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Replacing underperforming nature reserves

Fuller RA & Watson JEM (2018) Replacing underperforming nature reserves. Pp. 147-151 in P M Kareiva, M Marvier & B R Silliman (eds). Effective Conservation Science: Data Not Dogma. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

This chapter discusses a radical solution to the problem that many protected areas are not in the right places to achieve maximum conservation benefit. The radical solution involves replacing underperforming protected areas with new ones that achieve more for conservation. Such a system revision was successfully undertaken in Bhutan as long ago as 1993. This chapter argues that designing robust policies and processes around reserve replacement will (i) force a thorough assessment of the role of protected areas against a clear set of conservation objectives, (ii) upgrade a poorly performing system of protected areas into a system that achieves better conservation outcomes for the same, or even a lower, overall budget, and (iii) allow for sober, transparent, and effective decision-making when parts of existing protected areas are under threat from development.

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