The Impact of COVID-19 on the Management of European Protected Areas and Policy Implications
2. Materials and Methods
3.1. Challenges Due to COVID-19 in European Nature Parks
3.2. COVID-19 Measures in Order to Overcome the New Challenges
Conflicts of Interest
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|Name||Country & Region||IUCN Protection Level|
|Matsalu National Park||Estonia||II|
|Eifel National Park||Germany (Nord-Rhein Westphalen)||II|
|Black Forest (Schwarzwald) National Park||Germany (Baden-Württemberg)||II|
|Prealpi Giulie Natural Park||Italy (Friuli Venezia Giulia)||V|
|Tatra National Park *||Poland (Carpathians)||II|
|Triglav National Park||Slovenia (Upper Carniola)||II & V|
|Sierra Espuña Regional Park||Spain (Murcia)||V|
|Sierra Nevada National Park||Spain (Andalusia)||II|
|Las Batuecas-Sierra de Francia Natural Park **||Spain (Castilla y León)||V|
|Garajonay National Park||Spain (Canary Islands)||II|
|Kullaberg Nature Reserve||Sweden (Skåne Province)||V|
|Söderåsen National Park||Sweden (Skåne Province)||II|
|Peak District National Park||UK (England)||V|
|Snowdonia National Park *||UK (Wales)||V|
|Overcrowding||A significant increase in (mainly domestic) visitors was reported especially as soon as people were allowed to travel further from their home|
|Problematic behavior by PA users||An increase in problematic behavior when using the PA was observed. This referred to a range of issues including waste management and disturbance e.g., littering and dog/human waste, noise nuisance, illegal/unauthorized activities e.g., camping|
|Parking and traffic issues||Incidents of irresponsible parking were reported including parking in non-designated areas and parking in a way that disturbed people and nature. Traffic was increased as people accessed parks with their own car avoiding public transport and organized groups|
|Social distancing||Changes were needed in how certain activities were being run, such as guided tours and visitor centers, to ensure social distancing|
|Conflicts||Conflicts between local people, and between visitors and locals emerged because of overcrowding and the fear of virus transmission, and over behavioral issues|
|Cancellation of educational and cultural activities||Several activities which are organized regularly in the parks, such as guided tours and festivals, had to be canceled or limited to a very low number of participants|
|Overcrowding||Closure of major facilities, closure of parking areas, cease advertising/promoting the PA to visitors, temporary closure of specific honeypot sites, online updates on car park capacity and overcrowding incidents, replace guided tours and school visits with online educational programs|
|Irresponsible users||Information campaigns including signs on local notice boards, key entrance points, information on websites, and social media (e.g., Twitter and Facebook). Use of social media to promote appropriate pro-environmental behavior in the PA. Increased number of rangers or increased presence of local police. Fix damaged or vanadalized signage as soon as possible.|
|Parking and traffic issues||Information campaigns letting people know when a car park is full and also about responsible parking. Increased number of rangers. Introduce new regulations. Towing vehicles away|
|Conflicts||Information campaigns including signs, information on websites and social media (e.g., Twitter and Facebook). Increased number of rangers.|
|Social distancing||Banning social gatherings, restricted number of people on guided tours, restrictions on the number of people within facilities (e.g., restaurants, visitor centers, restrooms), establishing one-way system on popular paths, rigorous and enhanced cleaning regimes and waste collection e.g., at visitor centers, placing hand sanitizers in key locations, regular cleaning of toilet facilities, and banning of cash payment (allowing only contactless payments). |
Protection of staff was also a key priority with the provision of PPE equipment and installing plexiglass in key facilities such as restaurants and visitor centers.
|Cancellation of educational and cultural activities||Online learning, a limit on the number of people who are able to attend guided tours|
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McGinlay, J.; Gkoumas, V.; Holtvoeth, J.; Fuertes, R.F.A.; Bazhenova, E.; Benzoni, A.; Botsch, K.; Martel, C.C.; Sánchez, C.C.; Cervera, I.; Chaminade, G.; Doerstel, J.; García, C.J.F.; Jones, A.; Lammertz, M.; Lotman, K.; Odar, M.; Pastor, T.; Ritchie, C.; Santi, S.; Smolej, M.; Rico, F.S.; Waterman, H.; Zwijacz-Kozica, T.; Kontoleon, A.; Dimitrakopoulos, P.G.; Jones, N. The Impact of COVID-19 on the Management of European Protected Areas and Policy Implications. Forests 2020, 11, 1214. https://doi.org/10.3390/f11111214
McGinlay J, Gkoumas V, Holtvoeth J, Fuertes RFA, Bazhenova E, Benzoni A, Botsch K, Martel CC, Sánchez CC, Cervera I, Chaminade G, Doerstel J, García CJF, Jones A, Lammertz M, Lotman K, Odar M, Pastor T, Ritchie C, Santi S, Smolej M, Rico FS, Waterman H, Zwijacz-Kozica T, Kontoleon A, Dimitrakopoulos PG, Jones N. The Impact of COVID-19 on the Management of European Protected Areas and Policy Implications. Forests. 2020; 11(11):1214. https://doi.org/10.3390/f11111214Chicago/Turabian Style
McGinlay, James, Vassilis Gkoumas, Jens Holtvoeth, Ruymán Federico Armas Fuertes, Elena Bazhenova, Alessandro Benzoni, Kerstin Botsch, Carmen Cabrera Martel, Cati Carrillo Sánchez, Isabel Cervera, Guillermo Chaminade, Juliana Doerstel, Concepción J. Fagundo García, Angela Jones, Michael Lammertz, Kaja Lotman, Majda Odar, Teresa Pastor, Carol Ritchie, Stefano Santi, Mojca Smolej, Francisco Soriano Rico, Holly Waterman, Tomasz Zwijacz-Kozica, Andreas Kontoleon, Panayiotis G. Dimitrakopoulos, and Nikoleta Jones. 2020. "The Impact of COVID-19 on the Management of European Protected Areas and Policy Implications" Forests 11, no. 11: 1214. https://doi.org/10.3390/f11111214