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Sustainability 2018, 10(9), 3176;

Effects of Legal Designation and Management of a Multiple-Use Protected Area on Local Sustainability

Institute of Economy, Geography and Demography, Spanish National Research Council (IEGD-CSIC), Associated Unit GEOLAB, C/Albasanz, 26–28, 28037 Madrid, Spain
European Topic Centre-Universidad of Malaga, Andalucía Tech, University of Malaga, 29010 Malaga, Spain
Department of Psychology and Sociology, Faculty of Social Science and Work, Calle de Violante de Hungría, University of Zaragoza, 23, 50009 Zaragoza, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 2 August 2018 / Revised: 24 August 2018 / Accepted: 30 August 2018 / Published: 5 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability, Biodiversity, and Conservation)
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The designation of protected areas (PAs) entails environmental, social, and economic effects to local stakeholders through access restriction to natural resources. We used a mixed methods research framework that combines time series analysis and stakeholder surveys to elicit objective and subjective effects of legal and managerial designation of Sierra Cabrera-Bedar Natura 2000 site on local sustainability in south-eastern Spain. Firstly, 47 environmental, social, and economic variables for which official time series data were available were assessed using a multiple-paired-Before-After-Control-Impact research design, where “Impacts” were: (1) legal designation of Sierra Cabrera-Bedar as a Site of Community Importance (SCI); and (2) management implementation of the site as an Special Area of Conservation (SAC). The two municipalities having most of their territories in Sierra Cabrera-Bedar SCI/SAC were selected as ‘Cases’, whereas two similar municipalities outside the PA were chosen as ‘Controls’. Additionally, 13 local organisations pertaining to 11 socioeconomic guilds from case municipalities were surveyed on their perceived effects of the designation Sierra Cabrera-Bedar as an SAC on 28 social and economic variables. The effects of legal and managerial protection of the site on local sustainability were unclear although greater SAC sustainability is suggested, even though limited time series availability for the SAC period increases uncertainty. Local organisations perceived mostly limited and negative socioeconomic effects from SAC designation. Disagreement between statistical and perceptual results suggests use of time series analyses for accurate assessment of socioeconomic effects of PAs in Spain. View Full-Text
Keywords: stakeholder survey; organisation; BACI design; time series; Natura 2000; Spain stakeholder survey; organisation; BACI design; time series; Natura 2000; Spain

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Rodríguez-Rodríguez, D.; López, I. Effects of Legal Designation and Management of a Multiple-Use Protected Area on Local Sustainability. Sustainability 2018, 10, 3176.

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