Conservation and Sustainable Use of the Biosphere - WBGU

Conservation and Sustainable Use of the Biosphere - WBGU

136 E Diversity of landscapes and ecosystems

between the protected areas themselves as well as

their context within the surrounding landscape.

The system of gradated land-use intensities used

in this report is helpful for this task (Sections E 3.1

and E 3.9).

2. Social integration: Conveying and instilling the

objectives of nature conservation into various

groups in society, especially at local and bioregional

level are key requirements for successful

implementation or enforcement. Important points

are the link between nature conservation and cultural

protection (Section E 3.5), the importance of

environmental learning (Section I 2.5) and the

arbitration of the divergent interests of the local

population, users of the land and nature conservation

objectives (Section E 3.9).This task is a major

social challenge: the problems and conflicts concerned

with nature conservation and conservation

areas will be increasingly difficult to solve in the

future (McNeely et al, 1994).

3. Economic integration: protected areas provide

important services for society. These services,

some of which can be maintained only by foregoing

exploitative use or by management that entails

costs, should appear in the societal account (Section

H 5). Incentive structures should promote

and not hamper the conservation of biodiversity

(Section I 2.4).

These points are frequently mentioned in international

agreements. But they have to be implemented

at national or bioregional level; there are also still

considerable deficits in implementation in Germany

(cf Chapter I).

Objectives for landscape type ‘N’:

conservation before use

There is widespread agreement on the fundamental

objective: a worldwide, effective and representative

system of protected areas should be established. It

should not only reflect the range of biomes, bioregions

or ecosystem types – including the limnic and

marine sphere – it should also take account of areas

with high species diversity (hotspots) or endemism

(Mittermeyer et al, 1998). This system can overall be

termed a ‘guard rail’ which it would be unacceptable

for the international community to cross (Section

I 1). The question as to how much land is needed for

this, however, cannot be answered scientifically with

the current state of knowledge and certainly cannot

be averaged over various bioregions. Important ecological

findings, a sufficiently precise definition of the

objectives of nature conservation policy and the economic

methods for estimating the biosphere values

are still inadequate for this and should be improved

as a matter of urgency (Section J 1.4). For this reason,

setting objectives for area protection is currently

more of an art than a science. The objectives are

always the result of negotiations in which expert

opinions or assessments, the application of the precautionary

principle and economic and political

interests all play an important role.

Nevertheless, experts from various committees

and bioregions independently come to the conclusion

that the proportion of land designated for nature

conservation should be in the order of magnitude of

10–20 per cent (eg ‘Bali Action Plan’, McNeely and

Miller, 1984; Haber, 1972, 1986; Heydemann, 1980,

1981; LANA, 1991; IUCN, 1993; SRU, 1996). In the

process, the following simple relationship applies: the

larger the nature conservation area and the better

they are chosen, the more certain it is that it will be

possible to conserve biodiversity.

Obviously, this percentage is heavily dependent

on the regional circumstances and will vary greatly in

practice. It also depends on the scale considered: the

smaller the scale, the more the target will vary. There

will be regions where 100 per cent protection is

needed and others where just 1 per cent appears

appropriate. A rough estimate of this sort can therefore

only ever be a first guideline; a more precise

study is always necessary for the region concerned in

each case.

The Council agrees with this assessment and recommends

as a rough indicative guide that 10–20 per

cent of the world’s land area should be reserved for

nature conservation, selected according to substantive


Planning protected areas

Discussions at the national and bioregional level to

specify the objectives and strategies for nature conservation

are needed for the selection of the protected

areas. Planning protected area systems, selecting

protected areas representatively, gaining acceptance

for and communicating policy, as well as monitoring

status, trends, threats and conflicts are

important elements of this process, and may make

apparent some considerable deficits in the taxonomic

or ecological knowledge base. The various

protected areas should be viewed in context and be

developed in the direction of a system of protected

areas. This applies not only to the size and interlinkage

of the areas among themselves, but above all also

to how well the natural capital of a landscape is represented

in the protected areas and how well the

respective protected areas are integrated into the

surrounding landscape use. In this context, the European

directives are of key importance. The Habitats

Directive offers great opportunities to nature conservation

that have unfortunately not been used to date

(Section I 3.3.4). In this respect, Germany is anything

but a pioneer. The status of implementation of the

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