Protected areas to deliver biodiversity need management effectiveness and equity

It is widely recognized in science, policy, and practice that protected areas (PAs) that are equitably and effectively managed are essential for halting biodiversity loss. However, our understanding of the relationships between management effectiveness and equity remains weak. Here, we investigate potential synergies and trade-offs between management and equity as well as how they can work together to reduce human pressure in PAs. We then examine the potential of existing global datasets on effectiveness, equity, and human pressure to help inform international policy processes. Our preliminary findings show a negative association between well-defined and sound managed PAs and how satisfied are local people about the decisions related to the management of the PA, reinforcing study of cases that found conflicts in top-down established and managed PAs. We find, however, no association between management effectiveness and social equity with an increasing human pressure. We find only a limited overlap in global databases on management effectiveness, social equity, and human pressure (n = 33). Thus, our results highlight the need to increase the number of PAs with appropriate data about management effectiveness, equity and human pressure to inform policy processes. Without such data, it will be difficult to suggest in honest new quantitative targets for the quality of PAs and Other Effective Area-based Conservation Measures post-2020.