PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2022, Vol. 41 ›› Issue (11): 2178-2190.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2022.11.015

• Reviews • Previous Articles    

Progress and prospect of research on the effectiveness assessment of protected areas in China from the perspective of coupled human-environment system

YU Chaoyue1(), GAO Yang1,2,*(), WANG Chenxu3, LIU Yuexin1   

  1. 1. College of Land Science and Technology, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193, China
    2. Natural Science Foundation of China, Beijing 100085, China
    3. State Key Laboratory of Earth Surface Processes and Resource Ecology, Faculty of Geographical Science, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
  • Received:2022-03-18 Revised:2022-05-29 Online:2022-11-28 Published:2023-01-28
  • Contact: GAO Yang;
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China(42071284)


Effectiveness assessment of protected areas is an important means to measure management and protection effects and put forward suggestions for improvement. From the perspective of coupled human-environment system, this study divided the effectiveness assessment of protected areas into four stages: infrastructure construction, primary protection, ecological function enhancement, and human-environment harmony, corresponding to the four targets of a well-established protection system, the safety of protected objects, ecosystem health, and human well-being, respectively. On this basis, we analyzed the role of effective management theory, landscape sustainability theory, and social-ecological network theory in guiding the assessment of the effectiveness of protected areas. By examining the progress of the effectiveness assessment of protected areas in China, this article proposed four future research directions, including increasing the importance of community governance in the assessment system, shifting from focusing on biodiversity conservation to considering the improvement of human well-being, exploring the mechanism of management work on the effectiveness of protected areas, and promoting the construction of monitoring networks and data platforms for protected areas, in order to improve the timeliness, comprehensiveness, and soundness of the effectiveness assessment of protected areas, and to promote the harmonious coexistence of humans and nature.

Key words: protected areas, effectiveness, coupled human-environment system, social-ecological network, China