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Ottawa, Nov 19 (Canadian-Media): A proposal for an innovative approach to biodiversity conservation has been made by a research paper affiliated with the University of Toronto, in the form of ‘Dynamic Protected Areas,’, in other words, transient protected areas that change according to the biological concerns of the meta-population, media reports said.
Transient protected areas. Image credit: thevarsity.com
After discussing the pros and cons of both the existing strategy and the proposed new strategy in an interview with The Varsity, Dr. Marie-Josée Fortin, a co-author of the paper and a professor at the Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology concluded that the existing strategies' pre-established notions about biodiversity, conservation, and legislation needed to be updated to include the new multi-faceted conservation strategy to address the climate crisis.
Currently, the ‘Permanent Protected Area’ status of preserving biodiversity in Canada is limited to fixed spaces set aside to minimize human intervention and can take a long time to come into effect because of the slow legislative process.
Moreover, the increasing number of natural environments converted for human use make it more difficult to find land for permanent protected areas.
The static nature of permanent protected areas also poses a significant ecological dilemma due to the categorization of biological organisms at many different levels to specifically addresses meta-populations, meta-communities, and meta-ecosystems.
For example, a ‘meta-population’ refers to many populations at once and considers how they interact with one another, between different locations instead of one fixed location.
Permanent protected areas alone may be inadequate in preserving biodiversity as the species within these areas are not completely isolated from their surrounding environments. In other words, the region is only protected for as long as the environment demands.
The alternative idea of ‘Dynamic Protected Areas’ advantageously focuses on terrestrial species that undergo annual migration facilitating the government to establish dynamic protected areas that travel with that species and that only last as long as the migration does.
Although dynamic protected areas still face the challenges of economic and legislative considerations, Fortin and her colleagues support the strategy’s implementation, because it acknowledges that the environment has been and would always be undergoing change.