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Open AccessArticle

Designing Protected Areas for Social–Ecological Sustainability: Effectiveness of Management Guidelines for Preserving Cultural Landscapes

1
Department of Biodiversity, Ecology and Evolution, Complutense University of Madrid, 28040 Madrid, Spain
2
Social-ecological Systems Laboratory, Department of Ecology, Autonomous University of Madrid, 28049 Madrid, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2019, 11(10), 2871; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11102871
Received: 14 April 2019 / Revised: 9 May 2019 / Accepted: 16 May 2019 / Published: 20 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social-Ecological Systems. Facing Global Transformations)
Rural cultural landscapes are social–ecological systems that have been shaped by traditional human land uses in a co-evolution process between nature and culture. Protected areas should be an effective way to protect cultural landscapes and support the way of life and the economy of the local population. However, nature conservation policymaking processes and management guidelines frequently do not take culturalness into account. Through a new quantitative approach, this paper analyzes the regulatory framework of two protected areas under different management categories, located in an ancient cultural landscape of the Madrid Region (Central Spain), to identify the similarities in their conservation commitments and the effectiveness of their zoning schemes. The results show some arbitrariness in the design and management of these parks, highlighting the importance of prohibited measures in their zoning schemes that encourage uses and activities more related to naturalness than to culturalness. The recognition of protected areas as cultural landscapes and their management considering both naturalness and culturalness issues are important methods of better achieving sustainable management objectives from a social–ecological approach. This methodological approach has proven useful to unravel various legislative content, and its application on a larger scale could reveal important information for the sound management of protected areas (PAs) in cultural landscapes. View Full-Text
Keywords: biocultural heritage; comparative law; culturalness; naturalness; protected area regulations; regulation schemes; social–ecological systems; traditional ecological knowledge; zoning consistency; zoning coherence biocultural heritage; comparative law; culturalness; naturalness; protected area regulations; regulation schemes; social–ecological systems; traditional ecological knowledge; zoning consistency; zoning coherence
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Sarmiento-Mateos, P.; Arnaiz-Schmitz, C.; Herrero-Jáuregui, C.; D. Pineda, F.; Schmitz, M.F. Designing Protected Areas for Social–Ecological Sustainability: Effectiveness of Management Guidelines for Preserving Cultural Landscapes. Sustainability 2019, 11, 2871.

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