Social impacts of European Protected Areas and policy recommendations.

Change log
Graziano, Mariagrazia 
Dimitrakopoulos, Panayiotis G 

Effective designation of Protected Areas (PAs) requires the careful consideration of their social impacts as these are perceived by people. These refer to a variety of issues such as the distribution of power, social equity, social relations and more importantly the impact of PAs on human wellbeing. A number of studies have emerged in the past decade aiming to capture social impacts of PAs across the world through non-monetary assessments taking into consideration people's perceptions. Although Europe is the region with the largest in proportion number of Protected Areas across the world it is also a region with very limited scientific evidence on this topic. As the European Union is preparing to implement its new Biodiversity Strategyto ipkmplement this paper aims to provide the first comprehensive review of the literature regarding social impacts of European PAs and highlight new directions for current policy frameworks in the region. The paper focuses on the perceived non-economic social costs and benefits of PAs and identifies 7 key categories of social impacts. We propose that policy planning for biodiversity conservation in Europe should incorporate subjective assessments of social costs and benefits with the aim to achieve an increase of benefits for people and their equal distribution across social groups.

Benefits, EU Biodiversity Strategy, Human rights, Social costs, Social equity, Wellbeing
Journal Title
Environ Sci Policy
Conference Name
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Elsevier BV
European Research Council (802605)