Protected areas and nature recovery: achieving the goal to protect 30% of UK land and seas for nature by 2030.

Published online
06 Jul 2022
Published by
British Ecological Society
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Bailey, J. J. & Schéré, C. M. & Cunningham, C. A. & Metcalfe, C. A. & Griffin, D. C. & Hoppit, G. & Turner, R. K. & Travers, T. & Hill, J. K. & Sinnadurai, P.
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Area-based conservation on land and at sea will be a critical component of the UK's efforts towards addressing the connected climate and ecological crises, for which the recovery of nature is crucial. This policy report provides an overview of the available ecological evidence on this topic, synthesised in response to the UK government's policy to protect 30% of all four nations' land and seas for nature by 2030 ('30x30'). The report addresses the central role of protected areas (PAs) in nature conservation, and the important supporting roles of other effective area-based conservation measures (OECMs) and the wider environment, by answering eight questions, which form the section headings of the report: What kind of PAs are there in the UK? What are the benefits provided by area-based conservation, and how can we measure them effectively? What is the current state of protected areas and what are their biodiversity trends? How can PAs and OECMs contribute to the wider ecological network? How can the effectiveness of PAs be improved? How can UK area-based conservation support nature's recovery on land and in the sea? Which terrestrial area-based conservation approaches should count towards 30x30? Which marine area-based conservation approaches should count towards 30x30? Each of these questions is answered in as much detail as the scientific evidence allows, while highlighting evidence gaps and making policy recommendations.

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