Impacts of Covid‐19 on protected and conserved areas

By 7th May 2021July 7th, 2021Conservation Papers

Abstract Protected and conserved areas (PCAs) throughout the world face huge challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. We give a global overview of impacts and responses. Protected area agencies, NGOs and research groups,
together with the communities that support the management of PCAs, have conducted online studies to understand the overall impacts of COVID-19 containment measures on PCAs at regional and global levels. This paper summarises results from ten surveys, eight regional and two global, from 90 countries representing all continents except Antarctica. It draws lessons from different regions and contexts, and synthesises information on impacts and responses, particularly with regard to conservation and management activities, visitor services, revenue, stakeholder engagement, capacity, threats, illegal activities and neighbouring communities. Results vary; generally impacts have been most severe in Africa and Latin America, although many protected area agencies have evolved coping strategies and impacts are apparently not quite as severe as first thought. The paper also identifies future opportunities for PCAs in the post-COVID-19 era and proposes strategic decisions that may help cope with the current pandemic and prevent future ones.

John Waithaka et al, Impacts of Covid‐19 on protected and conserved areas: a global overview and regional perspectives. Parks vol 27 (special issue) march 2021| 10.2305/IUCN.CH.2021.PARKS‐27‐SIJW.en