Broadscale conservation

Current projects include working with the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, editing the first edition of their Global Wetlands Outlook, scheduled for publication in autumn 2018.

Beyond that, work continues on Key Biodiversity Areas, including a website providing information for businesses working in or near KBAs. Draft guidance on “Other Effective Area-Based Conservation Measures”, a new category emerging from the Convention on Biological Diversity, is now out for review. With WWF, Nigel is advising on a grasslands project running in Colombia and Paraguay. And we were both involved in running a training on restoration in Myanmar, with our colleague Marc Hockings, in autumn 2017; our first visit to that fascinating country. Our paper on measuring restoration impacts was finally published in Restoration Ecology.

Protected areas

In February 2018 we published the first in a planned series of Equilibrium Dialogues, Protected Areas: Challenges and responses for the coming decade, laying out priorities in the run-up to the CBD Conference of Parties later in 2018 and in 2020 when new global targets will be debated.

Sue continues to be involved in development of Conservation Assured | Tiger Standards (CA|TS), a capacity building and accreditation scheme for tiger reserves; an analysis of management effectiveness in 120 tiger reserves, Safe Havens for Wild Tigers, was published in early 2018 and a Business Plan for rolling out CA|TS between 2018 and 2022 is being finalised.

Much of our protected area work reflects on ecosystem services, particularly through the Natural Solutions specialist group of the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas, which Nigel chairs. A workshop in January 2018 Germany helped develop a manual on selection of assessment methods for ecosystem services and revised the Protected Area Benefits Assessment Tool, now ten years old and ready for a second edition to be published later this year.

Protected area categories and definitions continue to be challenging; Nigel attended a meeting in Washington in January 2018 to reconsider guidance on marine protected areas in light of IUCN Resolutions at the 2016 World Conservation Congress, and spent a week in Moscow in 2017 summer looking at definitions of the Russian protected area system. We are also continuing to work on Protected Area Management Effectiveness (PAME). Sue has just completed a review of PAME in the UK, which will increase number of areas reported on the Global Database on PAME from the UK from just over 3% to around 70% of protected areas in the UK. And in late 2018 we are due to go to Myanmar to carry out PAME training for all protected area managers.

Sue is particularly involved in drawing up best practice guidance for privately protected areas with IUCN, and Nigel is part of the team putting together a technical guide on integration of climate change into protected area planning in association with the Luc Hoffmann Institute and Parques Naturales Nacionales in Colombia. Field visits in the last year have also included Kazakhstan, Alaska and Nepal.

Society and Environment

Nigel was lead author of the inaugural Global Land Outlook for the UN Convention to Combat Desertification, a massive report looking at all aspects of land cover and land degradation around the world. Sue was lead researcher and author of a major report on the wider ecosystem services values of tiger reserves, Beyond the Stripes: save tigers, save so much more, carried out for WWF, was launched in late 2017. And we are currently doing research on the role of pastoralism in natural World Heritage sites, as part of a larger project on transhumance and conservation being coordinated by DiverseEarth.