Academic journal article Electronic Green Journal

Review: Planning for Biodiversity: Issues and Examples

Academic journal article Electronic Green Journal

Review: Planning for Biodiversity: Issues and Examples

Article excerpt

Review: Planning for Biodiversity: Issues and Examples By Sheila Peck Reviewed by Elery Hamilton-Smith University of Wageningen, Netherlands Peck, Sheila. Planning for Biodiversity: Issues and Examples. Washington, DC: Island Press, 1998. 221 pp. ISBN 1-55963-401-4 (paper). US$27.50

This is an eminently readable book on a very important topic. It outlines a number of basic principles in providing for biodiversity within the context of urban and regional planning. The various case studies bring the subject to life, and in themselves give a positive vision to the maintenance of ecosystems. It focuses on the local-scale level of action that commonly falls within the province of the planning profession and this is both a valuable and practical focus. But on the broader scale, it is disappointing in that it devotes little attention to the role of protected areas, although its focus on offreserve conservation is indeed welcome. Regrettably, particularly for U.S. readers, it draws entirely upon experience in the United States. There is virtually no reference at all to broad-scale national or even state frameworks equivalent to the landcare and similar movements now found in many countries.

It deals with seven topics: the conceptual nature of biodiversity, developing priorities in conservation, understanding change and disturbance, spatial issues, design of reserves, collecting baseline data, and monitoring for adaptive management.

Unfortunately, there are some serious omissions. While dealing with how planning and management techniques might be used to maintain biodiversity, there is no baseline discussion on why biodiversity is important-the very spring of criteria for selecting between various options for action. …

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