5 years ago

Prospects for stakeholder coordination by protected-area managers in Europe

Harald Vacik, Brady J. Mattsson
Growing resource demands by humans, invasive species, natural hazards, and a changing climate are creating broad-scale impacts and have created the need for broader-extent conservation activities that span ownerships and even political borders. Implementing regional-scale conservation brings great challenges, and learning how to overcome these challenges is essential for maintaining biodiversity (i.e., richness and evenness of biological communities) and ecosystem functions and services across scales and borders in the face of system change. We administered an online survey to examine factors potentially driving perspectives of protected area (PA) managers regarding coordination with neighboring PAs and other stakeholders (i.e., stakeholder coordination) for conserving biodiversity and ecosystem services during the next decade within diverse regions across Europe. Although >70% of responding PA managers indicated that climate change and invasive species are relevant for their PAs, they gave <50% chance that these threats could be mitigated through stakeholder coordination. They did, however, give >60% chance that stakeholder coordination would take place with the aim to improve conservation outcomes. Consistent with the foundation upon which many European PAs was established, managers viewed maintaining or enhancing biodiversity as the most important (>70%) expected benefit. Other important benefits included maintaining or enhancing human resources and environmental education (range of Bayesian credibility intervals [CIs]: 57–93%). The main barriers to stakeholder coordination were the lack of human and economic resources (CI: 59–67% chance of hindering) followed by communication and inter-stakeholder differences in political structures and laws (range of CIs: 51–64% chance of hindering). European policies and strategies that address these hindering factors could be particularly effective means of enabling implementation of green infrastructure networks, with PAs serving as the nodes. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1111/cobi.12966

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