Prevent perverse outcomes from global protected area policy

Aichi Target 11 has galvanized expansion of the global protected area network, but there is little evidence that this brings real biodiversity gains. We argue that area-based prioritization risks unintended perverse consequences and that the focus of protected area target development should shift from quantity to quality.

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Fig. 1: Perverse outcomes of pursuing percentage targets.


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The authors would like to acknowledge J. Ringma for graphic design support and H. E. Fox, B. Pressey and P. J. Stephenson for comments on earlier versions of this manuscript. This research was conducted under the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions (CE11001000104) and funded by the Australian Government.

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Correspondence to Megan D. Barnes.

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The authors declare no competing interests.

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Barnes, M.D., Glew, L., Wyborn, C. et al. Prevent perverse outcomes from global protected area policy. Nat Ecol Evol 2, 759–762 (2018).

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