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Review article2023Peer reviewedOpen access

Protected area designation and management in a world of climate change: A review of recommendations

Ranius, Thomas; Widenfalk, Lina A.; Seedre, Meelis; Lindman, Ly; Felton, Adam; Hamalainen, Aino; Filyushkina, Anna; Ockinger, Erik


Climate change is challenging conservation strategies for protected areas. To summarise current guidance, we systematically compiled recommendations from reviews of scientific literature (74 reviews fitting inclusion criteria) about how to adapt conservation strategies in the face of climate change. We focussed on strategies for designation and management of protected areas in terrestrial landscapes, in boreal and temperate regions. Most recommendations belonged to one of five dominating categories: (i) Ensure sufficient connectivity; (ii) Protect climate refugia; (iii) Protect a few large rather than many small areas; (iv) Protect areas predicted to become important for biodiversity in the future; and (v) Complement permanently protected areas with temporary protection. The uncertainties and risks caused by climate change imply that additional conservation efforts are necessary to reach conservation goals. To protect biodiversity in the future, traditional biodiversity conservation strategies should be combined with strategies purposely developed in response to a warming climate.


Climate change adaptation; Conservation; Migration; Spatial planning

Published in

AMBIO: A Journal of the Human Environment
2023, Volume: 52, number: 1, pages: 68-80
Publisher: SPRINGER