Designating Protected Areas (PAs) is the most important policy tool for biodiversity conservation. Over 100 new PAs have been established in the past 36 months in European Union territory. However, effective management of PAs is often obstructed by conflicts mainly associated with the social impacts (SIs) imposed on local communities by their establishment. Despite the importance of these SIs there are certain aspects in this field that remain significantly under-researched. There is now an increasing need to incorporate SI assessments in decision making processes by providing a clear framework explaining how perceptions of these impacts are created and predicting their change in the future. This will support the achievement of international goals for biodiversity conservation and adaptation to climate change as well as better accounting for social justice issues for communities dependent on protected natural resources. The aim of FIDELIO is to develop for the first time a new paradigm in order to understand how perceptions of SIs are formulated taking into consideration the dimensions of space and time. FIDELIO will assist in increasing public engagement and the incorporation of local opinions in decision-making. It will also facilitate the process of policy development and a reduction in conflicts between different stakeholders in PAs. FIDELIO will last 5 years and its research objectives will be explored through the application of a mixed-methods approach including the implementation of two rounds of social surveys in 4 PAs across Europe and the testing of the framework in 15 additional PAs. This is an extremely timely project considering the steady increase of new PAs and the re-designation of current ones. FIDELIO will contribute to the better understanding of SIs and facilitate predictions for their change in the future, while assisting in maximizing social benefits for local communities arising from the designation of a PA.
Field of science
- /natural sciences/biological sciences/biodiversity conservation
Call for proposal
See other projects for this call