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Biodiversity Communities

Who Conserves the World’s Forests? Community-Driven Strategies to Protect Forests and Respect Rights (Policy Brief)

By Augusta Molnar, Sara J. Scherr, Arvind Khare - Forest Trends, Ecoagriculture Partners, Forest Trends
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The current system of protected areas continues to be severely under-funded while not including enough of the world’s priority biodiversity and natural habitats. At the present coverage and quality of protection, biologists estimate that only 50-70% of the existing species will be conserved. It is the thesis of this paper that current proposals for expanding protected areas in many developing countries continue to be made without sufficient understanding of the alternatives or of the current financial, political and social limitations for even maintaining the existing protected areas coverage. Just as expanding the public protected areas system significantly is not an option in most developing countries, effective exclusion of people from many parks is neither viable nor affordable, particularly given the real human rights issues and costs of compensating for lost livelihoods or resettlement.