Not all hotspots are equally important or can be protected using the same methods. Hotspots contain a variety of different biomes (i.e., types of habitats, such as wetlands, rainforests, or deserts), that have varying degrees of degradation and are inabited by different species, and thus have wide variety of protection needs. To account for these differences, we have divided hotspots into two categories: level one and level two. Areas that currently do not have humans living on them and are functioning well without human intervention are designated as Level 1 Protected Areas. Areas that have humans living in them or need human intervention to preserve biodiversity will be designated as Level 2 Protected Areas. These divisions are not as varied as the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Protected Area Management Categories. Their categories classify protected areas according to the goals of the land: whether it is being protected to preserve biodiversity, because it is a natural monument or scenic areas,or for other uses (Why is biodiversity in crisis, 2011). Since the main purpose of our hotspots is to preserve biodiversity, we have divided hotspots into two categories based on the type of the protection needed. In land areas, fences, gated roads, and POB patrols can be used to limit the number of people entering a hotspot. In aquatic areas, POB patrols and regulations are the only methods for regulation.
In order to create an environment with a minimum of human effect, Level One Areas will be subject to controlled access. This means that the number and activities of people entering the hotspot will be controlled. Data collected by Czech, Karausman, and Devers shows that outdoor recreation and tourism development contribute to the endangerment of species in areas such as Hawaii, Florida, and the Mojave Desert (Czech, et. al, 2000). If access to Level One hotspots is controlled, major effects by tourism and recreational users can be prevented.
In Level One Areas, resource use will be severely limited. Hunting, fishing, logging, mining, farming, plant gathering, and other uses of resources within the hotspot will not be allowed.
Regulations on scientific study will be conducted on a case by case basis by the Protectors of Biodiversity. Projects that do not harm the biodiversity, but provide valuable scientific information or an economic advantage to countries housing the hotspot, will be allowed. Corrina Steward reported in business.2010, a magazine published by the UN Convention of Biological Diversity, that "Bio-prospecting" has been a successful effort in Costa Rica and Madagascar. These projects allowed companies to search for compounds that would be commercially valuable in the pharmaceutical and fragrance industries within protected rainforests (Steward, 2010). The countries containing these hotspots then received a portion of the profits. As long as the scientific study does not harm the biodiversity of a region and is only conducted for a short period of time, situations like these provide incentives for countries to maintain their hotspots, and allow everyone to benefit from the diversity within them.
Regulations on marine hotspots are especially beneficial because limiting the fishing in one area increases the fish population nearby. This gives fishermen an economic incentive to respect the boundaries of hotspots.
Due to the strict limitations on resource use in highly protected areas, it will not be possible to sustain communities of humans within them. Therefore, any hotspot with people living on it will be a level two area.
Displacing people from their homes in order to create a hotspot is neither easy nor easily defendable. It requires governments to intervene in people's lives, and find new locations for them to live. Displacement also has the tendency to cause social and political problems – people are generally resistant to being forced to change an established way of life.
In order to minimize the displacement of people from their homes or countries, Level Two Areas will allow sustainable human populations to live on them. However, the activities of these people within the hotspots will be regulated in order to protect the biodiversity present. Protectors of Biodiversity can work with the natives to find a method that works the best for the region, but any method should generally function along the guidelines described below.
In order for people to live on land, they must have a way to sustain themselves. For this reason, middle protected areas will allow subsistence farming and resource use. People living on the land will be allowed to farm, fish, and hunt. However, these activities must be conducted on a scale that is not harmful to biodiversity.
Protectors of biodiversity will determine what level of logging, hunting, and fishing will not harm indigenous species. POBs can base their policies on systems that are already in use now. In some cases, hunting may be used as a control to correct for loss of natural predators. For instance, Wisconsin currently uses deer hunting as a means of controlling a growing population of deer. In his article on the history of deer hunting, Smith (2009) detailed control of deer population in Wisconsin. Initially, controls were used to ensure that hunters didn't overhunt deer. As predators died out, deer populations began to grow faster. Wisconsin began to grant more licenses in order to keep deer population at a reasonable level. Depending on the effect that humans have already had on a given population of game animals, hunting and fishing could reduce numbers of exploding populations or increase numbers of creatures that are currently being overhunted or overfished.
In more economically developed countries, people living within a hotspot will be able to buy food and materials grown or produced outside of the hotspot. In this case, farming, hunting, and logging can be more severely limited, as they are not required for survival. Since the people living in protected areas will have to live in more sustainable ways, education is an important aspect of this plan. The most vital part of this education will involve teaching natives how sustainable methods can benefit their lives. Some countries, like Costa Rica, are already succeeding in sustainable production. In Costa Rica, farmers within a preserved area called the Biological Corridor harvest araza, a native fruit. They are able to earn a living through the sale of this fruit while still protecting biodiversity, since they do not have to cut down forests to create farmland. Other biodiversity friendly methods include Cuban sponge harvesting (which replaced fishing methods that depleted stocks of fish) and replacing honey production from non-native bees by production from native bees that work in unison with the natural environment in Brazil (Steward, 2010). Methods like these can help encourage native people to work with the environment by replacing old livelihoods with new sustainable livelihoods that still provide a steady income. Without education and livelihood replacement, native peoples might not be inclined to change their ways, especially if they believe that new methods will not be beneficial to them. By educating people dwelling in hotspots on biodiversity friendly practices, everyone benefits.
Return to Protection Methdology