Stuart Chape is Program Manager—Island Ecosystems Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Program (SPREP), and formerly Head—World Heritage and Protected Areas Program, UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre. Mark D. Spalding, lead author of the popular World Atlas of Coral Reefs (UC Press) and author of A Guide to the Coral Reefs of the Caribbean (UC Press), has worked extensively with the United Nations Environment Program and is now Senior Marine Scientist in the The Nature Conservancy's Global Conservation Approach Team. Martin D. Jenkins is Senior Advisor, Species Conservation at UNEP's World Conservation Monitoring Centre.
Extensively illustrated with maps, color photographs, and graphics, this state-of-the-art reference offers a comprehensive and authoritative status report on the world's 100,000 parks, nature reserves, and other land and marine areas currently designated as protected areas. Now covering over 12 percent of the Earth's land surface, protected areas are the great strongholds of biodiversity and landscape conservation. They also provide a wide range of valuable ecosystem services: protecting food and water supplies; regulating weather patterns; protecting watersheds and coastlines from erosion; maintaining places of historical or cultural significance for recreation, solace or spiritual wellbeing; generating income and employment from tourism, and more. This timely volume offers a benchmark overview of where these protected areas exist worldwide, what they have and have not accomplished, what threats they face, and how they can be better managed to achieve the goals of conserving biodiversity and other natural resources.