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SMART: Improving effectiveness of protected areas globally. By Drew T. Cronin, Program Manager, SMART Partnership

November 15, 2018

Protected areas are critical to global efforts of addressing wildlife conservation. However evidence suggests that less than 24% of protected areas globally are effectively managed and in many countries the capacity to effectively protect vast protected area networks exceeds available resources. There is an urgent need to improve performance of protected areas and optimize the use of limited resources at scale.

The Spatial Monitoring and Reporting Tool (SMART) was developed by the SMART Partnership to address this need. It is now the leading tool globally for wildlife law enforcement and protected area monitoring; implemented in more than 600 sites across 55 countries, with national government adoption in 12 countries.

SMART enables managers to take an evidence based approach, utilising information from a range of sources to assess their site law enforcement and/or management operations; measure progress towards predefined targets and improve protection and surveillance at site level. SMART can also increase the effectiveness of wildlife law enforcement at multiple scales, including deployment on a national scale as a unified management system.

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