Advancing equity in Protected Area conservation: from theory to practice
ESPA supported cutting edge research to better understand the notions of equity and justice in relation to measures to conserve ecosystem services including protected areas. At the same time, the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) led the development of practical methods for assessing Protected Area governance and social impacts which have been increasingly shaped by the ESPA-supported work. Complementing funding from the International Institute for Environment and Development, this project enabled IIED and partners to conclude this process through completing a comprehensive equity (ie governance plus social) assessment process at Lake Mburo National Park in Uganda, and a workshop to reflect on methods for assessing equity in Protected Area conservation and train assessment facilitators, producing a policy brief and a working paper that formed the basis of a major International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) publication: “Assessing equity in protected area management and governance: what, why and how”. In addition this project produced a brief video on the what, why and how of site-level Protected Area governance assessment which focuses on the procedural and recognition dimensions of equity.
At a national and global level, this project consolidated ESPA's leading work in supporting implementation of the equitable management element of the Convention on Biological Diversity's Aichi Target 11.
With regard to specific Protected Areas, this project integrated equity issues into methods to assess governance and social impacts of Protected Areas. As such, it aimed to enhance the contribution of Protected Areas to poverty alleviation, human wellbeing, and sustainable development.