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Special Issue "Sustainable Development in Natural Protected Areas"

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A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 August 2012)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Martí Boada (Website)

Institut de Ciencia i Tecnologia Ambiental, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, Edifici C Campus de la UAB, 08193 Bellaterra, Barcelona, Spain
Guest Editor
Dr. Carles Barriocanal (Website)

Institut de Ciencia i Tecnologia Ambiental, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, Edifici C Campus de la UAB, 08193 Bellaterra, Barcelona, Spain

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This issue of Sustainability wants to be a scene of scientific reflection on the exemplify experience of the role of the natural spaces protected in the 21st century in the field of the conservation and of the dynamic of the local communities. Protected areas are destinations that preserve natural, cultural and historical heritage and fulfill an important social function. At the same time, some of the new uses related to recreational activities within their boundaries may represent potential threats.
Historically, when institutions declare protected areas, they usually base their decision on two main environmental objectives: the fact of the area being a representation of natural regions and cultural heritage and its function as a preserver of biodiversity and cultural diversity, protecting species and their habitats. Nowadays, it is clear that also social and economic implications have to play an important role on the sustainable management of the ecosystem dynamics and protected areas in order to make compatible the multiple land uses.
Landscapes are the expression of the natural, cultural and social history of the inhabitants of a territory. This must be born in mind at the moment of determining the sustainability of a protected area. Despite of recognize the significance of the natural values of a territory they do not have to conceal the social significance of the communities that live (i.e. indigenous population) and of the users proceeding from the urban systems.

Prof. Dr. Martí Boada
Dr. Carles Barriocanal
Guest Editors

Keywords

  • Ecosystem services
  • Protected areas
  • Management of landscapes
  • Sustainable development
  • Social and economic implications

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle The Effects of Isolation and Natural Park Coverage for Landrace In situ Conservation: An Approach from the Montseny Mountains (NE Spain)
Sustainability 2013, 5(2), 654-663; doi:10.3390/su5020654
Received: 3 January 2013 / Revised: 5 February 2013 / Accepted: 6 February 2013 / Published: 11 February 2013
PDF Full-text (109 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Human isolation in mountain areas has an extra cost for the people living there, because they occasionally have to face harsh environmental conditions. Such adaptation to the environment can be faced in several ways, and in situ landrace conservation is a proposed [...] Read more.
Human isolation in mountain areas has an extra cost for the people living there, because they occasionally have to face harsh environmental conditions. Such adaptation to the environment can be faced in several ways, and in situ landrace conservation is a proposed strategy that concerns food acquisition and maintenance. However, human isolation could also be affected as a result of residing inside a protected area. In this paper, we assess the correlation between the in situ landraces conserved by farmers and the location of the farms inside or outside of a protected area (Montseny Mountains Biosphere Reserve and Natural Park). The variables of isolation, calculated as the time needed to reach the nearest market and the effect of altitude, were also considered. We interviewed 28 farmers, 12 inside and 16 outside of the protected area, and identified a total of 69 landraces. Those farms located inside the boundaries of the Natural Park retained more landraces than those located outside. There was also a positive and significant correlation between the landraces cultivated and the degree of isolation. The effect of altitude did not appear to be a relevant variable. Finally, a total of 38 landraces were located only on farms inside the Natural Park, 13 were found outside and 18 were cropped in both territories. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Development in Natural Protected Areas)
Open AccessArticle Inclusive Protected Area Management in the Amazon: The Importance of Social Networks over Ecological Knowledge
Sustainability 2012, 4(12), 3260-3278; doi:10.3390/su4123260
Received: 3 September 2012 / Revised: 5 November 2012 / Accepted: 16 November 2012 / Published: 30 November 2012
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (587 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In the Amacayacu National Park in Colombia, which partially overlaps with Indigenous territories, several elements of an inclusive protected area management model have been implemented since the 1990s. In particular, a dialogue between scientific researchers, indigenous people and park staff has been [...] Read more.
In the Amacayacu National Park in Colombia, which partially overlaps with Indigenous territories, several elements of an inclusive protected area management model have been implemented since the 1990s. In particular, a dialogue between scientific researchers, indigenous people and park staff has been promoted for the co-production of biological and cultural knowledge for decision-making. This paper, based on a four-year ethnographic study of the park, shows how knowledge products about different components of the socio-ecosystem neither were efficiently obtained nor were of much importance in park management activities. Rather, the knowledge pertinent to park staff in planning and management is the know-how required for the maintenance and mobilization of multi-scale social-ecological networks. We argue that the dominant models for protected area management—both top-down and inclusive models—underestimate the sociopolitical realm in which research is expected to take place, over-emphasize ecological knowledge as necessary for management and hold a too strong belief in decision-making as a rational, organized response to diagnosis of the PA, rather than acknowledging that thick complexity needs a different form of action. Co-production of knowledge is crucial for governance, but mainly not for the reasons for which it is promoted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Development in Natural Protected Areas)
Open AccessArticle Wind Farm Siting and Protected Areas in Catalonia: Planning Alternatives or Reproducing 'One-Dimensional Thinking'?
Sustainability 2012, 4(12), 3180-3205; doi:10.3390/su4123180
Received: 22 August 2012 / Revised: 2 November 2012 / Accepted: 8 November 2012 / Published: 22 November 2012
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (641 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Wind energy is an emblem of sustainability with the potential to promote a qualitative alternative to current energy systems and nuclear options for CO2 reduction. However, wind farm siting often conflicts with aspirations to conserve traditional landscapes and wildlife habitats. In [...] Read more.
Wind energy is an emblem of sustainability with the potential to promote a qualitative alternative to current energy systems and nuclear options for CO2 reduction. However, wind farm siting often conflicts with aspirations to conserve traditional landscapes and wildlife habitats. In this paper we adopt a Critical Theory perspective, informed by Herbert Marcuse`s work, to study the discourse concerning wind energy siting in Catalonia, Spain. We give particular attention to how tensions between potentially conflicting sustainability objectives are addressed and by whom. Based on a review of this siting discourse and the application of Marcuse’s theory, we find that the Catalan wind energy siting discourse is both influenced by and reproducing what Marcuse referred to as the ‘one-dimensional thinking’ of technology as ideology: erasing the possibility of critical dialectical thought by subsuming the question of “what should be” under the question of “what is”. This has implications both for how these conflicts are investigated and for the sustainability of decisions taken. We conclude that closer attention to the role of ‘one-dimensional thinking’ in wind energy siting discourses could improve not only the understanding of their logic but might also have the potential to help make them more democratic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Development in Natural Protected Areas)
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Open AccessArticle Perspectives on Sustainable Resource Conservation in Community Nature Reserves: A Case Study from Senegal
Sustainability 2012, 4(11), 3158-3179; doi:10.3390/su4113158
Received: 23 August 2012 / Revised: 5 November 2012 / Accepted: 6 November 2012 / Published: 16 November 2012
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (3733 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The coalescing of development and conservation has recently given rise to community-based conservation. Under this framework, sustainable livelihood strategies are incorporated into conservation goals on the basis that the integration of local priorities into management guidelines benefits rather than impedes conservation efforts. [...] Read more.
The coalescing of development and conservation has recently given rise to community-based conservation. Under this framework, sustainable livelihood strategies are incorporated into conservation goals on the basis that the integration of local priorities into management guidelines benefits rather than impedes conservation efforts. Consistent with this approach, the Community Nature Reserve of Dindéfélo in Kédougou, Senegal endeavors to protect biodiversity without jeopardizing local people’s reliance on natural resources. In this article we provide evidence that sustainable resource conservation is a very powerful mechanism in redirecting labor and capital away from ecosystem-degrading activities. To do this, we present three examples of projects, aiming to illustrate different ways in which local people’s management and sustainable use of natural resources can be beneficial in terms of biodiversity conservation, socioeconomic development, and human well-being. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Development in Natural Protected Areas)
Open AccessArticle Is Sustainablity Possible in Protected Areas in Mexico? Deer as an Example of a Renewable Resource
Sustainability 2012, 4(10), 2366-2376; doi:10.3390/su4102366
Received: 24 July 2012 / Revised: 12 September 2012 / Accepted: 17 September 2012 / Published: 27 September 2012
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Abstract
In 2000, Mexico’s National Commission of Protected Areas (CONANP) was created to encourage the protection, management and restoration of natural and cultural resources and their conservation. Protected areas were recently increased by more than 3 million hectares, for a current total of [...] Read more.
In 2000, Mexico’s National Commission of Protected Areas (CONANP) was created to encourage the protection, management and restoration of natural and cultural resources and their conservation. Protected areas were recently increased by more than 3 million hectares, for a current total of more than 25 million hectares, corresponding to 174 protected areas that cover 12.90% of the country’s surface area. The information obtained by research helps us understand both biodiversity and ecological processes, as well as the social and economic phenomena that influence the use of ecosystems. In Mexico there are four species of deer: white-tailed deer, mule deer, red brocket and brown brocket. These ungulates have been an important part of the diet of indigenous people and rural communities, and represent an important resource for sport and trophy hunting. We found the best deer populations in protected areas; these can therefore maintain the gene pool and serve as source populations for other areas. These populations are also useful from a research perspective. People living in some protected areas continue to use natural resources such as deer, and also receive economic inputs to develop ecotourism programs, and support from the government for the environmental services derived from conserving biodiversity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Development in Natural Protected Areas)
Open AccessArticle Conservation in Context: A Comparison of Conservation Perspectives in a Mexican Protected Area
Sustainability 2012, 4(9), 2317-2333; doi:10.3390/su4092317
Received: 6 July 2012 / Revised: 28 August 2012 / Accepted: 6 September 2012 / Published: 19 September 2012
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (271 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The conservation of biodiversity in protected areas depends on the interests and agendas of stakeholders involved in the planning and enforcing of management actions. The challenge, therefore, has been to identify and include the perspectives of multiple participants important to local conservation. [...] Read more.
The conservation of biodiversity in protected areas depends on the interests and agendas of stakeholders involved in the planning and enforcing of management actions. The challenge, therefore, has been to identify and include the perspectives of multiple participants important to local conservation. This paper describes the social context in which local conservation is conducted in a natural protected area in Yucatan, Mexico. In particular, it examines the agreement and expectations among local stakeholders on the main goals the reserve should achieve. Through participatory observation and semi-structured interviews, we analyzed the perceptions on conservation of the five groups relevant to the area management: 1) local people; 2) conservation government agency; 3) scientists; 4) non-governmental organization, and 5) a tourist agency. All actors agreed that the protected area should fulfill two main goals: i) to conserve biodiversity and, ii) to improve local welfare and development. In general, ecotourism is perceived as the best option for protecting the forest and promoting local development. Traditional agriculture, on the other hand, is perceived as the main conservation threat, but recognized as a crucial component of local wellbeing. We discuss these results in the context of the Yucatan Peninsula. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Development in Natural Protected Areas)
Open AccessArticle Urban Vulnerability in Bantul District, Indonesia—Towards Safer and Sustainable Development
Sustainability 2012, 4(9), 2022-2037; doi:10.3390/su4092022
Received: 4 April 2012 / Revised: 6 July 2012 / Accepted: 16 July 2012 / Published: 30 August 2012
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Abstract
Assuring safer and sustainable development in seismic prone areas requires predictive measurements, i.e., hazard, vulnerability and risk assessment. This research aims to assess urban vulnerability due to seismic hazard through a risk based spatial plan. The idea is to indicate current [...] Read more.
Assuring safer and sustainable development in seismic prone areas requires predictive measurements, i.e., hazard, vulnerability and risk assessment. This research aims to assess urban vulnerability due to seismic hazard through a risk based spatial plan. The idea is to indicate current and future potential losses due to specified hazards with given spatial and temporal units. Herein, urban vulnerability refers to the classic separation between social and physical vulnerability assessments. The research area covers six sub-districts in Bantul, Indonesia. It experienced 6.2 Mw earthquakes on May, 27th, 2006 and suffered a death toll of 5700, economic losses of up to 3.1 billion US$ and damage to nearly 80% of a 508 km2 area. The research area experienced the following regional issues: (1) seismic hazard; (2) rapid land conversion and (3) domination of low-income group. This research employs spatial multi criteria evaluations (SMCE) for social vulnerability (SMCE-SV) and for physical vulnerability (SMCE-PV). The research reveals that (1) SMCE-SV and SMCE-PV are empirically possible to indicate the urban vulnerability indices; and (2) integrating the urban vulnerability assessment into a spatial plan requires strategic, technical, substantial and procedural integration. In summary, without adequate knowledge and political support, any manifestation towards safer and sustainable development will remain meager and haphazard. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Development in Natural Protected Areas)
Open AccessArticle Birding for and with People: Integrating Local Participation in Avian Monitoring Programs within High Biodiversity Areas in Southern Mexico
Sustainability 2012, 4(9), 1984-1998; doi:10.3390/su4091984
Received: 26 June 2012 / Revised: 20 July 2012 / Accepted: 15 August 2012 / Published: 27 August 2012
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (420 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Biological monitoring is a powerful tool for understanding ecological patterns and processes, implementing sound management practices, and determining wildlife conservation strategies. In Mexico, regional long-term bird monitoring has been undertaken only over the last decade. Two comprehensive programs have incorporated bird monitoring [...] Read more.
Biological monitoring is a powerful tool for understanding ecological patterns and processes, implementing sound management practices, and determining wildlife conservation strategies. In Mexico, regional long-term bird monitoring has been undertaken only over the last decade. Two comprehensive programs have incorporated bird monitoring as the main tool for assessing the impact of human productive activities on birds and habitats at local and regional levels: the Integrated Ecosystem Management (IEM) and the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor Mexico (CBMM). These programs are implemented in supremely important biodiverse regions in the southern and southeastern states of Mexico. Bird monitoring activities are based on the recruitment and participation of local people linked to sustainable productive projects promoted by the CBMM or IEM. Through a series of training workshops delivered by specialists, local monitors receive equipment and coordinate to become part of a large monitoring network that facilitates regional covertures. This data currently being obtained by local people will enable the mid- and long-term assessment of the impacts of sustainable human productive activities on birds and biodiversity. Community-based bird monitoring programs are a promising opportunity for enhancing scientific knowledge, improving sustainable practices, and supporting wildlife conservation in areas of high biodiversity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Development in Natural Protected Areas)
Open AccessArticle Worlds Apart: A Social Theoretical Exploration of Local Networks, Natural Actors, and Practitioners of Rural Development in Southern Honduras
Sustainability 2012, 4(7), 1596-1618; doi:10.3390/su4071596
Received: 23 May 2012 / Revised: 26 June 2012 / Accepted: 5 July 2012 / Published: 16 July 2012
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (282 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper explores the importance of incorporating the socioecological realities of alternative networks into analyses of rural development. Cultural theory is examined, which provides a base upon which rural development can identify difference in worldviews based on difference in sociological conditions and [...] Read more.
This paper explores the importance of incorporating the socioecological realities of alternative networks into analyses of rural development. Cultural theory is examined, which provides a base upon which rural development can identify difference in worldviews based on difference in sociological conditions and environmental phenomena. Actor-oriented theory problematizes the ideal types of cultural theory, providing a means of give-and-take between actors’ worldviews of different networks. Actor-network theory breaks down the nature-culture dichotomy of actor-oriented theory, so that nature becomes as ‘active’ an actor as people and community. Actor-network theory brings nature and society together, perceiving the two as mutually inclusive and constitutive. Coupled with recognition of power associated with political economic/ecological forces, actor-network theory can encourage us to see the frequency of tropical storms in Honduras as being among the powerful actors that have played a significant, consistent role in shaping the mode of ordering of impoverished Honduran peoples. This paper concludes by exploring how alternative, agroecological networks established in a protected area in southern Honduras with ‘strong’ natural actors can be re-ordered by incorporating autonomy and resiliency into the network. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Development in Natural Protected Areas)
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Open AccessArticle Changes in Local People’s Perceptions of the Sumava National Park in the Czech Republic over a Ten Year Period (1998–2008)
Sustainability 2012, 4(6), 1354-1370; doi:10.3390/su4061354
Received: 2 April 2012 / Revised: 4 May 2012 / Accepted: 13 June 2012 / Published: 19 June 2012
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (947 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The Sumava National Park (NP), the largest protected area of its kind in Central Europe, is as interesting as it is problematic (historical development, conflicts between regional development and landscape protection). In order to evaluate the success of the Park’s policies, local [...] Read more.
The Sumava National Park (NP), the largest protected area of its kind in Central Europe, is as interesting as it is problematic (historical development, conflicts between regional development and landscape protection). In order to evaluate the success of the Park’s policies, local park inhabitants’ attitudes were assessed over a ten-year period. Two surveys (N = 181 and N = 200) were conducted in August, 1998 and 2008. The questionnaires consisted of 43 queries from three thematic areas; (a) socio-demographic data, (b) environment and nature conservation, and (c) sustainable tourism and local development. The comparison of the results 1998 with 2008 showed that the Park inhabitants perceived living in the Park as improving and the scheme for nature conservation as either “optimal” or “more strict”. The surveys also showed the loss of job opportunities as the most prevalent local concern. In a cluster analysis based on perceptions of (a) the Park, (b) the environment and (c) Park Administration, subjects were divided into four opinion groups ranging from “optimists” to “grumblers”. The most “positive (optimistic)” group saw little connection between the Park’s existence and job losses, while the most “negative” group saw a strong connection in that regard. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Development in Natural Protected Areas)

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