Human impacts on nature have led to massive biodiversity declines. Protected areas (PAs) have been suggested as one of the most important tools to reduce human pressure and protect biodiversity. In this project I will advance our understanding of the effectiveness of terrestrial PAs in reducing human pressure and improve current knowledge on how to measure human pressure, by specifically addressing three objectives: 1) To understand how management quality affects PAs ability to reduce human pressure, 2) To reconciling remote sensed maps of human pressure with field observation of the impact of human threats, and 3) To improve existing maps of human pressure by including data of key threats to biodiversity (e.g. natural resource use and invasive species). The foundation of the project will be the Temporal Human Pressure Index (e.g. a temporal Human Footprint), the World Database of Protected Areas, and a global database on Management. The three objectives will apply different state-of-the-art statistical approaches including propensity matching and general linear mixed effects models to achieve these ambitious objectives. The project is expected to lead to three high impact peer-reviewed papers as well as min two popular science papers, and one policy brief. The project will help me develop new data and skills instrumental to achieving my career goals in academia after the fellowship. I will be hosted in the conservation group at the University of Cambridge, under supervision of Professor Andrew Balmford who is one of the world’s leading conservation scientist and an expert on how to understand human pressure in relation to biodiversity. Professor Neil Burgess will be my supervisor while seconded at WCMC. He is a world leading expert on management effectiveness and has years of experience working on pressure and PAs. This proposal represents a frontier in conservation science and is of very high relevance to the EU and global conservation policy.
Call for proposal
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