Land Use Change Around Protected Areas: Management to Balance Human Needs and Ecological Function

Journal or Book Title: Ecological Applications

Keywords: Connectivity; greater ecosystem; land use change; protected areas; regional management; small loss-big gain opportunities; socioeconomic dynamics

Volume/Issue: 17/4

Page Number(s): 1031-1038

Year Published: 2007


Protected areas throughout the world are key for conserving biodiversity, and
land use is key for providing food, fiber, and other ecosystem services essential for human
sustenance. As land use change isolates protected areas from their surrounding landscapes, the
challenge is to identify management opportunities that maintain ecological function while
minimizing restrictions on human land use. Building on the case studies in this Invited Feature
and on ecological principles, we identify opportunities for regional land management that
maintain both ecological function in protected areas and human land use options, including
preserving crucial habitats and migration corridors, and reducing dependence of local human
populations on protected area resources. Identification of appropriate and effective management
opportunities depends on clear definitions of: (1) the biodiversity attributes of concern;
(2) landscape connections to delineate particular locations with strong ecological interactions
between the protected area and its surrounding landscape; and (3) socioeconomic dynamics
that determine current and future use of land resources in and around the protected area.

Type of Publication: Journal Article