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Protected areas: a tool for biological diversity conservation

Protected areas: a tool for biological diversity conservation


1. The Philippines, through-the National Integrated Protected Areas System (NIPAS), has adopted eight categories of protected areas: strict nature reserves, nature parks, natural monuments, wildlife sanctuaries, protected landscapes/seascapes, resource reserves, natural biotic areas and multiple-use areas. These categories represent a range of varying level of human use:

2. Strict Nature Reserves. To protect nature and maintain/natural processes in an undisturbed state. They provide ecologically representative examples of the natural environment and make these areas available for scientific stubby, environmental monitoring and education and for the maintenance of genetic resources in a dynamic and evolutionary state.

3. Nature Parks. - To protect outstanding natural and scenic areas of national or international significance for scientific, educational and recreational use. These are relatively large natural areas not materially altered by human activity and where commercial extractive uses are not permitted.

4. Natural Monuments. To protect and preserve nationally significant natural 'features because of their special interest or unique characteristics. These are relatively small areas focused on protection of specific features.

5. Wildlife Sanctuary. To ensure the natural condition necessary to protect nationally significant species, groups of species, biotic communities or physical features of the environment where these require specific human manipulation for their perpetuation.

6. Protected Landscapes/Seascapes. To maintain nationally significant areas which are characteristic of the harmonious interaction of resident people and land while providing opportunities for public enjoyment ' through recreation and tourism within the normal lifestyle and economic activity of these areas.

7. Resource-Reserve. To protect the natural resources of the area for future designation and prevent or contain development activities that could affect the resource pending the establishment of objectives based on appropriate knowledge and planning.

8. Natural Biotic Area; To foster the way of life of societies living in harmony with the environment to adapt to modern technology at their pace.

9. Multiple-Use Area (i.e., Extractive Reserve? Game Ranch and Recreation Area). To provide for the sustained production of water, timber, wildlife, pasture and outdoor recreation, with the conservation of nature primarily oriented to the system of economic activities.

Benefits of protected :areas

Protected areas provide the following year-round benefits:

· Protect ecosystems essential to maintain life-support cervices, to conserve wild life and to advance scientific research.:

· Protect culturally important landscapes and traditional sites of activities of great significance to indigenous people, including sacred places and historic monuments built on them.

· Protect recreational and educational uses of natural, modified 'end cultivated ecosystems.

· Protect ecologically important areas which, when damaged, endanger public welfare. Example: watersheds.

· Protect species and population that are highly sensitive to human disturbance, those important in medicine and those which enhance the attractiveness of landscapes.

· Protect ecologically important areas

· which, when damaged, endanger public

· welfare.

· Protect the habitats critical to harvested, migratory or threatened species.

· Protected area management

· Management of protected areas is to be done by a protected area management board. The board is madeup of local representatives, DENR officials, NGOs and indigenous cultural communities. Management plans are to be designed using various management zones to regulate activities within the protected area.