Arguments for Protected Areas: Multiple benefits for conservation and use Edited by Sue Stolton and Nigel Dudley To be published by Earthscan in 2010 draft manuscript (not to be quoted) submitted to editors on 3rd October 2010

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Arguments for Protected Areas: Multiple benefits for conservation and use

Edited by Sue Stolton and Nigel Dudley

To be published by Earthscan in 2010

DRAFT manuscript (not to be quoted) submitted to editors on 3rd October 2010

[a] Contents

Preface: Arguments for Protected Areas - Jim Leape, Nik Lopoukhine and Kathy Mackinnon
Chapter 1: Protected Areas: Linking environment and well-being – Sue Stolton and Nigel Dudley
Chapter 2: Vital Sites: Protected Areas Supporting Health and Recreation– Sue Stolton and Nigel Dudley

Case study 2.1: Protecting medicinal resources in Colombia - Sue Stolton, María Ximena Barrera Rey and Luis German

Case study 2.2: Parks Victoria (Australia) Healthy Parks Healthy People initiative – John Senior
Chapter 3: Running Pure: Protected Areas Maintaining Purity and Quantity of Urban Water Supplies - Nigel Dudley and Larry Hamilton

Case study 3.1: Protecting water supplies to Caracas, Venezuela – José Courrau

Chapter 4: Food Stores: Protected Areas Conserving Crop Wild Relatives and Securing Future Food Stocks - Nigel Maxted, Shelagh Kell, Brian Ford-Lloyd and Sue Stolton

Case study 4.1: Crop genetic diversity protection in Turkey - Yildiray Lise and Sue Stolton

Case study 4.2: Conservation of endangered CWRs in Mexico’s Sierra de Manantlán - Sue Stolton and Jorge Alejandro Rickards-Guevara
Chapter 5: Nursery Tails: Protected Areas conserving Wild Marine and Freshwater fish stocks – Nigel Dudley and Sue Stolton

Case study 5.1: Freshwater fishery sustainability in Lake Malawi, East Africa - Sue Stolton

Case study 5.2: Managing and monitoring success: the story of Tubbataha Reefs, Philippines – Edgardo Tongson and Marivel Dygico
Chapter 6: Natural Security: Protected areas and hazard mitigation - Jonathan Randall, Sue Stolton and Glenn Dolcemascolo

Case study 6.1: Environmental Degradation and the Indian Ocean Tsunami of 2004 - Sue Stolton and Anita van Breda

Case study 6.2: Restoration and protection plan to reduce flooding in the Lower Danube - Orieta Hulea and Christine Bratrich
Chapter 7: Safety Net: Protected areas contributing to human well-being - Liza Higgins-Zogib, Nigel Dudley, Stephanie Mansourian and Surin Suksuwan

Case study 7.1: Population-health-environment approaches in Kiunga Marine National Reserve, Kenya - Judy Oglethorpe, Ali Mwachui, Sam Weru and Cara Honzak

Chapter 8: Beyond Belief: Linking faiths and protected areas to support biodiversity conservation - Liza Higgins-Zogib, Nigel Dudley, Josep-Maria Mallarach and Stephanie Mansourian

Case study 8.1: The ancient sacred natural sites in al Hoceima National Park, Morocco - Josep-Maria Mallarach

Chapter 9: Living traditions: Protected areas and cultural diversity - Liza Higgins-Zogib, Nigel Dudley and Ashish Kothari

Case study 9.1: Angkor Wat Protected Landscape: where culture, nature and spirit meet - Liza Higgins-Zogib

Case study 9.2: Inuit partnerships in the Torngat Mountains National Park, Canada - Judy Rowell
Chapter 10: Diverting places: linking travel, pleasure and protection - Sue Stolton, Nigel Dudley and Zoltan Kun

Case Study 10.1: Managing tourism in South Korea’s protected area system - Nigel Dudley, Hyun Kim and Won Woo Shin

Chapter 11: Climate change: the role of protected areas in mitigating and adapting to change - Nigel Dudley, Trevor Sandwith and Alexander Belokurov

Case study 11.1: Protected areas helping to reduce carbon emissions in Brazil - Britaldo Silveira Soares Filho, Laura Dietzsch, Paulo Moutinho, Alerson Falieri, Hermann Rodrigues, Erika Pinto, Cláudio C. Maretti, Karen Suassuna, Carlos Alberto de Mattos Scaramuzza and Fernando Vasconcelos de Araújo

Chapter 12: Making peace: protected areas contributing to conflict resolution - Trevor Sandwith and Charles Besançon

Case study 12.1: La Amistad Binational Biosphere Reserve in Costa Rica and Panama - Manuel Rámirez

Chapter 13: Nature conservation: Leaving space for biodiversity - Nigel Dudley

Case study 13.1: One hundred years of conservation success at Kaziranga National Park, India - Vinod Mathur and Sue Stolton

Chapter 14: Precious places: Getting the arguments right - Nigel Dudley, Marc Hockings and Sue Stolton

[a] Arguments for Protected Area: Preface

Protected areas occupy an almost unique role in the early 21st century, simultaneously celebrated and criticised by different social movements, both claiming to occupy the moral high ground. At the same time, they are in many parts of the world the only places not wholly dominated by human aspirations and influence and the only hope for survival of many of the world’s plant and animal species.
This book is the result of many years spent in trying to make sense of these paradoxes and to work out exactly how and where protected areas fit into efforts to produce a saner and more equitable world. Its genesis stretches back to 2000 and a conference organised in Thailand by WWF and the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA), looking at protected area management effectiveness. In their summing up statement Claude Martin and Adrian Phillips, then respectively the director of WWF International and chair of WCPA, pointed out that biodiversity alone was no longer a sufficient reason for governments to maintain large areas in national parks, nature reserves and wilderness areas; if such places were to have long-term futures they needed to show how they deliver on a wider range of benefits to a bigger group of people. The Arguments for Protection series was sketched out the same evening over a meal in downtown Bangkok, to look at some of these broader benefits of protected areas. The project was quickly supported by the World Bank and the first report, Running Pure: The importance of forest protected areas to drinking water, broke the record of the most downloaded report from the WWF website.
What was conceived as a reasonably quick review of protected area benefits has stretched into something more substantial and more complex: that has looked at both advantages and disadvantages of protected areas; developed new assessment tools for working out benefits and costs; and covered a far wider range of disciplines than first imagined. This book therefore draws on a decade of challenging and often very exciting research, which has frequently gone well beyond traditional conservation concerns – such as the significance of sacredness in nature, and a host of ecosystem services and other human benefits including hydrological, medical and agricultural issues. The project has, we believe, assembled the largest body of information about benefits of protected natural ecosystems in the world and offers compelling evidence that such protection is a justified, cost effective and efficient way of delivering many social, cultural and biological services.
Ten years on, the arguments are more relevant than ever. Over the decade, we have seen both great gains and huge challenges for the concept of protecting wild nature. Governments are more committed to conservation and protected areas than they have ever been before, with 191 Parties supporting a Programme of Work on Protected Areas from the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) which provides a global framework for making progress. The potential for natural ecosystems to help mitigate and adapt to climate change is adding urgent new reasons for protecting natural habitats. The role of protected areas in health, water supply, recreation, food security, disaster mitigation and climate stabilisation is bringing them to the attention of many actors far away from those interested in natural history and wilderness protection.
But at the same time there continues to be a degree of resistance. Where protected areas have been set up by expropriating land and water from indigenous peoples and local communities a strong reaction has resulted. Despite fine words and principles from governments and NGOs, the problems continue. There is also a backlash against protection from those whose motives are less altruistic. Agribusiness, large scale fisheries, extractive industries, transport companies and the booming biofuel industry often look upon protected areas as an impediment to their business concerns and lobbies, openly and clandestinely, against the concept of maintaining areas in a natural or near natural state.
Protected areas need to balance a complicated range of practical and ethical issues; the most complicated of all being to balance ethical concerns for the survival of what we might call “wild nature” with ethical concerns for people who live in rich and highly diverse natural habitats.
We believe that a proper understanding of the full range of values available from natural ecosystems, coupled with strong and varied governance structures and rule of law that ensures at the very least local participation in decision making, can result in protected areas that are good for both people and nature. This book is one small contribution to attaining this ideal.

[a] Chapter 1: Protected Areas: linking environment and well-being

Sue Stolton and Nigel Dudley
Just offshore from Hiroshima, the island of Itsukushima in the Seto Inland Sea is one of the holist places in Japan, a shrine to Shintoism since the sixth century. Today it is also recognised internationally as a World Heritage site. Its hue, red-painted temple gate uniquely stands offshore in the shallow waters of the bay, making a famous backdrop to wedding photographs and, on the day we visit, a resting place for a couple of kites whose forked tails are clearly visible as they fly leisurely around the pillars. But magnificent though the temple is, we are actually as interested in the forests that cover the rest of the island. Virtually all of Japan’s lowland forests disappeared centuries ago under villages and rice paddies and today the only really old trees are found on land owned by the Buddhist and Shinto authorities. Being wooden, Japan’s temples need periodic renewal and sacred forests have been protected, sometimes for millennia, amongst other things to provide the occasional piece of high quality timber. In the process, they have created one of the earliest forms of protected area in the world, providing irreplaceable habitats for plants and animals that have disappeared elsewhere.
[b] Linking people and their environment

Individual countries or communities have consciously managed the natural environment for millennia. But, it is only after the 1972 Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment recognised “The protection and improvement of the human environment is a major issue which affects the well-being of peoples and economic development throughout the world”, that substantial global policies emerged linking natural assets to human existence (UN, 1972). Since then, the relationship between conservation and well-being has been a cause of much discussion and research; sparking a debate which intensified following the 1992 Rio Earth Summit.

In the last 50 years humans have transformed the planet more radically than at any other point in our history. Extinction rates are thought to be a thousand times higher than expected under natural conditions (CBD, 2006). As we destroy and degrade entire ecosystems we also lose the benefits that these ecosystems provide. Vital goods and services like pure drinking water, fertile agricultural soils and medicinal plants all come from a healthy environment. The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment estimates that around 60 per cent of the world’s ecosystem services (including 70 per cent of regulating and cultural services) are being degraded or used unsustainably (MEA, 2005).
[b] The role of protected areas

Protected areas aim to maintain the benefits provided by natural ecosystems or in some cases long-established manipulated ecosystems, which cannot be replicated in intensively managed landscapes. Human societies have protected land and water from long before the start of recorded history – to protect grazing pasture, maintain timber supplies, stop avalanches, provide game for hunting, or to allow secure places for fish to breed. People have also protected places for less tangible reasons: because they were considered sacred or simply because they were recognised as aesthetically beautiful.

The modern concept of a ‘protected area’ – known variously as national park, wilderness area, game reserve etc – developed in the late nineteenth century as a response to rapid changes brought to lands in former European colonies and concern at the loss of ‘wilderness’. Protection was sometimes driven by a desire to stop species disappearing, as is the case with some of the colonially-established parks in India, but also because colonisers were trying to retain remnants of the landscape that existed when they arrived. They often incorrectly assumed this to be in an untouched state, although in most cases ecology had been influenced by human activity for millennia. A handful of national parks in Africa, Asia and North America heralded a flood of protection that spread to Europe and Latin America and gathered momentum throughout the twentieth century, and the number of protected areas continues to increase today. Most protected areas have been officially gazetted in the last fifty years – many even more recently – and the science and practice of management are both still at a relatively early stage.

The term ‘protected area’ embraces a wealth of variety, ranging from huge areas that show few signs of human influence to tiny culturally-defined patches; and from areas so fragile that no visitation is allowed to living landscapes containing settled human communities. Although there are a growing number of protected areas near or within towns and cities, most are in rural areas. Early efforts often centred on preserving impressive landscapes, such as Yosemite National Park or the Grand Canyon in the USA. More recently, recognition of extinction risk has switched the emphasis towards maintenance of species and ecosystems, and increasing efforts are made to identify new protected areas to fill ‘gaps’ in national conservation policies (Dudley and Parrish, 2006). The ecological repercussions of climate change are adding urgency to attempts to conserve what we can of the planet’s diversity.

The earliest protected areas were generally imposed on the original inhabitants by the colonial powers, in much the same way that the rest of the land and water was divided up, and communities were often forcibly relocated from land that had in some cases been their traditional homelands for centuries. The practice of ‘top-down’ decision-making about protection carried on in many newly independent states in the tropics. Today, efforts by human rights lobbyists and leadership from the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), set up following the 1992 Rio Earth Summit, is gradually resulting in greater democratic controls on selection and agreement of protected areas, although the net costs and benefits are often still not evenly distributed.
[b] Costs and benefits of protected areas

Protected areas are the cornerstones of national and international conservation strategies. They act as refuges for species and ecological processes and provide space for natural evolution and future ecological restoration, for example by maintaining species until management elsewhere is modified to allow their existence in the wider landscape or seascape.

Today protected areas are increasingly also expected to deliver a wide range of social and economic benefits. Assurances that protected areas will provide such benefits are often crucial to attracting the support needed for their creation. But delivering on these promises is seldom easy. In some cases it may mean broadening the scope of benefits delivered without undermining what protected areas were set up for in the first place, no simple task. But we understand and publicise the full range of benefits from protected areas we risk not only reducing the chances of new protected areas being established but even of seeing some existing protected areas being degazetted and their values lost.
It has been estimated that the cost of buying all of the world’s biodiversity hotspots (i.e. the parts of the world with the highest diversity of plants and animals) outright is around US$100 billion – the equivalent of less than five-years’ expenditure on soft drinks in the US (Buckley, 2009). We are not suggesting this strategy but such comparisons help put conservation in context. In parallel with the problem that much important biodiversity remains unprotected, many areas that are protected are under-funded, poorly managed and as a result losing values. It has been estimated that the world spends around US$6.5 billion (2000 values) each year on the management of the existing protected area network; an amount considered to be woefully inadequate. To manage the existing terrestrial protected areas effectively, about 11 per cent of total land area, and expand the network to about 15 per cent of land area (bearing in mind the expanded network required by the CBD) has been estimated to require between US$20 and US$28 billion annually. In addition adequately protected marine reserves, covering some 30 per cent of total area, would cost at most around US$23 billion per year in recurrent costs, plus some US$6 billion per year (over 30 years) in startup costs (Balmford et al, 2002).
Although these figures seem immense at first sight, the role protected areas play in providing us with multiple benefits should be an argument that this type of investment is necessary. As shown in table 1, there are beginning to be attempts to work out the economic value of protected areas. Although different methodologies are used and different benefits valued in table 1 (the complexities of valuation are noted, but not discussed here); the indication is that benefits of protection are likely to far outweigh the costs.
Table 1: Protected area economic values




Hypothetical: complete and effective global protected area network

Total goods and services with an annual value (net of benefits from conversion) of between US$4400 and US$5200 billion, depending on the level of resource use permitted within protected areas

Balmford et al, 2002

Protected area systems or groups of reserves

USA: National Wildlife Refuges

All services: US$27 billion annually

Ingraham and Foster, 2008

Peru: protected area system

The current and potential benefits of Peru’s protected areas contribute over US$1 billion per year to the national economy

SCBD, 2008

Individual protected areas

Australia: Namadgi National Park

The economic value of providing water to Canberra’s population is estimated to be at least AUS$100 million (over US$80 million) per year

Parks Forum, 2008

Cambodia: Ream National Park

Value to local residents of US$1.2 million a year, particularly from fishing resources

Emerton, 2005

Costa Rica: Tapantí National Park

Water supply for hydro-electricity: US$/1.7 million per year; recreation: US$/0.6 million per year; drinking water: US$0.2 million per year

Bernard et al, 2009

Brazil: Brasilia National Park

Research estimated the total economic value at US$22 million per year

Adams et al, 2008

Indonesia: Lore

Lindu National Park

Water-related benefits are valued at US$9 million

SCBD, 2008


Mbaracayu Biosphere Reserve

Average per-hectare value: Carbon storage US$378/ha; timber harvest US$27.60/ha; existence value US$25/ha; bushmeat harvest US$15.59/ha, bioprospecting US$2.21/ha

Naidoo and Ricketts, 2006

UK: five protected areas in North East England

Total value added is estimated to be £323m (over US$500) of which £165 millon (roughly US$275) was related to tourism expenditure.

SQW Limited, 2004

[b] Making the case for protected areas

This book is based on the premise that ethical or emotional arguments about saving biodiversity are not enough to persuade governments or communities of the necessity to set aside large areas – or large enough areas – of land and water from development in perpetuity. To maintain and where necessary expand the protected area network we need to demonstrate its wider uses and appeal. Further, it is generally not enough to simply show that these values exist; they need to stack up economically and socially as well.
We take this approach with some caution. Sceptics argue that too much emphasis on ecosystem services and market based conservation is a risky strategy, because if these do not prove to be as important as we hope, then we have lost the justification for protection (e.g. McCauley, 2006). We recognise these risks. But at the same time, we believe that the risks of pinning all the hopes of conservation’s most powerful tool on a fashion for saving wild species are even greater.
Conservation organisations tend to celebrate the creation of a protected area as a permanent victory for “nature”. Over the past few years, between the two of us we have spoken to senior official in eight different countries who have said openly that they regard their protected area designations as temporary and the list of de-gazetted protected areas continues to grow. The stimulus for the book, and the associated WWF Arguments for Protection project, is a conviction that we have a relatively brief window of opportunity to persuade governments and the public that commitments to protected areas, often made hurriedly to satisfy donors or even cynically to tie up land that can be exploited later, have real value and are worth committing to and supporting over time.
This book thus aims to demonstrate that protected areas have a wide range of values, not always only economic, which provide a string of practical, cultural and spiritual benefits that cannot easily be met through other means. We are convinced that to identify, manage and promote these benefits is vital for the continued survival of protected areas.
We should mention an important caveat; not all protected areas will provide every kind of value. Failure to provide multiple benefits is not a sign that the protected area is a failure and for example an over-emphasis on social values may detract from the primary reason that society sets aside protected areas. But the underlying concept of multiple values remain extremely powerful.

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