Establishment of a protected area (PA) is a key global conservation strategy aimed to protect the Earth’s imperiled biodiversity and ecosystems. Globally, PA networks now cover nearly 15% of the terrestrial ecosystem. Despite the importance of PAs in protecting declining biodiversity and unique ecosystems, many of them are in critical condition due to poor governance, thus functioning below the expected level. Moreover, in many developing countries, the PA coverage is lower than the global standard. Recognizing their contemporary role in conservation, governments have recently agreed to expand the global PA coverage to 17% by the year 2020 (Aichi Target 11).
This book with case studies from around the world provides an overview of PA governance, institutional mechanisms, conservation benefits, limitations and challenges associated with their respective policy discourse, integrated management, and functional attributes.