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Melvin Stephens, Estimating Program Benefits

Land use change around protected areas: Management to balance human needs and ecological function

Publication Abstract

DeFries, R., A. Hansen, B.L. Turner, Jianguo Liu, and R. Reid. 2007. "Land use change around protected areas: Management to balance human needs and ecological function." Ecological Applications, 17:1031-1038.

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.

DOI:10.1890/05-1111 (Full Text)

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