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Browsing by Subject "Deforestation"

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  • Selanniemi, Patrick (2023)
    Forests cover around a third of the world's terrestrial surface. In addition to providing habitat for many of the world's animals and plants, they are also significant carbon sinks making them instrumental in curbing climate change. Protected areas (PA) are a common tool for conserving natural habitats and are a cornerstone in many conservation strategies because they establish zones free from human interventions and allow natural processes to thrive. Global conservation targets of land covered by PA have been reached with varying degrees of success, often limited by lack of political will, monetary funding, or over-ambitious targets. Additionally, the conservation effectiveness of established PA is also less than expected. Two large contributors to such failures are conservation funding and governance within each country, although such relationships have not been duly studied. In this study I assess how funding and governance relate to the effectiveness of PAs as measured through the magnitude of deforestation between 2001 and 2010. I question whether there are trade-offs between investing in expanding the protected area network and securing the protection of already established reserves through a geospatial analysis of open-source datasets of 34 countries. By comparing relative deforestation inside and outside protected areas I defined a conservation effectiveness response variable and built a model comparing the response variable with conservation funding (expressed as annual average funding for biodiversity) and governance (corruption), while controlling for overall amounts of deforestation and forest cover on a national scale. Furthermore, I explored the relationship between the expansion of PAs in each country during the same period and the observed deforestation. The results show a relationship between conservation effectiveness, governance (p=0.0706) and funding (p=0.0608), were increases in the funding and/or governance variables resulted in better conservation effectiveness. Additionally, conservation effectiveness was found to be higher in countries with better governance but the same level of funding. Furthermore, while governance was found to positively correlated with conservation effectiveness across all levels of governance, funding had a positive impact on conservation effectiveness only after a certain amount of funding was reached. No association between protected area expansion and conservation effectiveness was found indicating the absence of a trade-off. This study highlights the importance of allocating appropriate levels of financing needed for successful conservation efforts and how good governance is a prerequisite for achieving conservation outcomes. This is especially important in light of the new 2030 biodiversity targets that commit large parts of the global south to expand their PA networks with limited amounts of funding.