MPA Science Corner: MPA accountability – Protection Equality metric

MPA News

Article:Marine protected areas need accountability not wasted dollars”, Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems 27, 4 - 9 (2017)

Finding: MPAs are largely assessed on a single numerical target (total area), and inconsistent self-identification adds an extra level of opaqueness and bias. The consequence is an unaccountable and under-performing system of MPAs worldwide. Ineffective MPAs should be screened out; MPAs’ effectiveness should be improved where possible; and investment should be redirected toward the largest gaps in the network.

Article:Methods for calculating Protection Equality for conservation planning”, PLOS ONE 12, e0171591 (2017)

Finding: At present there is no clear definition of what desirable ecological representation looks like, or guidelines of how to standardize its assessment as protected area networks grow. This study proposes a systematic approach to measure ecological representation in protected area networks using the Protection Equality metric, and applies the metric to two case studies.

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