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Towards quantitative condition assessment of biodiversity outcomes: Insights from Australian marine protected areas

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dc.contributor Univ Oxford
dc.contributor Ctr Epidemiol & Biostat
dc.contributor Monash Univ
dc.contributor Univ Melbourne
dc.contributor Australian Inst Marine Sci
dc.contributor Sch Biol Sci
dc.contributor Dept Zool
dc.contributor University Of Oxford
dc.contributor University Of Melbourne
dc.contributor Monash University
dc.contributor Australian Institute Of Marine Science
dc.contributor Sch Biosci COOK, CARLY N. ADDISON, PRUE F. E. FLANDER, LOUISA B. 2017-08-06T18:33:39Z 2017-08-06T18:33:39Z 2019-07-08T02:12:59Z 2017-08-06T18:33:39Z 2017-08-06T18:33:39Z 2019-07-08T02:12:59Z 2017-08-01
dc.identifier.citation Addison PFE, Flander LB, Cook CN (2017) Towards quantitative condition assessment of biodiversity outcomes: Insights from Australian marine protected areas. Journal of Environmental Management 198: 183-191
dc.identifier.issn 0301-4797
dc.description.abstract Protected area management effectiveness (PAME) evaluation is increasingly undertaken to evaluate governance, assess conservation outcomes and inform evidence-based management of protected areas (PAs). Within PAME, quantitative approaches to assess biodiversity outcomes are now emerging, where biological monitoring data are directly assessed against quantitative (numerically defined) condition categories (termed quantitative condition assessments). However, more commonly qualitative condition assessments are employed in PAME, which use descriptive condition categories and are evaluated largely with expert judgement that can be subject to a range of biases, such as linguistic uncertainty and overconfidence. Despite the benefits of increased transparency and repeatability of evaluations, quantitative condition assessments are rarely used in PAME. To understand why, we interviewed practitioners from all Australian marine protected area (MPA) networks, which have access to long-term biological monitoring data and are developing or conducting PAME evaluations. Our research revealed that there is a desire within management agencies to implement quantitative condition assessment of biodiversity outcomes in Australian MPAs. However, practitioners report many challenges in transitioning from undertaking qualitative to quantitative condition assessments of biodiversity outcomes, which are hampering progress. Challenges include a lack of agency capacity (staff numbers and money), knowledge gaps, and diminishing public and political support for PAs. We point to opportunities to target strategies that will assist agencies overcome these challenges, including new decision support tools, approaches to better finance conservation efforts, and to promote more management relevant science. While a single solution is unlikely to achieve full evidence-based conservation, we suggest ways for agencies to target strategies and advance PAME evaluations toward best practice. (C) 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
dc.description.sponsorship We thank all of the informants who donated their time to participate in this research. We thank Mark Burgman, Jan Carey and the anonymous reviewers for valuable comments on early versions of this manuscript. PFEA would like to thank the supporters of this research: Australian Postgraduate Award scholarship; the Centre of Excellence for Biosecurity Risk Analysis, Parks Victoria's Research Partners Program; the Australian Government's National Environment Research Program, Marine Biodiversity Research Hub; and, the UK Natural Environmental Research Council Knowledge Exchange fellowship scheme (NE/N005457/1). CNC was supported by the National Environment Research Program Environmental Decisions Hub.
dc.language English
dc.subject Great-barrier-reef
dc.subject Management
dc.subject Reserves
dc.subject Protected Area Management Effectiveness Evaluation
dc.subject Decision Triggers
dc.subject Conservation
dc.subject Thresholds
dc.subject Performance
dc.subject Long-term Monitoring
dc.subject Evidence-based Management
dc.subject Gap
dc.subject Reporting
dc.subject Environmental Sciences & Ecology
dc.subject Science
dc.subject Environmental Sciences
dc.subject Framework
dc.title Towards quantitative condition assessment of biodiversity outcomes: Insights from Australian marine protected areas
dc.type journal article
dc.identifier.doi 10.1016/j.jenvman.2017.04.054
dc.identifier.wos WOS:000403987500021

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