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The imperative to improve human well-being can place multiple and often competing …
Biology Articles » Biodiversity » Biodiversity and development challenges in Africa » Biodiversity policy
A cost-efficient and robust strategy for biodiversity conservation
may have two pillars. The first pillar is the classical approach of
identifying those parts of the land, waters and sea where the
conservation value exceeds any other use value, and requires strict
protection. The second pillar recognizes that, even with such a safety
net in place, most wild organisms live in places that are used
primarily for purposes other than biodiversity conservation.
Adjustments to the way in which these ecosystems are used can lead to a
high degree of biodiversity preservation, without unacceptable
decreases in the output of other services.
The key issues for
establishing an effective protected area network are prioritization of
levels of protection and use. Identifying protected areas should not be
arbitrary. Sufficient knowledge exists to apply more refined techniques
to identify locations that are critical for many species, robust to
climate change, and have a good chance of being economically viable. In
general, consolidated reserves are more viable than the equivalent area
of isolated patches. In some instances transboundary parks are
important for habitat protection.
There are known priority
areas for conservation in every country, but overall, the greatest
current urgency relates to multitaxon centres of endemism, such as the
Eastern Arc mountains and Mt Cameroon. As shown in Box 1, adopting
collaborative approaches at multiple levels can be important for
achieving biodiversity conservation objectives.
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