Thematic Areas: Protected areas
In an increasing number of AAE’s projects, protected areas play a role in one way or another. Protected areas are one of the main “tools” for conserving biodiversity and ecosystems around the world and play an important role in climate change mitigation and adaptation. By now, a number of different categories of protected areas are recognised, including areas largely closed off to people, but also those that are important because of existing interactions between people and nature or for their cultural values. Where AAE is involved in developing REDD+ strategies, we have assessed the potential role of a country’s protected areas under REDD+. Where a SESA or an ESIA gets conducted and an ESMP or ESMF developed, whether for REDD+ or any other conservation project, the effect of possible restrictions of access to land and resources in and around protected areas gets analyzed and mitigation measures identified to ensure that livelihoods will be at least maintained, if not improved over time. Several of AAE’s safeguards projects have a very direct link with protected areas since the application of safeguards can here be seen as a response to dealing with recurring topics of access restrictions, safety and security of local communities as well as park rangers and other human rights issues.