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CBD Practical Guide on Protected Areas Stresses Their Mitigation and Adaptation Potential

1 February 2010: The Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) has released a practical guide titled “Making Protected Areas Relevant: A Guide to Integrating Protected Areas into Wider Landscapes, Seascapes and Sectoral Plans and Strategies.” Such integration is considered to be imperative in order to address the adverse impacts of climate change.

The guide, developed with the financial support of the Dutch Government and published as CBD Technical Series No. 44, highlights that perhaps one of the most important benefits of integrating protected areas is the side benefit of integrating and mainstreaming protected areas into climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies. The guide suggests that a comprehensive, well-managed and well-connected network of protected areas, whose services, benefits and values are fully incorporated into national economies and economic sectors, will be one of the most important strategies for buffering communities against the impacts of climate change. Furthermore, it indicates that fragmentation impairs the ability of a species to adapt to rapidly shifting habitat patterns and ecological processes that result from climate change, further weakening their resilience, and increasing the likelihood of local and widespread extinctions. Because the severity and distribution of the impacts of climate change are so uncertain, the maintenance of landscape connectivity across biophysical gradients is essential to safeguard biodiversity. [The guide] [CBD press release]