Measuring up? Assessing approaches used to measure the effectiveness of protected areas at conserving biodiversity
The world is currently facing a biodiversity crisis driven by the loss and degradation of habitat resulting from the conversion of natural areas to agricultural land and urban development. To combat this biodiversity crisis, the government committed to Convention of Biological Diversity and national targets of protecting at least 17% of terrestrial land through network of protected areas. The goal of protected areas is to ensure that biodiversity is conserved, however, whether protected areas are effective at conserving biodiversity is debated. Part of this discrepancy may result from how effectiveness is defined and measured, and if the approaches used are appropriate. Working with the Nature Conservancy of Canada, our goal is to conduct an inventory of whether steps are being taken to monitor or measure the effectiveness of protected areas, preform a comprehensive review of the monitoring or measuring approaches used, and perform a critical assessment of these approaches to determine best practices.