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Creating an integrated protected area network in Chile: A GIS assessment of ecoregion representation and the role of private protected areas


National protected areas (NPAs) often exhibit biodiversity representation bias, do not adequately protect priority conservation areas (PCAs), and fail to meet conservation goals. Protected area (PA) discourse assumes private PAs (PPAs) are more systematically established than NPAs. The Chilean conservation community has proposed an integrated national–private PA network (IPAN) so PPA benefits can remedy NPA shortcomings. However, there has been no recent assessment of Chilean PPA ecoregion representation or data to support the usefulness of spending valuable resources creating an IPAN. Using the most recent Chilean private and national PA data, this study conducted a terrestrial ecoregion gap analysis under two scenarios. Scenario 1 assessed NPAs and nature sanctuaries. Scenario 2 assessed the IPAN. Both scenarios showed representation bias and failure to adequately protect PCAs or meet conservation goals. The IPAN fell short of expectations because PPAs exhibited bias similar to NPAs. The findings refute PA discourse by upending traditional beliefs regarding PPA effectiveness, and they identify a need to more critically assess the benefits of PPAs and IPANs on a country-by-country basis.

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*Correspondence: Jessica Schutz email:
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