Repository logo

Using perceived impacts, governance and social indicators to explain support for protected areas

Published version

Repository DOI



Change log


Jones, Nikoleta 
Malesios, Chrisovaladis 
McGinlay, James 
Villasante, Sebastian 
Svajda, Juraj 


jats:titleAbstract</jats:title> jats:pProtected areas (PAs) are the foremost policy tool for biodiversity conservation internationally. In order for PAs to deliver desired conservation outcomes effectively, equitably, and for the long-term, they require a high level of support from local communities. A mosaic of factors have been proposed aiming to explain the level of support for PAs focusing mainly on governance indicators, perceived social impacts and social attributes, such as personal norms and values. However, these factors are often explored in isolation and in studies of small scale within the scientific literature. To cover this research gap we run a structural equation model exploring how the interconnections between these factors can lead to higher levels of support for PAs using data from 3239 local residents in 10 PAs in Europe. Our analysis shows that the mediation effects of governance indicators, such as trust in institutions and level of public engagement, are important in explaining associations between an individual’s social profile and their perceived social impacts with public support. Our findings also provide a useful and operational framework for PA practitioners and researchers illuminating pathways to increase the level of public support for a PA.</jats:p>



4407 Policy and Administration, 44 Human Society, Generic health relevance, 15 Life on Land

Journal Title

Environmental Research Letters

Conference Name

Journal ISSN


Volume Title


IOP Publishing
European Research Council (802605)