Protected Areas

Murat Ozyavuz

Namik Kemal University, Faculty of Agriculture, Department of Landscape Architecture


1. Introduction

Protected areas are essential for biodiversity conservation. They are the cornerstones of virtually all national and international conservation strategies, set aside to maintain functioning natural ecosystems, to act as refuges for species and to maintain ecological processes that cannot survive in most intensely managed landscapes and seascapes. Protected areas act as benchmarks against which we understand human interactions with the natural world. Today they are often the only hope we have of stopping many threatened or endemic species from becoming extinct (Dudley, 2008).

The original intent of the IUCN Protected Area Management Categories system was to create a common understanding of protected areas, both within and between countries. This is set out in the introduction to the Guidelines by the then Chair of CNPPA (Commission on National Parks and Protected Areas, now known as the World Commission on Protected Areas), P. H.C. (Bing) Lucas who wrote: "These guidelines have a special significance as they are intended for everyone involved in protected areas, providing a common language by which managers, planners, researchers, politicians and citizens groups in all countries can exchange information and views" (The International Union For Conservation of Nature [IUCN], 1994).

IUCN defines a protected area as:

“An area of land and/or sea especially dedicated to the protection of biological diversity, and of natural and associated cultural resources, and managed through legal or other effective means" (IUCN 1994).

Protected areas can be categorized into six types, according to their management objectives (IUCN, 1994; 2003):

Category I

Protected area managed mainly for science or wilderness protection (I(a) Strict Nature Reserves, and I(b) Wilderness Areas).

An area of land and/ or sea possessing some outstanding or representative ecosystems, geological or physiological features and/or species available primarily for research and/or environmental monitoring. A wilderness area is a large area of unmodified or slightly modified land and/or sea retaining its natural character and influence without permanent or significant habitation which is protected and managed so as to preserve its natural condition.

Category II

Protected area managed mainly for ecosystem protection and recreation (National Park).

A natural area of land and/or sea designated to (a) protect the ecological integrity of one or more ecosystems for present and future generations; (b) exclude exploitation or occupation inimical to the purposes of the area; and (c) provide foundation for spiritual, scientific, educational, recreational, and visitor opportunities all of which must be environmentally and culturally compatible.

Category III

Protected area managed mainly for conservation of specific natural features (Natural Monument).

An area containing one or more specific natural or natural/cultural feature which is of outstanding or unique value because of its inherent rarity, representative or aesthetic qualities or cultural significance.

Category IV

Protected area managed mainly for conservation through management intervention.

An area of land and/or sea subject to active intervention for management purposes so as to ensure the maintenance of habitats and/or to meet the requirements of specific species.

Category V

Protected area managed mainly for landscape/seascape conservation and recreation (Protected Landscape/Seascape).

An area with coast and sea, as appropriate, where the interaction of people and nature over time has produced an area with significant aesthetic, ecological and/or cultural value and often with high biological diversity. Safeguarding the integrity of this traditional interaction is vital to the protection, maintenance and evolution of such an area.

Category VI

Protected area managed mainly for the sustainable use of natural ecosystems (Managed Resource Protected Area)

An area containing predominantly unmodified natural systems managed to ensure long term protection and maintenance of biological diversity while providing at the same time a sustainable flow of natural products and services to meet community needs.

It is sometimes assumed that protected areas must be in conflict with the rights and traditions of indigenous and other traditional peoples on their terrestrial, coastal/marine, or freshwater domains. In reality, where indigenous peoples are interested in the conservation and traditional use of their lands, territories, waters, coastal seas and other resources, and their fundamental human rights are accorded, conflicts need not arise between those peoples’ rights and interests, and protected area objectives. Moreover, formal protected areas can provide a means to recognize and guarantee the efforts of many communities of indigenous and other traditional peoples who have long protected certain areas, such as sacred groves and mountains, through their own cultures (IUCN, 2000).

Based on the advice in the protected areas management categories, on established WWF and IUCN policies on indigenous peoples and conservation, and on conclusions and recommendations of the IV World Congress on National Parks and Protected Areas, the two organizations, WWF and IUCN/WCPA, have adopted principles and guidelines concerning indigenous rights and knowledge systems, consultation processes, agreements between conservation institutions, decentralization, local participation, transparency, accountability, sharing benefits and international responsibility. The five principles are as follows (IUCN, 2000):

Principle 1.

Indigenous and other traditional peoples have long associations with nature and a deep understanding of it. Often they have made significant contributions to the maintenance of many of the earth’s most fragile ecosystems, through their traditional sustainable resource use practices and culture-based respect for nature. Therefore, there should be no inherent conflict between the objectives of protected areas and the existence, within and around their borders, of indigenous and other traditional peoples.

Principle 2.

Agreements drawn up between conservation institutions, including protected area management agencies, and indigenous and other traditional peoples for the establishment and management of protected areas affecting their lands, territories, waters, coastal seas and other resources should be based on full respect for the rights of indigenous and other traditional peoples to traditional, sustainable use of their lands, territories, waters, coastal seas and other resources.

Principle 3.

The principles of decentralization, participation, transparency and accountability should be taken into account in all matters pertaining to the mutual interests of protected areas and indigenous and other traditional peoples.

Principle 4.

Indigenous and other traditional peoples should be able to share fully and equitably in the benefits associated with protected areas, with due recognition to the rights of other legitimate stakeholders.

Principle 5.

The rights of indigenous and other traditional peoples in connection with protected areas are often an international responsibility, since many of the lands, territories, waters, coastal seas and other resources which they own or otherwise occupy or use cross national boundaries, as indeed do many of the ecosystems in need of protection.

Financial Planning In Protected Areas

A financial plan is a tool which helps to determine the protected area’s funding requirements, and to match income sources with those needs. Financial planning differs from a budget in that, in addition to identifying how much money is needed for different types of activities, it also identifies the most appropriate funding sources for short, medium, and long-term needs. (IUCN, 2001)

Seven steps are required to develop a financial plan:

1. define protected area goals and objectives;

2. identify the existing customer base;

3. list financial resources and demands on these resources;

4. identify new customers and relative levels of use versus contribution;

5. identify mechanisms to capture income from customers;

6. evaluate the feasibility of the proposed mechanisms; and

7. clearly state the financial plan.

Protected Area Economic Benefits

A protected area also provides its customers with a number of goods and services. These could include goods such as thatching grasses, wild berries and genetic materials, and services such as biodiversity conservation, crop pollination, water purification, game viewing and recreational opportunities. Such goods and services provide society with a stream of benefits from the existence of the protected area. The benefits can be divided into two categories: so-called ‘use’ (comprising direct and indirect values) and ‘non-use’ (comprising option, bequest and existence values) benefits (IUCN, 2001).

The structure of an ecosystem includes the species contained therein, their mass, their arrangement, and other relevant information. This is the ecosystem’s standing stock — nature’s free goods. The functions of an ecosystem, on the other hand, are characterized by the ways in which the components of the system interact. They provide nature’s free services, maintaining clean air, pure water, a green earth, and a balance of creatures, enabling humans to obtain food, fiber, energy, and other material needs for survival. Evaluating the contribution of ecosystem functioning to human welfare is a complex task, involving human social values and political factors

Direct use values of protected areas derive from the actual use of the protected area for such activities as recreation, tourism, the harvesting of various natural or cultural resources, hunting and fishing, and educational services. Conversely, indirect use value sderive from the goods and services not directly provided by visits to protected areas. Notably these include ecological functions such as watershed protection, the provision of breeding or feeding habitat, climatic stabilization and nutrient recycling. Such indirect use values are often widespread and significant, but have been under-valued, if not totally ignored by past economic valuation systems. Indeed, most of the studies that have attempted to value these indirect goods and services have found that they have far greater value than the more easily measured direct values (Figure 1).

Total Economic Benefit

Подпись:Подпись: Direct Use Indirect Use Values ValuesNon-Use Values

Option Bequest Existence

Values Values Values

Fig. 1. Total economic benefit of protected areas (IUCN, 2001).

Option value refers to the potential for individuals or society to use the protected area in the future. For example, many people value a particular protected area even though they have never visited the park, but feel that at some future date they might like to do so.

Bequest value relates to the benefit of knowing that others (e. g. children or grandchildren) benefit or will benefit from the goods and services provided by the protected area. Finally, existence value derives from the benefit of knowing that the protected area exists and provides valuable goods and services. Even if they do not plan on ever visiting a particular protected area or protected area system, many people attach value to the more existence of such sites (e. g. for the indirect benefits they provide or as sources of local or national pride). (IUCN, 2001)

Updated: September 29, 2015 — 2:29 pm