedoriak, Mariia
Yuri Fedkovych Chernivtsi National University
Firm, Dejan
New Zealand Forest Res Inst Scion
Hunter, Malcolm L.
University of Maine Orono
de Jong, Wil
Kyoto University
Lindenmayer, David
Australian National University
Manton, Michael
Vytautas Magnus University
Monge, Juan J.
Market Econ Ltd
Mezei, Pavel
Slovak Academy of Sciences
Michailova, Galina
N. Laverov Federal Center for Integrated Arctic Research
Brenes, Carlos L. Munoz
Conservation International
Pastur, Guillermo Martinez
Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Cientificas y Tecnicas (CONICET)
Petrova, Olga
Russian Academy of Sciences
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Sustainable Development Goals

SDG15 Life on land

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