LEC Seminar: Dr Germán Baldi “Geographical patterns of protected areas in an uneven world”

Wednesday 26 January 2022, 1:00pm to 1:45pm


Online via MS Teams

Open to

All Lancaster University (non-partner) students, Alumni, External Organisations, Postgraduates, Staff, Undergraduates


Registration not required - just turn up

Event Details

Protected areas (PAs) are considered the paramount approach to nature conservation. Countries agree to expand PAs networks and achieve increasingly higher goals. However, past and current deployment of PAs may obey cultural forces which have little to do with biodiversity and ecosystem services.

Protected areas (PAs), i.e. land set aside to “achieve the long-term conservation of nature”, constitute the core strategy to limit the expansion and magnitude of anthropogenic stressors that affect biodiversity and the provision of ecosystem services. Consequently, almost all countries have agreed to set increasingly demanding goals for the expansion of their PA networks and the achievement of increasingly demanding goals (e.g. 30 % of their territories). However, I will first present results that suggest that biodiversity protection and environmental representativeness have been minor motivations driving current protection at both regional and global levels. Attempts to increase their relevance will necessarily have to recognize the predominant opportunistic nature that the establishment of PAs has had until present times. I will then show the large disparity in the protected extent that exists among countries, and explore the relationships between the protected extent values and a limited spectrum of socioeconomic characteristics, making focus on size and power features. In the land, larger and more powerful countries (in terms of land area, gross domestic product, or military expenditure) protect less and in relatively smaller and complex units than smaller and less powerful countries. Out of the twenty most extensive countries of the world, only two exceed 10 % of protection. This situation is problematic since an effective growth of the global protected area network depends on the willingness of larger and more powerful countries. In the ocean, patterns are exactly the opposite, as countries like the United States, the United Kingdom, France, or Australia are at the forefront of the conservation of the ocean through – mostly – very large marine protected areas (> 100,000 km2).

Dr Germán Baldi will propose different a posteriori hypotheses that would explain the role of size and power driving protection in both realms. These hypotheses involve direct mechanisms (e.g. the persuasive capacity of large countries) or mechanisms that mediate the interactions of some others (e.g. tourism contribution to GDP and insularity). Independently of mechanisms, our results emphasize the conservation responsibilities of large and powerful countries and contribute to envisioning conservation scenarios in the face of changes in the number and size of countries.

Dr Germán Baldi is a member of the Environmental Studies Group at the San Luis Institute of Applied Mathematics (IMASL) and Geology Department, National University of San Luis and of the National Scientific and Technical Research Council, Argentina. The chair for the session is Prof Mariana Rufino, Professor of Agricultural Systems at Lancaster Environment Centre.

Joining the seminar

This seminar was recorded with a live online audience on Wed 26 January 2022.

It is now available to view on our YouTube channel: "LEC Seminar Online 2022-01-26 Dr Germán Baldi"


  • 13:00 (UK time) Welcome and introduction
  • 20 minute presentation from our speaker
  • Speaker takes questions from our live virtual audience submitted through the text "Chat" function
  • Seminars will be recorded and videos will be uploaded in due course onto Lancaster Environment Centre's YouTube channel

You can also join the conversation on Twitter: #LECSeminar.

Full LEC Seminar series

Follow the full programme at https://www.lancaster.ac.uk/lec/about-us/events/


Dr Germán Baldi

National University of San Luis, Argentina

Contact Details

Name Ali Birkett