Improving social impact assessment of protected areas: A review of the literature and directions for future research

Jones, Nikoleta and McGinley, James and Dimitrakopoulos, Panagiotis (2017) Improving social impact assessment of protected areas: A review of the literature and directions for future research. Environmental Impact Assessment Review, 64. pp. 1-7. ISSN 0195-9255

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Protected areas are the most widely applied policy tool for biodiversity conservation. However, effective management of protected areas is often obstructed by conflicts mainly associated with the social impacts imposed on local communities and other users by their establishment. Despite the importance of these social impacts they remain significantly under-researched. There is now an increasing need to incorporate social impacts in decision making processes by providing accurate estimations and develop ways to forecast their change in the future. Considering the increase of studies identifying this need, the present paper aims to indicate three main directions that will assist in designing effective tools for measuring and most importantly understanding social impacts: a) perceptions on social impacts of individuals who are directly affected by protected areas need to be incorporated in management evaluation techniques in a meaningful and accurate way and be combined with objective measurements of impact; b) understanding the factors determining the actual and perceived levels of social impacts is a key step for the design of effective management frameworks of protected areas and c) social impacts should not be seen as static concepts but should be seen as a dynamic and long-term factor which needs to be incorporated in decision-making processes.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: protected areas, social impacts, biodiversity, social capital, place attachment
Faculty: ARCHIVED Faculty of Science & Technology (until September 2018)
Depositing User: Dr Nikoleta Jones
Date Deposited: 14 Mar 2017 14:52
Last Modified: 29 Apr 2022 15:25

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