Most protected areas (e.g.national parks and nature reserves) have been created to protect wildlife and land- and seascape values. They currently cover over 13% of the world's land surface, around 12% of marine coastal areas and 4% of the marine shelf. Retaining and expanding these areas in the future will depend on showing their wider benefits for society.
This book provides a concise and persuasive overview of the values of protected areas. Contributing authors from over fifty countries examine a wide range of values that are maintained in protected areas, including food, water and materials; health; tourism; cultural and spiritual values; and buffering capacity against climate change and natural disasters. The book also considers the role of protected areas in poverty reduction strategies, their relationship with traditional and indigenous people and in fostering conflict resolution through peace parks initiatives.
The chapters draw on a series of authoritative reports published by WWF over recent years under the 'Arguments for Protection' banner, in association with various partners, and on additional research carried out especially for the volume. It analyses the opportunities and limitations of protected areas for supplying the various values along with practical advice for planners and managers about maximising benefits. It provides an important contribution to the debate about the role of protected areas in conservation and other aspects of natural resource management and human livelihoods.