Arguments for protected areas

Multiple benefits for conservation and use


9780801865046edited by Sue Stolton and Nigel Dudley

Shelfmark: CP/PO/006

This book was born out of a WWF project. It was recognised that the biodiversity argument alone was not sufficient to persuade decision makers to back protected areas and the project gathered information about the wider benefits of the world’s protected area system.

The book is full of data, photographs, case studies and references.It is accompanied by a CD containing reports and tools on the wider values of protected areas, including the Protected Areas Benefit Assessment Tool which was developed by WWF as a simple approach to assessing the benefits of an individual site.


Most protected areas (such as national parks and nature reserves) have been created to protect wildlife and landscape or seascape values. They currently cover over 13 per cent of the world’s land surface, around 12 per cent of marine coastal areas and 4 per cent of the marine shelf. Retaining and expanding these areas in the future will depend on showing their wider benefits to society.

This book provides a concise and persuasive overview of the values of protected areas. Contributing authors from over fifty countries examine a wide range of values that are maintained in protected areas, including cultural and spiritual values, and how they relate to issues such as food, water, materials, health and tourism, as well as capacity for buffering against climate change and natural disasters. The book also considers the role of protected areas in poverty reduction strategies, and their relationship with traditional and indigenous people and in fostering conflict resolution through ‘peace park’ initiatives.


1. Protected areas: linking environment and well-being
2. Vital sites: protected areas supporting health and recreation
3. Running pure: protected areas maintaining purity and quantity of urban water supplies
4. Food stores: protected areas conserving crop wild relatives and securing future food stocks
5. Nursery tails: protected areas conserving wild marine and freshwater fish stocks
6. Natural security: protected areas and hazard mitigation
7. Safety net: protected areas contributing to human well-being
8. Beyond belief: linking faiths and protected areas to support biodiversity conservation
9. Living traditions: protected areas and cultural diversity
10. Diverting places: linking travel, pleasure and protection
11. Climate change: the role of protected areas in mitigating and adapting to change
12. Making peace: protected areas contributing to conflict resolution
13. Nature conservation: leaving space for biodiversity
14. Precious places: getting the arguments right

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