Developing countries now protect about 10% of their lands as nature reserves and national parks. But, the wealthy countries hardly help with the costs of additional field staff, particularly park rangers. The shortage of field staff in protected areas and nature reserves in developing countries has now become the greatest problem in nature conservation. It is a much more urgent problem than climate change. Development agencies have some programs related to biodiversity conservation as long as they also help poor people, but they don't contribute much to paying for park rangers.
The seizes of the protected areas of all the developing countries of the World larger than 30 km2 have been analyzed. It showed that the worldwide staffing need is about 175,000, of which 140,000 park rangers and 35,000 professional and administrative staff. Since half of the protected areas in those countries lack any field staff at all, and the other half is at least 50% short, we estimate that the shortage of park rangers is about 105,000 and of other field staff about 27,000.
No conservation organization or governmental development agency in the world systematically addresses this issue, and in fact, this problem has enjoyed very little attention in the conservation community as a whole. As a result, effective nature conservation in the developing countries has NOT been making significant progress since about the mid 1990s. Without increasing the numbers park rangers for nature reserves and national parks in the world, more than half of the species of the world will disappear during this century.