Navigation Links
Researchers question evaluation methods for protected areas in the Amazon

The indicators currently being used to guide policy and investments into protected areas in the Amazon may not be having the desired effect.

This is according to a new study published today, 27 March, in IOP Publishing's journal Environmental Research Letters, which has analysed 66 protected areas in the Brazilian Amazon and performed a critical analysis of the tool the Rapid Assessment and Prioritisation of Protected Area Management (RAPPAM) that is used to manage, prioritise and assess the effectiveness of conservation efforts in these areas.

The researchers, from the Amazon Institute of People and the Environment (IMAZON) and the University of Michigan, found no strong associations between the successful avoidance of deforestation and RAPPAM scores that indicate an increased conservation effort, such as budget, staff, equipment and management plans.

"There are two possible explanations for our results: either the RAPPAM does not measure things correctly and the scores do not adequately reflect the status of these management aspects or the RAPPAM is measuring things that are not important for successfully conserving protected areas," said co-author of the study Christoph Nolte.

The RAPPAM, developed by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), aims, among other things, to "help develop and prioritize appropriate policy interventions and follow-up steps to improve protected area management" and has been deployed in more than 2000 protected areas in more than 50 countries on five continents.

The RAPPAM issues questionnaires to managers of protected areas who are asked to rank 90 qualitative statements on a four-point scale based on how well the statement applies to their protected area site.

In their study, the researchers considered 152 protected areas in the Brazilian Amazon. For each protected area, they selected forest parcels outside the protected area that were similar to forest parcels inside the protected area and used satellite imagery to calculate the deforestation rate that was occurring on them.

They used this deforestation rate to estimate how much deforestation would have occurred in each protected area had it not been protected. Protected areas were then grouped according to the success rate of countering the deforestation pressure they faced. The RAPPAM scores for each group were then compared to each other.

The researchers did find one indicator from the RAPPAM that did have a strong association with avoiding deforestation: the absence of land tenure conflicts. When there was no unsettled land tenure dispute, the success at avoiding deforestation was higher.

This suggests that land tenure conflicts may be such an important factor in shaping deforestation success that it overshadows the potential importance of other factors.

Furthermore, it highlights the need for the Brazilian government to rapidly solve conflicts in order to conserve protected areas.

"The government has to act promptly," said co-author of the study Paulo Barreto from IMAZON. "They must evict illegal occupants, compensate any occupants who have legal rights, and re-draw boundaries when occupants have inalienable land rights. If conflicts are not solved, new occupations may occur, which will significantly hinder the effort to protect the land."

Contact: Michael Bishop
Institute of Physics

Related biology news :

1. Study by UC Santa Barbara researchers suggests that bacteria communicate by touch
2. UC Santa Barbara researchers discover genetic link between visual pathways of hydras and humans
3. Researchers attempt to solve problems of antibiotic resistance and bee deaths in one
4. UNH researchers find African farmers need better climate change data to improve farming practices
5. Ottawa researchers to lead world-first clinical trial of stem cell therapy for septic shock
6. Researchers uncover molecular pathway through which common yeast becomes fungal pathogen
7. Researchers print live cells with a standard inkjet printer
8. Columbia Engineering and Penn researchers increase speed of single-molecule measurements
9. Researchers reveal how a single gene mutation leads to uncontrolled obesity
10. Researchers discover novel therapy for Crohns disease
11. New paper by Notre Dame researchers describes method for cleaning up nuclear waste
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/15/2016)... 15, 2016 Transparency Market ... Recognition Market by Application Market - Global Industry Analysis Size ... to the report, the  global gesture recognition market ... and is estimated to grow at a CAGR ... 2024.  Increasing application of gesture recognition ...
(Date:6/2/2016)... , June 2, 2016 The ... has awarded the 44 million US Dollar project, for ... Embossed Vehicle Plates including Personalization, Enrolment, and IT Infrastructure ... leader in the production and implementation of Identity Management Solutions. ... January, however Decatur was selected for ...
(Date:5/20/2016)... MINNEAPOLIS , May 20, 2016  VoiceIt ... technology partnership with VoicePass. By working ... user experience.  Because VoiceIt and VoicePass take slightly ... two engines increases both security and usability. ... expressed excitement about this new partnership. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... SPRING, Md. , June 23, 2016 A ... collected from the crime scene to track the criminal down. ... and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) uses DNA ... Sound far-fetched? It,s not. The ... genome sequencing to support investigations of foodborne illnesses. Put as ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June, 23, 2016  The Biodesign Challenge (BDC), a ... ways to harness living systems and biotechnology, announced its ... in New York City . ... students, showcased projects at MoMA,s Celeste Bartos Theater during ... , MoMA,s senior curator of architecture and design, and ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Durham, NC (PRWEB) , ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... Odense University Hospital in Denmark detail how a patient who developed lymphedema after being ... (fat) tissue. The results could change the paradigm for dealing with this debilitating, frequent ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 On ... session at 4,833.32, down 0.22%; the Dow Jones Industrial Average ... 500 closed at 2,085.45, down 0.17%. has initiated coverage ... INFI ), Nektar Therapeutics (NASDAQ: NKTR ), Aralez ... Inc. (NASDAQ: BIND ). Learn more about these ...
Breaking Biology Technology: