Start with a definition – from IUCNWill mainly be talking about protected areas for biodiversity & geodiversityThe UK supports a wide variety of species and habitats, ranging from cold water coral reefs to saltmarshes and mountain summits. A key policy tool for conserving them all is the designation and management of protected sites - areas of land, inland water and the sea that have special legal protection to conserve important habitats and species.
WHC includes natural heritage sites, e.g. Jurassic CoastWHS in Devon & Dorset, Gough & Inaccessible Islands (Tristan da Cunha in S Atlantic)Also Biosphere reserves – currently 9 in UK – Dyfi, Braunton Burrows
Special Protection Areas (SPAs) are strictly protected sites classified in accordance with Article 4 of the EC Birds Directive, which came into force in April 1979. They are classified for rare and vulnerable birds (as listed on Annex I of the Directive), and for regularly occurring migratory species. Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) are strictly protected sites designated under the EC Habitats Directive. Article 3 of the Habitats Directive requires the establishment of a European network of important high-quality conservation sites that will make a significant contribution to conserving the 189 habitat types and 788 species identified in Annexes I and II of the Directive (as amended). The listed habitat types and species are those considered to be most in need of conservation at a European level (excluding birds). Of the Annex I habitat types, 78 are believed to occur in the UK. Of the Annex II species, 43 are native to, and normally resident in, the UK.A coherent European ecological network of special areas ofconservation shall be set up under the title Natura 2000. Thisnetwork, composed of sites hosting the natural habitat types listed inAnnex I and habitats of the species listed in Annex II, shall enable thenatural habitat types and the species' habitats concerned to be maintainedor, where appropriate, restored at a favourable conservation statusin their natural range.The Natura 2000 network shall include the special protection areasclassified by the Member States pursuant to Directive 79/409/EEC.EUBS:Member States and the Commission will ensure that the phase to establish Natura 2000, including in the marine environment, is largely complete by 2012.
These international targets have been translated into national MPA commitments in the UK.Responsibilities for nature conservation in the UKhave been devolved so that Scottish Government, Welsh Government and the Northern Ireland Assembly have responsibilities within their respective regions.However the devolved administrations within the UK are all working towards the same goal for MPAsDevolved targets, e.g. England Biodiversity StrategyBy the end of 2016 in excess of 25% of English waters will be contained in a well-managed Marine Protected Area network that helps deliver ecological coherence by conserving representative marine habitats
Within the UK sites that are nationally important for plants, animals or geological or physiographical features are protected by law as Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) – or in Northern Ireland as Areas of Special Scientific Interest (ASSIs) = principal designation for biodiversity & geodiversity in terrestrial & coastal environments. Underpins most EU & international designations.In marine environment – various legislation to allow designation of MPAsThis system provides the underpinning statutory protection for all land sites, including those which are also of international importance. NNRs contain examples of some of the most important natural and semi-natural terrestrial and coastal ecosystems in Great Britain. They are managed to conserve their habitats or to provide special opportunities for scientific study of the habitats communities and species represented within them. LNRs are declared and managed for nature conservation, and provide opportunities for research and education, or simply enjoying and having contact with nature.Natural parks: Conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage & wider social & economic aims The primary purpose of the AONB designation is to conserve natural beauty – which by statute includes wildlife, physiographic features and cultural heritage as well as the more conventional concepts of landscape and scenery.
As you can seefrom this diagram, there are a numberof different types of site under different pieces of legislation which will contribute to the network of MPAs in the UK. Firstly, there are Special Areas of Conservation and Special Protection Areas with marine components which are designated under European legislation: the EU Habitats and Birds Directive respectively. These sites protect species and habitats of European importance. There are also Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) and Ramsar sites which protect marine features close to the coast. New national MPAs can be designated under the UK Marine and Coastal Access Act and the Marine Scotland Act which are called Marine Conservation Zones and Nature Conservation MPAs. Northern Ireland do not currently have a legal mechanism to designate new national MPAs but are planning to introduce a Marine Bill to the Northern Ireland Assembly in due course. These new national MPAs will be used to plug the gaps in the UK MPA network, helping the UK to achieve its target for an ecologically coherent network of MPAs.
note big overlaps exist
If include National Parks, AONBs & NSAs then ~29% UK covered by PAs (net area excluding overlaps)Big programme of work ongoing on Marine PAsNote some very large offshore marine sites, e.g. Dogger
UK Biodiversity IndicatorsThe overall total extent of land and sea protected in the UK has increased from 2.3 million to 4 million hectares between 1996 and 2010 – an increase of 74%Since 2000 there has been a 29%increase in the extent of protected areas; a large contribution to this has been from the marine environment following the designation of inshore and offshore marine sites under the Habitats Directive.Extent for 2012 indicator:Spatial analysis of polygons by year of designationNet A/SSSI, SAC & SPA
UK has lowest % of national area included within SACs:- Highly modified landscapes- Sites focused on habitats & species in annexes – don’t include large buffer zones etcSimilar picture for SPAs
16 OTs distributed across globeAlso 3 CDsMostly small islands. Range in size from Pitcairn (4.5 km2, 47 inhabitants) to BAT (1.7 million km2) to Bermuda (53 km2, 64.5k inhabitants, highly developed)V diverse envts. Hugely impt for global biodiversityThe island status of most of the Overseas Territories means that they are home to many species and environments found nowhere else in the world – over 90% of the UK’s biodiversity and over 85% of its endangered species are thought to be found there. All of the Overseas Territories depend on these assets in some way for their economies, whether through income from fisheries or from tourism. The marine environment is particularly important to the OTs given that the majority are islands. Need to develop marine management strategies that balance biodiversity requirements and needs of inhabitants (if there are any). Two approaches in UK OTs through Chagos (BIOT) and South Georgia MPAs. Former completely precludes economic activity such as fishing. The latter takes a sustainable use approach through zoning. Not a question of right or wrong but perhaps which is most suitable to biodiversity and residents needs.
Very productive waters. Abundance & diversity of wildlife. Penguins & albatrosses. 7 spp of globally threatened seabirds. Cetaceans & seals. Threats from fisheries & tourism – carefully regulated.MPA Order signed Feb 2012. Creates a sustainably managed MPA (IUCN Category VI MPA). Opposite end of scale to Chagos. 1.07 million km2 of ocean. Limited no-take zones but within context of balanced approach that uses science to define objectives and hence management measures. Bottom trawling prohibited within entire MPA. No-take can be increased if needed.Monitoring & surveillance will be established.
Chagos is located in the central Indian Ocean, about 1,500 km from the southern tip of India, 3,400 km due east of Africa and 3,000 km west of Indonesia. Chagos is an archipelago of 55 tiny islands, of which the largest is Diego Garcia, in over quarter of a million square miles of the world’s cleanest seas. It contains the largest coral atoll on earth and over 60,000 square km of shallow limestone reef and associated habitats, and about 300 seamounts and abyssal habitats. Politically, Chagos is constituted as the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT).On 1st April 2010, the British Government announced the creation of the Chagos Marine Reserve. This designation of a fully no-take marine protected area (MPA) out to the 200 mile limit created the largest marine reserve in the world, a conservation legacy almost unrivalled in scale and significance. It will contribute greatly to a number of globally agreed targets, such as the Convention on Biological Diversity target to protect 10% of the oceans by 2020.Few other MPAs have the same degree of protection that Chagos has been given, with the entire area designated as a fully protected no-take marine reserve. Chagos designation was controversial because decision to make entirely ‘no-take’ MPA was (in some people’s opinion) rushed through with inadequate discussion. Political pressure exerted at Ministerial level by international NGO with a global objective to set up a network of no-take MPAs. This is an IUCN Category I MPA. Questions of: Enforcement of complete no-take – is it possible?Demonstrating the value of complete no-take versus zoned approach is difficultPolitical pressure from NGO s (one in particular, Pew Group) to meet their own global objectives.Zoning approach based on scientific knowledge of management objectives may have been better, modifying zoning as knowledge increases – as per South GeorgiaThere is the issue of the exiled Chagossians displaced when the US base was established. Complete no-take seen by some as a political strategy (FCO) to prevent them from returning, i.e denying them any chance to have a livelihood based on fishing.But a large no-take MPA makes a clear unambiguous statement about conservation and may have value.
Each country in UK has a target for condition of [SSSIs] UK biod indicator.Assessed by CSM. Defines favourable condition for interest features.Since 2005 the percentage of sites in favourable or recovering condition has increased by 17 per cent for A/SSSIs, 13 per cent for SACs and 10 per cent for SPAs. This change reflects improved management of sites, but is also affected by a greater number of sites/features having been assessed over time. Although the condition indicator shows information for all three designations, only the A/SSSIs measure is assessed as this designation represents the largest area in the UK and underpins the designation of the majority of SACs and SPAs.A first report on the common standards monitoring programme was published by the Joint Nature Conservation Committee in 2006. Since then the countries of the UK have continued to evaluate the effectiveness of site management, but have customised their approach to national circumstances. In England assessments are undertaken on management units – the parcels of land into which sites are split. In Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland assessments are undertaken on a feature by feature basis. There are advantages and disadvantages to both approaches.In order to calculate a UK indicator the country results for site condition, presented as the percentage in favourable or unfavourable-recovering condition, have been weighted by the proportion of the protected site network in each country. Sites or features which have yet to be assessed are excluded from the indicator. For each site type there is a small overlap between sites which were designated at different times. For the extent indicator this is a very small part (7,201 hectares) of the whole 4 million hectares designated. For the weighting of site types for the condition indicator, it is more important. The weighting takes account of overlap between sites of the same type within a country e.g. if two SAC cover the same area of land the area of overlap has been subtracted from the total, so that the weighting is calculated using the net area of each site type.
From 2006 report. Underplays impacts on marine sites, e.g. Fisheries. Also probably underplays air pollution.Lack of remedial management is mentioned most often as the factor causing unfavourable condition. In many cases this relates to long-term neglect or gradual deterioration, and is a signal call that conservation management is required. Grazing (either under-grazing or over-grazing) is mentioned very commonly, for many feature types, as the activity causing unfavourable condition. It is perhaps the largest single cause for concern. It is, for example, the main factor suggested for the unfavourable condition of lowland heathland; the habitat in worst condition. There is a general trend toward over-grazing in upland habitats and under-grazing in the lowlands. Over-grazing leads to loss of vegetation structure and the failure of more palatable or vulnerable species to reproduce and maintain themselves. It can also lead to the loss of plant species and associated fauna, and the spread of rank, unpalatable plant species. In extreme cases, very heavy grazing and trampling can lead to exposure of bare soil and erosion. Under-grazing commonly results in scrub encroachment, sometimes together with invasive species problems. There is a need, in many habitats, for grazing to be undertaken at the right time and with the right intensity. Major challenges remain.Large upland sites with long history of burning, grazing, air pollution.Offshore marine sites. Co-operation with other MSs. Tackling over-fishing through CFP. Beyond 12 nautical miles (in some cases beyond 6) competency for fisheries management measures rests with the European Commission, although the European Commission has suggested that the onus will be on member states to bring forward proposals that are equitable on a European basis.for offshore waters has the added complexity of negotiated solutions with other EU member statesfisheries displacement could be significant if large areas of UK and European seas are to be subject to spatial closures for biodiversity. If fishing activity is excluded from a site then the magnitude and effects of displacement are challenging to predict. Displacement can have a positive or negative effect on the industry and environment. Some management options lead to a higher risk of negative effects than others. Detailed predictions of the scale and effects of displacement are not feasible for many sites and fleets owing to high uncertainty in models of displacement, a complexity of drivers that makes modelling difficult, and insufficient social and economic data for the majority of fleets.
Many targets etc refer to “networks” of sites in various phrases, e.g. “coherent network”; “ecological network”. But hasn’t often figured prominently in site identification criteria or considerations of mgt – now receiving increasing attention.What does it mean? In simple terms, relation of PAs to each other & to wider environment.Ecological networks have several components:• Core areas of high nature conservation value which contain rare or important habitats or ecosystem services. They include protected wildlife sites and other semi-natural areas of high ecological quality. Act as biodiversity reservoirs.• Corridors and ‘stepping stones’ enabling species to move between core areas. These can be made up of a number of small sites acting as ‘stepping stones’ or a mosaic of habitats that allows species to move and supports ecosystem functions.• Buffer zones, that protect core areas (against surrounding land use), restoration areas, and ‘stepping stones’ from adverse impacts in the wider environment.• Sustainable use areas, areas of surrounding land that are managed in a sustainable and wildlife friendly way.An ecological network is this network of high quality sites, protected by buffer zones, and connected by wildlife corridors and smaller, but still wildlife-rich, “stepping-stone” sites. Surviving in small, isolated sites (typical of lowland UK) is difficult for many species, especially in the longer term and given climate change. Ecological connections allow species, or their genes, to move between these sites.Broadly equivalent to GI: needs to form a fully functioning, ecologically-coherent and resilient network in terms of the elements it includes and the impacts it is expected to withstand. Implies at least some degree of coordinated and integrated spatial planning.Approach becoming more embedded, e.g. EBS & Revision of SSSI selection guidelines.Part of the selection process for SSSIs should therefore be to consider the functional importance of a site within the wider environment. SSSIs need to be seen within a wider context, as one component of a site-based approach to nature conservation, which is then integrated with and complements the developing wider environment approach, including the use of spatial planning tools such as Green Infrastructure. SSSIs should be seen as forming key, core areas of a planned network. The key objective is therefore to safeguard a suite of high-quality sites which collectively contain the range and area of habitats that species require, while ensuring that the ecological connections exist to allow species to move between them.
The identification of new MPAs in the UK to contribute to the network is based on best practice in MPA network design and is underpinned by 7 key principles, which are derived from guidance developed for OSPAR.RepresentativityMPA network should represent range of marine biod found in UK seas.Examples of each of a range of selected habitats & spp should be protected within MPAs in each regional project areaReplicationAll major habitats should be replicated & distributed throughout network. Spread risk of damaging events & long-term change & ensure natural variation is captured.Within each project area – at least 2 examples of each broad-scale habitat & 3-5 examples of each feature of conservation importanceAdequacyNetwork of adequate size to deliver its ecol objs & ensure ecol viability & integrity of popns, spp & commsE.g. For some broad-scale habitats: % to be included within MPAs in each project area. For others (& for features of conservation importance): replication, viability & connectivity guidelines will be used to determine %ViabilityNetwork should incorporate self-sustaining, geographically dispersed component sites of sufficient size to ensure hab & spp persistence.Min viable patch diameter for FOCI & broad-scale habitatsConnectivityNetwork should maximise & enhance linkages btwn individual MPAs (e.g. Connections btwn similar habs; movements of sppbtwn sites; other ecosystem linkages such as transfer of nutrients). For some spp will means sites should be distrib to ensure port at diff stages in life-cycle.If species-specific dispersal distances or critical areas for life-cycles are known for FOCI they should be considered in determining spacing btwn MPAs. In absence of specific info, MPAs of similar habitat should be separated, where poss, by no more than 40-80km.ProtectionWill be range of protection levels, from highly protected (parts of) sites where no damaging activities allowed to areas with only minimal restrictions.Cons objs should result in protection levels which ensure favourable condition of features & no further degradation. EvidenceIdentification based on best available evidence. Should take account of local & lay knowledge. Lack of full scientific knowledge should not be a reason for postponing proportionate decisions on site selection.Aim to deliver ecosystem protection in line with ecosystem-based approach to envt mgt. Together will help create network that promotes resilience of marine systems – can absorb, resist or recover from disturbance & damage.
JNCC are advising Defra and the DAs that we should use an approach based on biogeographic principles to assess whether the UK’s MPAs are making an adequate contribution to an ecologically coherent network because this approach is more scientifically robust than using administrative boundaries, which are not based on ecology. We are also advising that it is important to consider the contribution of UK’s MPAs as a functional part of wider networks because taking account of MPAs in surrounding waters of other countries will enable better design of the wider network in terms of working towards the aim of achieving an ecologically coherent network.The OSPAR guidance on developing an ecologically coherent network of MPAs outlines 13 design principles which are designed to assist in interpreting the concept of an ecologically coherent MPA network. OSPAR guidance refined into practical advice for MCZs, Scottish & Welsh MPAsRecognising the current lack of detailed ecological data, three initial spatial tests were identified as a means of making a rough assessment of whether the OSPAR network of MPAs is ecologically coherent. Test 1: Is the OSPAR MPA Network spatially well-distributed, without more than a few major gaps? Test 2: Does the OSPAR MPA Network cover at least 3% of most (seven of the ten) relevant Dinterbiogeographic provinces? Test 3: Are most (70%) of the threatened and/or declining species and habitats (with limited home ranges) represented in the OSPAR Network of MPAs, such that at least 5% [or at least three sites] of all areas in which they occur within each OSPAR Region is [are] protected?
protected areas are increasingly being expected to deliver social, economic and cultural benefits in addition to conserving biodiversity. ES increasingly explicit in relation to intl & (sub-)national targets re PAs.E.g. In Wales. We believe the overall aim of designations should in future be focused on helping to deliver greater resilience and diversity for the whole of the Welsh environment, not only to identify and protect specific examples of quality environments. In the first instance this means considering how we use designations strategically for positive habitat and species benefits as part of an ecosystem approach. TEEBAccording to a range of studies, the costs of setting up and managing protected areas, including the ->opportunity costs incurred by foregoing economic activity, are commonly far outweighed by the value of ecosystem services provided by such areas. However, many of the benefits of protected areas are enjoyed far away or far into the future (e.g. carbon storage), while costs tend to be local and immediate.People often focus on the global benefits that a global network of protected areas brings but there are also significant local benefits, ranging from provisioning to cultural services and existence values. There is a strong socio-economic case for managing these protected areas properly. Protected areas provide benefits of various natures at all levels: locally, nationally and globally. Whereas their global benefits far outweigh global costs, the position may be different closer to the ground because costs of protected areas are primarily met at local and national levels and can exceed local benefits MPAsThere are relatively few scientific studies which provide robust evidence for the benefits of MPAs and MPA networks in terms of their ecological impacts, and even fewer studies which assess the impacts of MPAs on the provision of ecosystem services and ecosystem processes. The current evidence base relies on inferences from the impacts of activities. It will therefore be a challenge over the next few years to develop robust methodology and carry out monitoring studies to assess the ecological benefits of MPAs. It will also be a challenge to develop a comprehensive framework for ecosystem services which are provided by the marine environment, and develop methodologies for assessing the impacts of MPAs on ecosystem services.It will be important to be able to clearly demonstrate the benefits of MPAs in order to be able to gain support from the public and stakeholdersIt is important to recognise that the benefits of MPAs and MPA networks may only be evident over long time scales, which means that developing long-term monitoring processes will be importantWhen considering monitoring programmes, it will be important to recognise that assessing the impact of MPAs must be set against a background of large-scale environmental change including climate change, and other man-made and natural disturbances that affect marine species and habitats. Some management measures in MPAs may have ecological impacts that are much smaller than changes due to background variability.PR. Protected areas are critical to the functioning of the larger systems but it is difficult to attribute social and economic benefits to individual protected areas, at least in the UK.
Biosphere is more or less anthropogenic (cert in UK). This needs to inform our views on PAs & conservation more generally.PAs should be a resource for evolution to happen; and to allow genetic fluxes and flows to work
Uk protected areas
Protected areas in the UK Marcus Yeo
Overview• The international and EU context• Protected areas in the UK – facts and figures• Protected areas in the Overseas Territories• New thinking on nature conservation – implications for protected areas
A protected area is a clearlydefined geographical space,recognised, dedicated andmanaged, through legal or othereffective means, to achieve thelong term conservation of naturewith associated ecosystemservices and cultural values
The international context Convention on Biological Diversity By 2020, at least 17% of terrestrial and inland water, and 10% of coastal and marine areas, especially areas of particular importance for biodiversity and ecosystem services, are conserved through ... systems of protected areas ... OSPAR Convention Establish an ecologically coherent network of marine protected areas in the north-east Atlantic by 2012 and ensure it is well-managed by 2016 Ramsar Convention Each Contracting Party shall designate suitable wetlands within its territory for inclusion in a List of Wetlands of International Importance. Wetlands should be selected for the List on account of their international significance in terms of ecology, botany, zoology, limnology or hydrology. World Heritage Convention
The EU context Birds Directive Member States shall classify ... the most suitable territories in number and size as special protection areas for the conservation of these species Habitats Directive A coherent European ecological network of special areas of conservation ... shall enable natural habitat types and the species habitats concerned to be maintained or, where appropriate, restored at a favourable conservation status in their natural range EU Biodiversity Strategy Member States and the Commission will ensure that the phase to establish Natura 2000, including in the marine environment, is largely complete by 2012 Marine Strategy Framework Directive Establish coherent and representative networks of marine protected areas that will contribute to achieving Good Environmental Status of Europe’s seas
UK targets UK Marine Policy Statement The UK administrations are committed to substantially completing an ecologically coherent network of marine protected areas by 2012 England Biodiversity Strategy By 2020, at least 17% of land and inland water, especially areas of particular importance for biodiversity and ecosystem services, conserved through effective, integrated and joined up approaches to safeguard biodiversity and ecosystem services including through management of our existing systems of protected areas and the establishment of nature improvement areas Country targets for condition of protected areas For example: Scottish Government target to increase the proportion of protected nature sites which are in satisfactory condition; or are recovering, with the necessary management measures in place
National Protected Areas Sites/ Areas of Special Scientific Interest National National & Parks, Local Nature AONBs, Reserves National Scenic Areas Marine Protected Areas
Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 MCZs NatureRamsar Conservation sites MPAs UK MPA networkSSSIs SACs SPAs Birds Directive
Protected Areas in the UK(as at end March 2011) Designation Number of sites Area (000 ha) Special Areas of Conservation 636 4,296 Special Protection Areas 268 2,746 Ramsar 146 783 Sites of Special Scientific Interest (GB) 6,607 2,366 Areas of Special Scientific Interest (NI) 330 102 National Nature Reserves 367 256 Marine Nature Reserves 2 18 Local Nature Reserves 1,613 54 Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty 46 102 (England, Wales, NI) National Scenic Areas (Scotland) 40 1,378 National Parks 15 1,171 Heritage Coasts (England & Wales) 46 1,552 km
Comparison with other MPAsMPA Jurisdiction Area (km2)South Georgia & South Sandwich Islands MPA UK 1,070,000Chagos Marine Reserve UK 636,000Phoenix Islands Protected Area Kiribati 408,342Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Australia 343,480Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument USA 334,154Mariana Trench Marine National Monument USA 247,179Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument USA 212,788Prince Edward Islands Marine Protected Area South Africa 180,633 Data from Toropova et al. 2010. Global ocean protection (IUCN).
Factors causing unfavourable condition Other (unspecified) Air pollution Natural events Coastal management Coastal squeezeDevelopment with planning permission Grazing (unspecified) Game or fisheries management Burning Recreation/disturbance Water quality Water management Agricultural operations Forestry Invasive species Under-grazing Over-grazing Lack of remedial management 0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800 900 Number of A/SSSI features (UK)
What are we “protecting” and why?• The entire biosphere is now more or less anthropogenic• Conservation is about development and management of novel systems as well as “protection”• Ecosystems are dynamic – change will happen• Biodiversity at genetic level is an important aspect of conservation We should be prepared to manage for (not against) change, and learn the lessons from our mistakes in the last half century
The 7 habits for highly effective protectedareas• We should lead, not follow• We should celebrate our past, but manage for the future• We need to promote the role of protected areas in human and ecological wellness• We must engage proactively in global dialogues• We must look outwards from protected areas, not inwards• We must embrace change and work with, not against, the grain of nature• We must learn from local communities, farmers and fishers and not assume “we know best”