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Special Issue "Sustainability in Conservation Biology"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainability, Biodiversity and Conservation".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2021) | Viewed by 4087

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Emilio Padoa-Schioppa
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Milan-Bicocca, 20126 Milano, Italy
Interests: ecology; biogeography; landscape ecology; Anthropocene; conservation biology; ecosystem services; landscape and habitat monitoring and classification
Dr. Raoul Manenti
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Environental Science and Policy, Università degli Studi di Milano, Via Celoria, 26 20133, Milano, Italy
Interests: zoology; herpetology; cave biology
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues, 

Among the different socio-economic, scientific and integrated approaches toward a sustainable development, preservation and management of biodiversity is one of the less considered in scientific journals devoted to a broad readership. With this Special Issue, we want to provide an updated picture of the current challenges involving conservation biology, management and sustainability. 

This Special Issue will comprise papers covering a wide range of aspects related to wildlife conservation and sustainability. In particular, we would like to highlight papers that cover successful histories in conservation that directly benefit local human populations. Papers addressing the positive impact of the establishment of protected areas, a reinforcement or a reintroduction of an endangered population, or some aspects of environmental education are especially welcome. We aim to cover examples from different regions of the world and from different anthromes. Integrating the concept of sustainability into conservation biology also means that we will welcome papers discussing the increase of ecosystem services due to conservation programs. Papers selected will offer examples of good practices in conservation actions (including land and aquatic ecosystems maintenance and biodiversity preservation) and in planning conservation programs.

Dr. Emilio Padoa-Schioppa
Dr. Raoul Manenti
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • biodiversity (or wildlife) conservation
  • reintroduction and reinforcement
  • protected areas
  • national parks
  • ecosystem services
  • local communities
  • environmental education

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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Article
The Relative Role of Knowledge and Empathy in Predicting Pro-Environmental Attitudes and Behavior
Sustainability 2022, 14(8), 4622; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14084622 - 12 Apr 2022
Viewed by 602
Abstract
Planet Earth is undergoing unprecedented levels of environmental degradation and destruction at a global scale. Incentivizing people to adopt behaviors that are compatible with a sustainable future will help address the current ecological crisis. However, it is first necessary to understand the psychological [...] Read more.
Planet Earth is undergoing unprecedented levels of environmental degradation and destruction at a global scale. Incentivizing people to adopt behaviors that are compatible with a sustainable future will help address the current ecological crisis. However, it is first necessary to understand the psychological drivers of pro-environmental behavior. Here, we examined whether greater levels of environmental knowledge and empathy predicted higher levels of pro-environmental behavior in an Australian population sample. We aimed to advance our understanding of the psychological variables that motivate people to act in pro-environmental ways, while also advancing the ongoing debate amongst conservation scientists regarding the relative importance of fostering empathy. Correlational analyses revealed that objective, verifiable knowledge was a strong predictor of pro-environmental attitudes and behavior. Empathy also correlated positively with pro-environmental attitudes and behavior, but with a dissociation with respect to its cognitive and affective components. Multivariate analyses revealed that knowledge was a stronger predictor of both pro-environmental attitudes and behavior after controlling for individual variation in cognitive and affective empathy. This finding casts doubt on the claim by compassionate conservationists that fostering empathy is the key to solving the current environmental conservation crisis. Future research should aim to extend the present findings by testing whether a more exhaustive test of participants’ environmental knowledge and other measures of empathy, including empathic competencies and the recently developed Emotional and Cognitive Scale of the Human–Nature Relationship (ECS-HNR), yield the same dominance of knowledge over empathy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Conservation Biology)
Article
Clarifying the Smokescreen of Russian Protected Areas
Sustainability 2021, 13(24), 13774; https://doi.org/10.3390/su132413774 - 14 Dec 2021
Viewed by 744
Abstract
Although in strictly protected areas no forest management and logging activities should be evident, a preliminary study detected that, even in the 200 areas with the highest protection of Russia, more than 2 Mha of trees have been lost between 2001 and 2018. [...] Read more.
Although in strictly protected areas no forest management and logging activities should be evident, a preliminary study detected that, even in the 200 areas with the highest protection of Russia, more than 2 Mha of trees have been lost between 2001 and 2018. Nonetheless, a relevant percentage of the actual drivers of tree loss in Russian strictly protected areas was surrounded by uncertainties due to several factors. Here, in an attempt to “clarify the smokescreen of Russian protected areas”, by validating previous remotely sensed data with new high-resolution satellite imagery and aerial images of land-use change, we shed more light on what has happened during the last 20 years. We used the same layer of tree loss from 2001 to 2020 but, instead of intersecting it with the MODIS data that could have been a source of underestimation of burned surfaces, we overlapped it to the layer of tree cover loss by dominant driver. We analysed the main drivers of tree loss in almost 200 strictly protected areas of Russia. We found that although fire is responsible for 75% of the loss in all strictly protected areas, forestry activities still account for 16%, and 9% is due to undefined causes. Therefore, uncontrolled wildfires (including those started before or after logging) and forestry activities are the main causes of 91% of the total tree loss. The combination of wildfires (often started intentionally) and forestry activities (illegally or barely legally put in place) caused a loss of an astonishing 3 million hectares. The fact that ≈10% of Russian tree cover was lost in two decades since 2001 only in strictly protected areas requires high attention by policymakers and important conservation actions to avoid losing other fundamental habitats and species during the next years when climate change and population growth can represent an additional trigger of an already dramatic situation. We call for an urgent response by national and local authorities that should start actively fighting wildfires, arsonists, and loggers even in inhabited remote areas and particularly in those included in strictly protected areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Conservation Biology)
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Article
A New Long-Term Marine Biodiversity Monitoring Program for the Knowledge and Management in Marine Protected Areas of the Mexican Caribbean
Sustainability 2020, 12(18), 7814; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12187814 - 22 Sep 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 939
Abstract
In the Mexican Caribbean, 15 marine protected areas (MPAs) have been established for managing and protecting marine ecosystems. These MPAs receive high anthropogenic pressure from coastal development, tourism, and fishing, all in synergy with climate change. To contribute to the MPAs’ effectiveness, it [...] Read more.
In the Mexican Caribbean, 15 marine protected areas (MPAs) have been established for managing and protecting marine ecosystems. These MPAs receive high anthropogenic pressure from coastal development, tourism, and fishing, all in synergy with climate change. To contribute to the MPAs’ effectiveness, it is necessary to provide a long-term observation system of the condition of marine ecosystems and species. Our study proposes the establishment of a new marine biodiversity monitoring program (MBMP) focusing on three MPAs of the Mexican Caribbean. Five conservation objects (COs) were defined (coral reefs, seagrass beds, mangroves, marine turtles, and sharks-rays) for their ecological relevance and the pressures they are facing. Coral reef, seagrass and mangroves have multiple biological, biogeochemical and physical interactions. Marine turtles are listed as endangered species, and the status of their populations is unknown in the marine area of the MPAs. Elasmobranchs play a key role as top and medium predators, and their populations have been poorly studied. Indicators were proposed for monitoring each CO. As a technological innovation, all information obtained from the MBMP will be uploaded to the Coastal Marine Information and Analysis System (SIMAR), a public, user-friendly and interactive web platform that allows for automatic data management and processing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Conservation Biology)
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Review

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Review
Conservation Studies on Groundwaters’ Pollution: Challenges and Perspectives for Stygofauna Communities
Sustainability 2021, 13(13), 7030; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13137030 - 23 Jun 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 754
Abstract
Assessing the effects of pollution in groundwaters is recently considered among the most relevant aims for subterranean biology; with this perspective, we aim to provide examples of the most relevant effects that pollution may cause on stygofauna community and underline patterns deserving further [...] Read more.
Assessing the effects of pollution in groundwaters is recently considered among the most relevant aims for subterranean biology; with this perspective, we aim to provide examples of the most relevant effects that pollution may cause on stygofauna community and underline patterns deserving further investigations. We retrieved different cases in which pollution caused alteration of groundwater trophic webs, favored invasions by epigean mesopredators, damaged stygobiont keystone species, and promoted interspecific competition between stygobionts and epigean animals. The results and the remarks derived from our perspective review underline that pollution may play multifaceted effects on groundwaters communities, and the paucity of information that exists on community-level changes and threats underlines the necessity for further studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Conservation Biology)
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