Browsing by Subject "protected areas"

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  • Heino, Jani; Koljonen, Saija (2022)
    Ecologial Solutions and Evidence
    1. Freshwater ecosystems and their biota are more seriously threatened than their marine and terrestrial counterparts. A solution to halt increasing negative impacts of anthropogenic development would be to reconsider the basics of nature conservation (i.e. protection of pristine and near-pristine areas) and restoration (i.e. returning an impacted site to as natural condition as possible) through inclusion of the knowledge on abiotic and biotic dynamics of rivers draining pristine catchments. In boreal and Arctic regions, such comparisons are still possible because in addition to harbouring strongly modified drainage basins, some of the most natural drainage basins are also situated in these high-latitude areas. 2. A suitable approach for simultaneous planning of joint river conservation and restoration would be to (i) examine how well different kinds of rivers are covered by existing protected area networks and (ii) to restore parts of degraded rivers to facilitate colonization by aquatic and riparian organisms that have found havens in existing protected areas. This joint approach is a two-way road, as conservation and restoration benefit from each other by allowing river networks to facilitate movements of organisms and matter, thereby mimicking natural riverine meta-systems in anthropogenically modified drainage basins, with restored sites acting as stepping-stones between protected areas. 3. We argue that existing policy instruments should consider the fact that river ecosystems are spatially and temporally dynamic meta-systems. These characteristics should be given due attention in conservation and restoration rather than relying on a static approach where a snap-shot classification of river reaches is thought to be enough without considering underlying ecological dynamics. Taking ecological dynamics into account would contribute to sustainable management and maintenance of biodiversity and ecosystem services.
  • Amara, Edward; Adhikari, Hari; Heiskanen, Janne; Siljander, Mika; Munyao, Martha; Omondi, Patrick; Pellikka, Petri (2020)
    Savannahs provide valuable ecosystem services and contribute to continental and global carbon budgets. In addition, savannahs exhibit multiple land uses, e.g., wildlife conservation, pastoralism, and crop farming. Despite their importance, the effect of land use on woody aboveground biomass (AGB) in savannahs is understudied. Furthermore, fences used to reduce human-wildlife conflicts may affect AGB patterns. We assessed AGB densities and patterns, and the effect of land use and fences on AGB in a multi-use savannah landscape in southeastern Kenya. AGB was assessed with field survey and airborne laser scanning (ALS) data, and a land cover map was developed using Sentinel-2 satellite images in Google Earth Engine. The highest woody AGB was found in riverine forest in a conservation area and in bushland outside the conservation area. The highest mean AGB density occurred in the non-conservation area with mixed bushland and cropland (8.9 Mg center dot ha(-1)), while the lowest AGB density (2.6 Mg center dot ha(-1)) occurred in overgrazed grassland in the conservation area. The largest differences in AGB distributions were observed in the fenced boundaries between the conservation and other land-use types. Our results provide evidence that conservation and fences can create sharp AGB transitions and lead to reduced AGB stocks, which is a vital role of savannahs as part of carbon sequestration.
  • Zaman, Sara Roxana; Korpilo, Silviya; Horcea-Milcu, Andra-Ioana; Raymond, Prof. Christopher (2022)
    While previous socio-ecological systems research has shown relationships between local knowledge and the assignment of landscape values, the relationships between value assignment and more nuanced forms of local knowledge remain less understood. This study makes use of public participation geographic information systems (PPGIS), a method for identifying and mapping landscape attributes important to local communities. We use this method to assess the spatial associations between three landscape attributes often overlooked in the PPGIS literature: landscape values, self-reported knowledge about different types of landscape management practices and land-use types. We analyzed responses from residents of Mjölby kommun, Sweden (n = 301) using Monte Carlo simulations and density-based clustering. Overall, we found stronger spatial associations between landscape values and land-use types compared with landscape values and self-reported knowledge about landscape management. For example, significant positive associations were found between aesthetic and recreation values and certain land-use types, but there was no association between these values and self-reported knowledge. The land-use type to which a landscape value is assigned is sometimes supported by self-reported knowledge (especially for underrepresented landscape values), while self-reported knowledge did not provide a conclusive pattern about value assignment on its own. We discuss the implications of using PPGIS in integrated landscape management for building multifunctionality in landscape management by addressing the values of different land-use stakeholders, and the potential benefits of increased inclusivity in forms of local knowledge.
  • Voorsluis, Nina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Tiivistelmä – Referat – Abstract In this Master’s thesis I investigate Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) involvement, experiences and outcomes in Madagascar, including the limiting and enabling factors for impact of conservation interventions driven by NGOs. The focal point of the research is the lived experiences from the field, including identification of processes and forces shaping the preconditions for NGO interventions. As part of the research I explore experiences of NGOs from their interventions and from engaging with local communities, government, policy makers and other NGOs in Madagascar. Many NGOs are active in biodiversity hotspots like Madagascar, but evaluation outcomes and lessons learned tend not to be extensively shared across organizations and thematic focus areas. This in turn affects preconditions to influence outcome determinants not only in isolated interventions but also across organizational borders. This study aims to define the situation and the issues faced by NGOs in Madagascar to suggest how the landscape could be navigated to improve the preconditions for long term intervention impact. The purpose is not to evaluate specific projects, but to assess the mechanisms through which the NGO sector can make a significant contribution to conservation, as well as the challenges in doing so. As the analysis seeks to broaden and contextualize the discussion of NGO involvement in conservation interventions, the theoretical framework for the research is based on theory on Non-Governmental Organizations and grounded theory. The theoretical framework facilitates the analysis of the findings, understanding of the results, as well as structuring and highlighting new insights. The theory is complemented with a background assessment of the environmental context in Madagascar, reviewing other research on conservation and its challenges in the country. This helps to understand the dimensions of the challenges, as well as the avenues open for exploration. Insights are gathered from representatives of long-term in situ NGOs to better understand the wider playing field in which they operate. The empirical research is based on semi-structured interviews conducted with 21 representatives from 12 international and local NGOs working with biodiversity conservation in Madagascar. The data was transcribed and analyzed through thematic network analysis and constructivist grounded theory analysis. The interviews were combined with a literature review, a group interview, a field visit to a project site, and more informal conversations with academic researchers and experts in the field. As part of the study, a two-week field trip to Madagascar was undertaken. To present the findings from this research, thematic categorizations were used to illustrate factors that affect outcomes of conservation interventions driven by NGOs. The categories are related to internal organization specific factors, cooperation with other actors (including other NGOs, government and actors in the local communities), as well as the Malagasy environment and politics (including government, laws and policies). The findings reveal challenges especially with systematic coordination of NGO interventions, NGO evaluation practices, resources, as well as issues with implementing sustainable community involvement in project design and decision making. Local community involvement is considered important, but in practice is not fully scaled up and inclusive in terms of decision making and consistent involvement. Findings indicate that the cooperation between NGOs and their key stakeholders works reasonably well from the NGO perspective, but still has potential to be better utilized in order to improve long-term sustainability. Consideration of external constraints is important to assess the potential of different types of interventions and approaches, allowing NGOs to focus their efforts according to the context and their capacities. While acknowledging and navigating the diversity of viewpoints, it is essential to be aware of the impact of structural challenges, the political complexity and the often-conflicting interests between conservation, the commercial and extractive sector, as well as local livelihoods and practices. Findings indicate issues with policy implementation and harmonization, and with conservation prioritization and law enforcement by the government. Local and national ownership and leadership backing is seen as essential for biodiversity conservation, pushing for stronger leadership from within the society. My research provides insights, recommendations and conclusions from which NGOs and conservation actors can gain better understanding of factors impacting interventions, as well as on the Malagasy playing field and its dynamics. This can be helpful in order to capitalize on opportunities and counter challenges, focusing actions on areas that make a difference. The findings can also be of value to other biodiversity conservation researchers, funding agencies, associations, communities and government stakeholders specifically focused on Madagascar. The research may also benefit NGOs and conservation actors involved in other countries, which confront similar challenges concerning conservation, governance, NGO involvement and interventions.
  • Virkkala, Raimo; Aalto, Juha; Heikkinen, Risto; Rajasärkkä, Ari; Kuusela, Saija; Leikola, Niko; Luoto, Miska (2020)
    Increased attention is being paid to the ecological drivers and conservation measures which could mitigate climate change-induced pressures for species survival, potentially helping populations to remain in their present-day locations longer. One important buffering mechanism against climate change may be provided by the heterogeneity in topography and consequent local climate conditions. However, the buffering capacity of this topoclimate has so far been insufficiently studied based on empirical survey data across multiple sites and species. Here, we studied whether the fine-grained air temperature variation of protected areas (PAs) affects the population changes of declining northern forest bird species. Importantly to our study, in PAs harmful land use, such as logging, is not allowed, enabling the detection of the effects of temperature buffering, even at relatively moderate levels of topographic variation. Our survey data from 129 PAs located in the boreal zone in Finland show that the density of northern forest species was higher in topographically heterogeneous PAs than in topographically more homogeneous PAs. Moreover, local temperature variation had a significant effect on the density change of northern forest birds from 1981-1999 to 2000-2017, indicating that change in bird density was generally smaller in PAs with higher topographic variation. Thus, we found a clear buffering effect stemming from the local temperature variation of PAs in the population trends of northern forest birds.
  • Juvonen, Sanna-Kaisa; Kuhmonen, Anna (Suomen ympäristökeskus, 2013)
    Reports of the Finnish Environment Institute 37/2013
    In this report, results of a regional evaluation on protected areas in the Barents Region are presented. The evaluation was made using the Programme of Work on Protected Areas (PoWPA) of the Convention on Biological Diversity as a framework. The Convention on Biological Diversity aims to halt the loss of biodiversity by 2020. The work was done as a part of the Barents Protected Area Network (BPAN) project by national and regional authorities, scientific institutes and nature conservation nongovernmental organisations from Norway, Sweden, Finland and northwest Russia. The aim of the project is to promote the establishment of a representative protected area network in the Barents Euro-Arctic Region to conserve biodiversity of boreal and arctic nature, particularly forests and wetlands. The PoWPA national reporting framework was modified and simplified to make it more suitable to be used as a tool for analysis of the protected area network in the Barents Region. It was used especially to see in which PoWPA goals and targets the Barents Region as a whole had made progress, and in which there was need for further work, and thus make recommendations for future actions in the Region. This enabled also the individual regions to assess in which goals and targets their region had made progress and in which there was need for further development. The reporting framework also provided a common language for interregional discussions and comparisons. A network of existing and planned protected areas is under development in the Barents Region. New protected areas have been established in recent years. However, strong efforts are still needed for strengthening the network of protected areas in order to reach the internationally agreed Aichi Biodiversity Targets.
  • Hakkila, Matti; Abrego, Nerea; Ovaskainen, Otso; Monkkonen, Mikko (2018)
    Protected areas are meant to preserve native local communities within their boundaries, but they are not independent from their surroundings. Impoverished habitat quality in the matrix might influence the species composition within the protected areas through biotic homogenization. The aim of this study was to determine the impacts of matrix quality on species richness and trait composition of bird communities from the Finnish reserve area network and whether the communities are being subject of biotic homogenization due to the lowered quality of the landscape matrix. We used joint species distribution modeling to study how characteristics of the Finnish forest reserves and the quality of their surrounding matrix alter species and trait compositions of forest birds. The proportion of old forest within the reserves was the main factor in explaining the bird community composition, and the bird communities within the reserves did not strongly depend on the quality of the matrix. Yet, in line with the homogenization theory, the beta-diversity within reserves embedded in low-quality matrix was lower than that in high-quality matrix, and the average abundance of regionally abundant species was higher. Influence of habitat quality on bird community composition was largely explained by the species' functional traits. Most importantly, the community specialization index was low, and average body size was high in areas with low proportion of old forest. We conclude that for conserving local bird communities in northern Finnish protected forests, it is currently more important to improve or maintain habitat quality within the reserves than in the surrounding matrix. Nevertheless, we found signals of bird community homogenization, and thus, activities that decrease the quality of the matrix are a threat for bird communities.
  • Lo, Veronica B. P. G.; Lopez-Rodriguez, Maria D.; Metzger, Marc J.; Oteros-Rozas, Elisa; Cebrian-Piqueras, Miguel A.; Ruiz-Mallen, Isabel; March, Hug; Raymond, Christopher M. (2022)
    Envisioning processes enable protected area managers to chart a course for future management to reach desired goals, but unexpected changes that could affect future visions are not usually considered. The global COVID-19 pandemic provided an opportunity to explore changes in stakeholder visions, the values that underpin the visions, and their perceptions of landscape changes and the underlying drivers (e.g. climate change, mass tourism and demographic trends). Through a mixed-methods approach in this post-evaluation study, we gathered comparative data on these issues from stakeholders in the Sierra de Guadarrama National Park, Spain, between July 2019 (pre-pandemic) and October 2020 (mid-pandemic). Our qualitative analysis demonstrates that pre-pandemic, differences in visions for protected area management were largely spurred by different perceptions of drivers of change, rather than differences in values or perceived landscape changes, which were similar across different vision themes. One year later, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the majority of stakeholders reported that their values, visions and perceptions of drivers did not change despite this large-scale disturbance. Of the 20%-30% of stakeholders that did report changes, visions generally shifted towards greater prioritization of biodiversity and nature conservation as a result of heightened perceptions of the impacts of drivers of change associated with an increase in the numbers of park visitors. These drivers included mass tourism, mountain recreation, lack of environmental awareness, and change in values and traditions. Our findings reinforce the importance of adaptive and inclusive management of protected areas, including enhancing transparency and communications regarding factors driving change in the landscape, and integration of local and traditional knowledge and stakeholder perceptions of changes and drivers. Furthermore, management plans integrating stakeholder values have the potential to stay relevant even in the face of wildcard events such as a pandemic. To enhance the relevancy of visions and scenarios in conservation and land-use planning, scenario planning methodologies should more strongly consider different potential disturbances and how drivers of change in the near and far future can be affected by wildcard events such as a pandemic. A free Plain Language Summary can be found within the Supporting Information of this article.
  • Virtanen, Elina A.; Söderholm, Maria; Moilanen, Atte (Public Library of Science (PLoS), 2022)
    PLOS ONE
    Conservation planning addresses the development and expansion of protected areas and requires data on for instance species, habitats, and biodiversity. Data on threats is often minimal, although necessary in conservation planning. In principle, threats should guide which conservation actions to take and where, and how to allocate resources. The lack of threat information may also limit the validity of areas to be conserved, if the condition of areas is degraded by threats unknown. The protocol described here outlines the methodology for a systematic review to explore how threats are theoretically and methodologically understood and used in conservation plans across freshwater, marine and terrestrial environments. Our primary research question is: how have threats informed conservation planning? Studies will be categorized according to the types of threats and conservation features used, theoretical and methodological approaches applied, geographical context, and biome. The results are expected to increase our understanding about how threats can and should be addressed in conservation planning.
  • Parker, Kim; De Vos, Alta; Clements, Hayley S.; Biggs, Duan; Biggs, Reinette (2020)
    Private land conservation areas (PLCAs) have become critical for achieving global conservation goals, but we lack understanding of how and when these areas respond to global pressures and opportunities. In southern Africa, where many PLCAs rely on trophy hunting as an income-generating strategy, a potential ban on trophy hunting locally or abroad holds unknown consequences for the future conservation of these lands. In this study, we investigate the consequences of a potential trophy hunting ban in PLCAs in two biodiversity hotspots in South Africa's Eastern and Western Cape provinces. We used semistructured interviews with PLCA managers and owners to elicit perceived impacts of an internationally imposed trophy hunting ban on conservation activities in PLCAs, and to probe alternative viable land uses. The majority of interviewees believed that both the economic viability of their PLCA and biodiversity would be lost following a hunting ban. Owners would primarily consider transitioning to ecotourism or livestock farming, but these options were constrained by the social-ecological context of their PLCA (e.g., competition with other PLCAs, ecological viability of farming). Our results suggest that a trophy hunting ban may have many unintended consequences for biodiversity conservation, national economies, and the livelihoods of PLCA owners and employees. Along with similar social-ecological studies in other areas and contexts, our work can inform policy decisions around global trophy hunting regulation.
  • Nirhamo, Aleksi; Pykälä, Juha; Halme, Panu; Komonen, Atte (Wiley, 2021)
    Applied Vegetation Science 24: 2
    Questions: Aspen (Populus tremula) is declining in the old-growth forests of boreal Fennoscandia. This threatens the numerous taxa that are dependent on old aspens, including many epiphytic lichens. Potential methods to aid epiphytic lichens on aspen are centered around treatments which affect the density of Norway spruce (Picea abies). In this study, we investigated how epiphytic lichen communities on aspen are affected by the variation of spruce density in the immediate vicinity of the focal aspen. Location: Southern boreal forests in Finland. Methods: We recorded the occurrence of lichens from 120 aspens in 12 semi-natural forest sites. We used spruce basal area as the measure for spruce density. The selected aspens represented a gradient in spruce basal area in the vicinity of the aspen from 0 to 36 m2/ha. We also measured other tree- and stand-level variables that are known to influence lichen occurrence. Results: Lichen communities on aspen were affected by spruce density, stand age and bark pH. Both lichen species richness and the richness of red-listed species were highest at an intermediate spruce density, and both increased with stand age. Lichen species richness was higher when bark pH was lower. Additionally, community composition was influenced the most by spruce density, followed by bark pH. Conclusions: Our study highlights the detrimental effects of high spruce density on lichen diversity on aspens. This is caused by high spruce density resulting in low light availability. Lichen diversity on aspens was highest when spruce density was intermediate. Spruce thinning in aspen-rich old-growth forests can be helpful in ensuring the long-term persistence of old-growth lichens on aspen in protected forests.
  • Saalismaa, Nina (Helsingfors universitet, 2000)
    The study analyses the needs and expectations of different people and different interest groups affected by conservation schemes, and examines the possibilities of taking the local opinions into account in the management of protected areas. Theoretically, the study relies on those approaches that aim to link the issues of nature protection with the questions of social sustainability and the livelihood requirements of local people. The study explains how the concept of protected areas has changed during the history and how the discourses on protected areas are linked to North-South issues. Protected areas management was long based on the concepts of strict protection developed in the first protected areas. The amount of protected areas in the world has increased significantly during the past decades. Together with population growth this has led into a situation where the majority of protected areas are inhabited by humans. Consequently, the participation and rights of local people have become important topics in protected areas discourse. The issue is studied in detail through a case study of Miraflor protected area in Nicaragua. The study describes how the protection scheme of this particular area has been constructed and how the local attitudes toward protection have evolved from past to present. The research sets the case of Miraflor into the broader context of conservation and sustainability, in order to make suggestions on management in inhabited protected areas. The case study in based on qualitative research methods, such as thematic interviews, participant observation and written documentation. There are almost 5000 inhabitants in Miraflor, and the area is into a large extent under agricultural use. Land in Miraflor is in the hands of private landowners, as it is in most of the other protected areas in Nicaragua. The difficult economical and social situation of small-scale landowners and landless people has left them little choice between nature conservation and livelihood. While institutional attention to the zone has increased more local people have started to be in favour of the protection of the area. However, they expect support from the state and other institutions in bearing the costs of protection. Some of the important reasons for the acceptance of protection lie in the potential benefits associated to protection, such as new rural development projects, employment possibilities and tax exemptions. The protection of inhabited protected areas cannot be achieved with mere restrictions. Instead, local people have to be offered feasible and attractive possibilities to change their natural resource use practices so that both human needs and nature conservation objectives are fulfilled.
  • Mönkkönen, Mikko; Aakala, Tuomas; Blattert, Clemens; Burgas, Daniel; Duflot, Remí; Eyvindson, Kyle; Kouki, Jari; Laaksonen, Toni; Punttila, Pekka (Societas pro fauna et flora Fennica, 2022)
    Memoranda Societatis pro fauna et flora Fennica
    National forest inventories (NFI) in Finland provide empirical evidence for a marked increase in tree growth, total forest area, and total timber volume over the past century. Meanwhile, the assessments of threatened forest species and habitats indicate continuous degradation of biodiversity in Finnish forests. To shed light on this seeming paradox, we summarized the temporal patterns of forest characteristics (indicators) that have major influence on biodiversity, comparing the structure of current Finnish forests with natural and historical references. Using a variety of data sources, we estimated the proportion of area of old-growth forest and of deciduous-dominated forests, the density of large trees, and the amount of dead wood in Finnish forests under natural reference conditions, in the 1750s, 1920s (NFI1), and 2010s (NFI12). Our results show that levels of the forest structures essential to maintain ecologically diverse forests are below those that likely prevailed in Finland under natural reference conditions and in the 1750s. This scarcity is particularly pronounced for dead wood volumes and old forest area. The marked increase in the volume of living trees during the last century did not translate into improved biodiversity indicators and has not been effective for turning the tide of biodiversity loss in Finnish forests. We discuss actions that are necessary to safeguard forest biodiversity in Finland both in terms of protected areas and management in production forest.
  • Virkkala, Raimo; Pöyry, Juha; Heikkinen, Risto K.; Lehikoinen, Aleksi; Valkama, Jari (2014)
  • Kuhmonen, Anna; Mikkola, Jyri; Storrank, Bo; Lindholm, Tapio (Finnish Environment Institute, 2017)
    Reports of the Finnish Environment Institute 33/2017
    The project Barents Protected Area Network (BPAN) produced an overview of the characteristics and representativeness of the protected area network in the Barents Region in 2011-2014. A second phase was launched in 2015, and included studies on high conservation value forests (HCVFs) and coastal areas. The main aim of the project on forests was to produce new information on the distribution and protection status of HCVFs in a study area including the Barents Euro-Arctic regions of northwest Russia, Finland and Sweden. Furthermore, the aim of the project was to deliver updates on the protected area coverage in the study area, and to relate the progress of establishing protected areas to the Aichi Biodiversity Targets of the Convention on Biological Diversity, and especially Target 11. In this study, a project-specific concept of high conservation value forests was applied in order to identify, describe and visualize the distribution of forests that are especially important for biodiversity. In Sweden and Finland, HCVFs were identified on the basis of existing data gained in field inventories. Remote sensing data, data from national forest inventories as well as studies of aerial photographs provided additional information. In northwest Russia, due to the vast areas covered by forests, mainly remote sensing was used. Data on land cover, and in particular regarding HCVFs and protected areas, was analyzed and displayed on maps using geographical information systems. A total of close to 325 000 km² were identified as verified or potential HCVFs. In Sweden, HCVFs covered about one fourth of the forested area of the study area, whereas the share was a bit higher in Finland (29%) and considerably higher in Russia (37%). The biggest share of HCVFs was detected in spruce-dominated coniferous forests; about 60% of these forests were classified as HCVFs. By the end of 2015, the protected areas covered almost 200 000 km² or 12,7% of the study area. The protected area coverage as compared to the situation two years earlier has improved, but in this rather short period of time the progress has naturally been rather modest. The biggest change has occurred in Russia. In most of the administrative regions of the Barents Euro-Arctic Region the objective of protecting 17% of terrestrial areas and inland waters by 2020 - according to the Aichi Target 11 - has not yet been reached. A more thorough analysis of the protection level of the main types of forests of the Barents Region was carried out. The forests were divided into coniferous forests (pine-dominated coniferous forests on mineral land, pine-dominated coniferous forests on peatland, spruce-dominated forests), mixed forests and deciduous forests. Comprehensive maps and overviews of these forests were produced, presenting the distribution, total area, the proportional share of these types of forests as well as the level of protection. Statistics were produced for the whole study area, by country and region. In the whole Barents Region (excluding Norway) 11,7% of the forests were protected by the end of 2015. The project results and especially the data on high conservation value forests could be used in the development of the protected area systems of the region. The project has also highlighted the need to enhance the ecological connectivity between protected areas, and the data compiled by the project could provide a starting point for further development of connectivity analyses on different geographical scales. Furthermore, the project results could be used in order to facilitate an increased stakeholder dialogue regarding sustainable management of forest resources in the Barents Region.
  • Jamaludin, Johanness; De Alban, Jose Don T.; Carrasco, L. Roman; Webb, Edward L. (2022)
    As deforestation breaches into new tropical frontiers, proactive conservation strategies require a trifecta of information on where deforestation is accelerating (emergent), how drivers of deforestation vary spatiotemporally, and where to focus limited conservation resources in protecting the most integral yet threatened forested landscapes. Here we introduce Emergent Threat Analysis, a process integrating Emerging Hot Spot Analysis of deforestation, visual classification of deforestation outcomes over time, and spatial quantification of contemporary forest condition. We applied Emergent Threat Analysis to tropical Southeast Asia, a global epicentre of biodiversity threatened by deforestation. We found that emergent hot spots (EHS)-a subset of hot spots characterized by strong, recent, and clustered patterns of deforestation-accounted for 26.1% of total forest loss from 1992 to 2018, with deforestation within EHS proceeding at 2.5 times the regional rate of gross loss. Oil palm and rubber plantation expansion were the principal drivers of deforestation within EHS of insular and mainland SE Asia, respectively. Over the study period, oil palm shifted in importance from Sumatra and Sarawak to Papua and Kalimantan, whereas rubber became prominent in Cambodia and Tanintharyi from 2006 to 2015. As of 2019, more than 170 000 km(2) of SE Asia's remaining forest occurred within EHS, of which 21.7% was protected. High and medium-integrity forest constituted 19.2% and 49.1% of remaining EHS forest, respectively, but of these, 35.0% of high-integrity and 23.9% of medium-integrity EHS forest were protected. Because we anticipate that tree plantation expansion will continue to drive deforestation in SE Asia, significantly heightened protection is needed to secure the long-term preservation of high and medium-integrity forest, especially in highly contested forest frontier regions. Finally, as a flexible, integrated process, Emergent Threat Analysis is applicable to deforestation fronts across the global tropics.
  • Aksenov, Dmitry; Kuhmonen, Anna; Mikkola, Jyri; Sobolev, Nikolay (Finnish Environment Institute, 2015)
    Reports of the Finnish Environment Institute 29/2014
    This report presents the results of an analysis of the characteristics and representativeness of the protected area network in the Barents Region based on a large amount of GIS data. The report evaluates the current state of the protected area network in comparison with the global Aichi Biodiversity Targets of the Convention on Biological Diversity that aim to halt the loss of biodiversity by 2020 (2010, Nagoya, Japan). Target 11 states that by 2020 at least 17% of terrestrial and inland water areas are conserved through effectively and equitably managed, ecologically representative and well-connected systems of protected areas. This work was done as a part of the Barents Protected Area Network (BPAN) project by national and regional authorities, scientific institutes and nature conservation non-governmental organizations from Norway, Sweden, Finland and northwest Russia. The aim of the BPAN project is to promote the establishment of a representative protected area network in the Barents Euro-Arctic Region to conserve biodiversity of boreal and Arctic nature, particularly forests and wetlands. This report provides for the first time unified and harmonized information on protected areas across national and regional borders covering 13 administrative regions in the four countries, providing a common language to discuss different kinds of protected areas. The information is presented in comprehensive forms as thematic maps, tables and figures. This information is now available to be utilized in nature conservation planning in each participating country, taking into account the trans-boundary connectivity of protected areas. A network of existing and planned protected areas is under constant development in the Barents Region. In March 2013, protected areas covered 13,2% (231 600 km2) of the Barents Region, and national and regional nature conservation plans included establishing a further 59 400 km2 as protected areas, increasing the future level of protection to cover 16,6% of the terrestrial area. In developing protected area networks, the representativeness of forests and wetlands and the connectivity of the protected areas need special emphasis.
  • Rokkanen, Susanna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    Biodiversity is declining across the globe. The IUCN Red List, which is often used to measure species’ risk to go extinct, is showing alarming biodiversity declines both globally and within Finland. The most commonly used tool for biodiversity conservation is the establishment of protected areas. The Conference of Parties (COP) of the international treaty for biodiversity conservation (The Convention on Biological Diversity), has set a target to expand the international protected area network to cover 17% of the terrestrial area of the world. However, the designation of protected areas carries costs in terms of both land-use and money. Relatively little is known about what protected areas can achieve at the species level, and only limited evidence exists that links the establishment of protected areas to an improved conservation status of species. The lack of knowledge is because protected area establishment and its effects are often hard to study due to inadequate data. In this thesis, I created a framework to study the link between the increase in protected areas and protected area investment in relation to the conservation status change of one taxonomic group, the breeding birds in Finland. I first investigated the general trend in conservation status of Finnish birds using the Red List Index 2015. I then studied the effect of increasing the protected area on Finnish bird species’ range and the monetary investment on protected areas on bird species’ range in comparison to change in their IUCN Red List assessments. The timeframe of the study was 1996-2010 for protected area establishment and 2010-2015 for bird species’ conservation status change. My results show that the conservation status of birds in Finland is considerably worse than before, with Red List Index being 0.779. This is approximately 9.2% decline from the Red List Index in 2010. The species that gained more protected area on their range during 1996-2010 did not fare better in terms of conservation status than the birds that gained less protected area on their range on the same period. This is possibly because the threshold where the protected areas would cover the species’ range sufficiently to enable the conservation of the whole population is still not reached even for species with the higher protection levels. Also, the species that had higher estimated monetary investment on the protected areas on their range did not acquire better conservation status development than the species on whose range there was less estimated monetary investment. The expansion of the Finnish protected area network in 1996-2010 did not help to change the negative trend of Finnish birds in 2010-2015. The species that gained more protection in terms of land or monetary investment during this period, were not showing better results than the species that gained less protection. These results hint that the protected areas in Finland are not effective in terms of bird conservation. This does not mean, however, that we can claim that they are ineffective in all aspects, as we don’t know what would have been the situation if there were no protected areas established at all. There are also several other factors that affect the conservation status development of birds in Finland. These include degradation of matrix habitats, hunting and climate change, which might all overrun the possible positive effects of the protected areas and protected area investment.