Social and environmental impacts of private protected areas in Latin America

Lead Research Organisation: University of Leeds
Department Name: School of Earth and Environment


Protected areas are a fundamental tool for the protection of biodiversity, ecosystems and the services they provide. Protected areas have predominantly been established by governmental agencies, but in recent years private actors (NGOs, business, individual philanthropists) have appropriated significant tracts of lands for conservation purposes. Their conservation outcomes and implications for people living in or around these "private protected areas" (PPAs), remain poorly understood and greatly understudied. Critically, there is little knowledge of whether they protect different kinds of places to other protected areas, and whether they have different outcomes for conservation objectives and local communities compared to protected areas under other forms of governance. A detailed study will increase our understanding of the extent and contribution to conservation of PPAs.

This PhD project has two interwoven objectives:
1.Evaluate the geographical extent of PPAs globally and assess how much area they conserve.
2.Evaluate the impact of private protected areas relative to protected areas under other forms of governance and to non-protected areas using at least two Latin American countries as case studies


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