vironmental services. They can be classified into two types. First are wildlands officially designated as protected areas by governments, sometimes in collaboration with the United Nations or the international scientific community. These are national parks, biosphere reserves, world heritage sites, wetlands of international importance, areas designated for protected status in national conservation strategies or master plans, and similar wildland management areas (WMAs), i.e., areas where wildlands are protected and managed to retain a relatively unmodified state. Second are wildlands not yet protected by legislation but recognized by the national or international scientific and conservation communities, often in collaboration with the United Nations, as exceptionally endangered ecosystems, known sites of rare or endangered species, or important wildlife breeding, feeding, or staging areas. These include certain types of wildlands that are threatened throughout much of the world, yet are biologically unique, ecologically fragile, or especially important for local people or for environmental services. Tribal people almost always manage their areas sustainably and in a manner entirely compatible with environmental conservation; this important link is discussed by the World Bank (1982).

Wildlands of special concern often occur in tropical forests, Mediterranean-type brushlands, mangrove swamps, coastal marshes, estuaries, sea grass beds, coral reefs, small oceanic islands, and certain tropical freshwater lakes and riverine areas. Within the spectrum of tropical forests, lowland moist or wet forests are the richest in species and are often the most vulnerable. Wildlands of special concern also occur in certain geographical regions where they have been reduced to comparatively small patches and continue to undergo rapid attrition. As a result, these regions harbor some of the most threatened species in the world. Following is a list of some tropical wildlands of special concern:


Madagascar: significant proportions of the northern and eastern moist forests.

Ethiopia: much of the remaining highland forest.

Tanzania: Usambara, Pare, and Uluguru Mountains.

Rwanda: mountain forests along the Zaire and Uganda borders.

Kenya: Kakamega, Nandi, and Arabuko-Sokoke forests.


Cameroon: particularly Cameroon Mountain and the moist forested area extending into Gabon and to the Cross River in southeastern Nigeria, including the Oban Hills.

Ivory Coast: southwestern forests (including the Tai forest) and adjacent parts of Liberia and Sierra Leone.


The Malay Peninsula (including parts of Thailand): lowland forests, especially along the northwestern and eastern coasts.

Indonesia: much of the remaining lowland forests of Kalimantan, Sumatra, Sulawesi (especially the two southern peninsulas), and many smaller islands (e.g., Siberut).

Philippines: much lowland forest on all larger islands.

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