A Multivariate Framework for Evaluating the Management of Protected Areas
As the human population grows, Earth’s natural resources are under increasing threat from deforestation, biodiversity loss, pollution, and habitat fragmentation. For many years conservation scientists have set aside protected areas to preserve intact landscapes. Today, the network of protected areas covers over 12% of the world’s landmass. However, management of these areas is often constrained by varying financial, physical and scientific resources. Therefore, effective management is key to the success of protected areas in conserving biodiversity. Over the last decade, international NGOs and government agencies have developed tools to monitor management effectiveness (ME).
This project uses multivariate analysis to assess one of these methods. The Management Effectiveness Tracking Tool (METT) was created by the Wildlife Conservation Foundation and the International Bank to monitor the strengths and weaknesses in protected area ME around the world. It contains an Assessment Form with 33 questions that measure ME on a scale of 0-100. In this study, METT responses from 526 parks in 57 countries were analyzed with Principal Components Analysis and Factor Analysis to find common themes. The goal was to understand what determines good management.
The results indicated that the following six factors account for the trends within ME: personnel capacity, tourism, local community involvement, resource inventory, equipment and budget. Results also suggest that the current design of the METT Assessment Form could be improved to effectively measure ME. To address this issue, further research is recommended to develop a structural model to improve the definition of ME.
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