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Principles of Gap Analysis
Gap analyses should be driven by a series of scientific, social and political principles.
  • Representation: choose focal biodiversity across biological scales (species and ecosystems) and realms (terrestrial, freshwater, and marine) for the gap analysis to capture the full array of biodiversity in the protected area system.


  • Redundancy: include sufficient examples of species and ecosystems in a protected area network to capture genetic variation and protect against unexpected losses.


  • Resilience: design protected area systems to withstand stresses and changes, including future changes such as global warming.


  • Different types of gaps: analyse representation gaps (biodiversity not found in any protected area), ecological gaps (biodiversity''s ecological needs not adequately addressed in protected areas) and management gaps (inadequate management or purpose). 


  • A participatory approach: collaborate with key stakeholders in decisions about protected areas. The CBD demands participation, in particular by directly affectedcommunities, including indigenous and traditional peoples. 


  • An iterative process: review and improve the gap analysis as knowledge grows and environmental conditions change.
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