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Southeast Asian protected areas are effective in conserving forest cover and forest carbon stocks compared to unprotected areas


Graham, V and Geldmann, J and Adams, VM and Negret, PJ and Sinovas, P and Chang, H-C, Southeast Asian protected areas are effective in conserving forest cover and forest carbon stocks compared to unprotected areas, Scientific Reports, 11, (1) Article 23760. ISSN 2045-2322 (2021) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

Copyright 2021 the authors. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

DOI: doi:10.1038/s41598-021-03188-w


Protected areas aim to conserve nature, ecosystem services, and cultural values; however, they have variable success in doing so under high development pressure. Southeast Asian protected areas faced the highest level of human pressure at the turn of the twenty-first century. To estimate their effectiveness in conserving forest cover and forest carbon stocks for 20002018, we used statistical matching methods to control for the non-random location of protected areas, to compare protection against a matched counterfactual. We found Southeast Asian protected areas had three times less forest cover loss than similar landscapes without protection. Protected areas that had completed management reporting using the Management Effectiveness Tracking Tool (METT) conserved significantly more forest cover and forest carbon stocks than those that had not. Management scores were positively associated with the level of carbon emissions avoided, but not the level of forest cover loss avoided. Our study is the first to find that METT scores could predict the level of carbon emissions avoided in protected areas. Given that only 11% of protected areas in Southeast Asia had completed METT surveys, our results illustrate the need to scale-up protected area management effectiveness reporting programs to improve their effectiveness for conserving forests, and for storing and sequestering carbon.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Environmental management
Research Field:Conservation and biodiversity
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Terrestrial systems and management
Objective Field:Rehabilitation or conservation of terrestrial environments
UTAS Author:Adams, VM (Associate Professor Vanessa Adams)
ID Code:150396
Year Published:2021
Web of Science® Times Cited:2
Deposited By:Geography and Spatial Science
Deposited On:2022-06-10
Last Modified:2022-09-20

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