Dynamic conservation: protected area downgrading, downsizing, and degazettement (PADDD) in Amazonia

Authors: Rachel E. Golden Kroner*, George Mason University - Fairfax, VA, Conservation International, Siyu Qin, Humboldt University of Berlin, Yifan He, Conservation International, Alex Pfaff, Duke University, David Luther, George Mason University, Chris Kennedy, George Mason University, Thomas E. Lovejoy, George Mason University, Michael B. Mascia, Conservation International
Topics: Legal Geography, South America, Anthropocene
Keywords: conservation, Amazon, protected areas, impact evaluation
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/6/2019
Start / End Time: 1:10 PM / 2:50 PM
Room: Roosevelt 5, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Protected areas (PAs) are considered the cornerstone of conservation, yet are subject to widespread tempering, reduction, or removal of protection [i.e., PA downgrading, downsizing, and degazettement (PADDD)]. Following a regional training in the Amazonia region, we built a comprehensive database of PADDD events that were enacted or proposed between 1900 and 2017. PADDD was enacted in 12% of protected areas in the region and was largely driven by industrial-scale natural resource extraction and development, suggesting that PADDD may undermine PA objectives. We used this novel database to assess the contribution of PADDD to national-level progress toward the Convention on Biological Diversity’s (CBD) Aichi target 11 in Amazonia. We also used impact evaluation to assess PAs in Peru and Ecuador from 2000 - 2015 – considering PA expansions and PADDD – for avoided deforestation. We consider implications of PADDD for evaluations of protected areas and other conservation interventions, which are more dynamic than traditionally recognized. Research on PADDD is poised to inform scientific research, conservation planning and policy, and public and private sector safeguards, ensuring that protected areas deliver on objectives to deliver long-term conservation outcomes.

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