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Editorial | Official recognition of “conserved areas” offers chance to meet biodiversity goals

On November 29, 2018, the 196 Parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) adopted a decision that represents a high-water mark for the governance of protected areas and marks a new era of “protected and conserved areas.”

The decision, made during the 14th Conference of the Parties (COP 14) to the CBD, builds upon more than 15 years of international-level progress on the governance aspects of protected areas and provides the CBD’s clearest elaboration of the principle of equity as it relates to conservation initiatives. The decision also defines and provides technical advice on “other effective area-based conservation measures” (referenced in Target 11 of the CBD’s Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and increasingly referred to as “conserved areas”), which will have far-reaching implications for the ways in which conservation is understood and undertaken.

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