OJE  Vol.4 No.13 , October 2014
Perspectives on Zonation in Ramsar Sites, and Other Protected Areas: Making Sense of the Tower of Babel
Abstract: Zonation of land or water areas is a tool frequently used to clarify management objectives, assist with monitoring of the effectiveness of those objectives and reconcile user conflicts. The Ramsar Convention has promoted zonation for wetlands as a management tool, but in a rather unstructured way, in contrast to the highly structured three-zone system of UNESCO-MAB Biosphere Reserves. At the same time, over the last 40 years IUCN has been developing a categorisation system for protected areas, currently based on management and monitoring objectives. Research undertaken primarily on wetlands in China, but with desk-top study in other regions has shown that by using these management and monitoring objectives as guiding principles, and building on the Biosphere Reserve zonation system, a new approach is possible for wetland protected or conserved areas. Developing from the three-zone system of Biosphere Reserves this new approach proposes four zones, offering more utility and flexibility for managing, monitoring and comparing wetland conservation sites, both spatially and temporally.
Cite this paper: Zeng, Q. , Bridgewater, P. , Lu, C. , Yun, J. and Lei, G. (2014) Perspectives on Zonation in Ramsar Sites, and Other Protected Areas: Making Sense of the Tower of Babel. Open Journal of Ecology, 4, 788-796. doi: 10.4236/oje.2014.413067.

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