GEOG5006 Protected Area Management and Conservation



Protected areas such as national parks and reserves cover around 17% and 7% of the world's land and sea surface respectively and are implemented to conserve or manage biodiversity through the regulation and restriction of human activities. With accelerating rates of species extinctions worldwide, coupled with the impacts of climate change on biodiversity, pressure is growing to designate more protected areas. However, the effectiveness of protected areas in conserving biodiversity is often questioned, whilst the practical and ethical consequences of restricting human access and resource usage frequently results in conflict between stakeholders.

This unit allows students to gain a detailed insight into the impacts and effectiveness of terrestrial and marine protected areas, using a case study approach drawing on political ecology to explore the tensions associated with their designation and management. The drivers behind protected area implementation and mechanisms to generate social, economic and environmental benefits for nearby communities will be examined. Students will be expected to make regular and reasoned contributions to class debate, supporting a pedagogical approach based on deep learning and participatory activities.

Upon completion of this unit, students will be able to 1) explain and interpret the classification of protected areas and their worldwide distribution; 2) show how political ecology helps identify the drivers behind protected area implementation; 3) compare, contrast and debate the impacts of protected areas on biodiversity and local human communities; 4) critique measures to generate social, economic or environmental benefits from protected areas; 5) judge the viability of the protected area approach to conservation for the 21st century.
Course period25/07/2211/11/22
Course levelPostgraduate coursework