Biodiv Sci ›› 2018, Vol. 26 ›› Issue (3): 286-294.  DOI: 10.17520/biods.2018005

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Evaluation of the effectiveness of marine protected areas: Methodologies and progress

Ruiling Song1,3, Jinxian Yao1,2,*(), Kaiyue Wu1, Xiaochuan Zhang1,3, Zhi Lü1,3, Zhengguang Zhu4, Lijie Yin1,3   

  1. 1 School of Life Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871
    2 Institute of Ocean Research, Peking University, Beijing 100871
    3 Center for Nature and Society, Peking University, Beijing 100871
    4 National Marine Environmental Monitoring Center, Dalian, Liaoning 116023
  • Received:2018-01-09 Accepted:2018-03-19 Online:2018-03-20 Published:2018-05-05
  • Contact: Yao Jinxian
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    # Co-first authors


The continued decline of global biodiversity presents a huge challenge for biodiversity conservation, especially for marine biodiversity conservation. As an effective way to protect biodiversity, evaluating the effectiveness of MPAs (Marine Protected Areas) is becoming a critical issue. However, only limited assessment methodologies were specially designed for MPAs so far. Moreover, evaluation indicators have mainly focused on management effectiveness. Recently, the establishment of global biodiversity monitoring networks and databases and the application of new technologies (including remote sensing, sonar system, satellite tracking, and genomics) have provided available data and information for quantified conservation effectiveness evaluations at multiple levels from ecosystems to genes. Future evaluation should be based on long-term scientific monitoring with the assistance of new technologies, promoting the establishment of the biodiversity monitoring database and information sharing, and developing integrated and interdisciplinary evaluation systems to evaluate conservation effectiveness.

Key words: marine protected area, conservation effectiveness, biodiversity monitoring