The Special Section includes an introductory article and four in-depth articles that describe and evaluate assessment systems that can be used to identify the most important threats facing protected areas. These include direct threats to the natural and cultural resources the areas are intended to protect, inadequate resources, and institutional problems such as inappropriate policies and inadequately trained staff.
An article by Marc Hockings, "Systems for Assessing the Effectiveness of Management in Protected Areas," reviews 27 different assessment methodologies, including ones based on quantitative and qualitative data, using an evaluation framework developed by the World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA). Only one of the methodologies reviewed by Hockings addressed all the elements considered in the WCPA framework (context, planning, input, process, output, and outcome). Hockings urges that assessments of protected area management effectiveness be more widely used, and that monitoring and evaluation become standard practices.
Jamison Ervin's article "Rapid Assessment of Protected Area Management Effectiveness in Four Countries" summarizes results from implementation of the Rapid Assessment and Prioritization of Protected Area Management (RAPPAM) methodology developed by the World Wide Fund for Nature. The approach highlighted five threats that warranted concerted policy efforts: poaching, alien plants, tourism, logging, and en
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American Institute of Biological Sciences