National Parks and Protected Areas

A special issue of Land (ISSN 2073-445X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2022) | Viewed by 35212

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Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
1. Institute for National Parks, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
2. Department of Landscape Architecture, School of Architecture, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
Interests: national parks and protected areas; landscape planning and design; landscape architecture history and theory
1. Institute for National Parks, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
2. Department of Landscape Architecture, School of Architecture, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
Interests: national parks and protected areas; wilderness protection and rewilding; landscape planning and design

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Guest Editor
School of Geography, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK
Interests: wilderness; wildland; rewilding; landscape evaluation; GIS; spatial analysis; environmental modelling; participatory GIS

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The destruction and degradation of nature undermine biodiversity and human well-being. Protected areas (including national parks) represent one of the best ways to safeguard nature and preserve biodiversity for the benefit of all life on Earth. Protected areas put the focus on nature conservation while providing various types of ecosystem services and contributing to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Currently, most of the countries have some type of protected area. Many scholars have called for the expansion of the protected areas system to protect 30% or 50% (or even more) of the Earth in the next few decades.

While the protected areas system covers a vast area, involving many stakeholders and facing multiple threats, it is crucial to improve the management quality and develop innovative strategies to better realize effective conservation and sustainable development.

The purpose of this Special Issue is to invite academics and researchers to submit papers oriented to the planning and governance of national parks and protected areas. Potential topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Protected areas and the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework;
  • Climate change and protected areas;
  • Public health and protected areas;
  • Spatial planning and connectivity conservation of protected areas;
  • Wilderness conservation and rewilding in protected areas;
  • Community-based conservation and public participation in protected areas;
  • Recreation opportunities in protected areas;
  • Applying innovative methods, tools and technologies (e.g., remote sensing, big data analysis) in protected areas.

We look forward to receiving your contributions.

Prof. Dr. Rui Yang
Dr. Yue Cao
Dr. Steve Carver
Prof. Dr. Le Yu
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • protected areas
  • national parks
  • biodiversity
  • conservation
  • climate change
  • nature-based solutions
  • sustainable development goals

Published Papers (16 papers)

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Research

28 pages, 39561 KiB  
Article
New Approaches to Modelling Wilderness Quality in Iceland
by Steve Carver, Sif Konráðsdóttir, Snæbjörn Guðmundsson, Ben Carver and Oliver Kenyon
Land 2023, 12(2), 446; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12020446 - 09 Feb 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2774
Abstract
Much of Europe’s remaining wilderness areas are found in Iceland, yet few are formally protected despite ongoing threats from renewable energy exploitation and 4 × 4 usage. Robust and repeatable approaches are required to map wilderness landscape qualities in support of developing policy [...] Read more.
Much of Europe’s remaining wilderness areas are found in Iceland, yet few are formally protected despite ongoing threats from renewable energy exploitation and 4 × 4 usage. Robust and repeatable approaches are required to map wilderness landscape qualities in support of developing policy on designations that meet international standards. We present an approach to mapping wilderness that is based on internationally recognised methods and customised to suit the unique nature of Icelandic landscapes. We use spatially explicit models of wilderness attributes that measure human impact from vehicular access, land use and visible human features rather than relying on proxy measures such as buffer zones. Seventeen wilderness areas are identified across the Central Highlands and surrounding areas, totalling some 28,470 km2. These are compared to existing mapping projects. The character of these areas is described using additional spatial data models on openness, ruggedness and accessibility from settlements, together with information on mobile phone coverage and grazing patterns. This is the most detailed mapping of wilderness in Iceland to date and an important step towards the formal definition of boundaries of wilderness areas meeting IUCN Category 1b and Wild Europe Working Definition in Iceland. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue National Parks and Protected Areas)
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19 pages, 2297 KiB  
Article
Spatio-Temporal Variation of the Ecosystem Service Value in Qilian Mountain National Park (Gansu Area) Based on Land Use
by Lili Pu, Chengpeng Lu, Xuedi Yang and Xingpeng Chen
Land 2023, 12(1), 201; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12010201 - 07 Jan 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1606
Abstract
The value of ecosystem services and service capabilities continue to improve, and the way to form a path of resource industrialization development has become one of the important directions of sustainable development. This paper mainly takes the construction of national parks as a [...] Read more.
The value of ecosystem services and service capabilities continue to improve, and the way to form a path of resource industrialization development has become one of the important directions of sustainable development. This paper mainly takes the construction of national parks as a major opportunity and explores the temporal and spatial changes in the value of ecosystem services in Qilian Mountain National Park (Gansu area) and the construction path of the industrial system of national park construction. The total value of ecosystem services was calculated using a comprehensive index of the degree of land use, land contribution rate, ecological service value, equivalent factor of economic value, and the improved value coefficient of farmland ecological services, and then the Sensitivity index was used to reveal the dependence of the value of ecosystem services on the value index over time. The results showed the following: (1) Human disturbance factors in Qilian Mountain National Park (Gansu area) are weak, and the land use of Qilian Mountain National Park (Gansu Area) was mainly grassland, followed by unused land, forest land, and glacial snow, with the change in glacial snow cover being the largest. (2) The ecosystem of Qilian Mountain National Park (Gansu area) is strong, and the contribution rate of forest land, construction land, unused land, and glacial snow cover in Qilian Mountain National Park (Gansu Area) was positive, while cultivated land, grassland, and water area were negative. Among them, glacial snow cover contributed the most at 10.4723 the ecological barrier function plays a stable role. (3) The ecosystem service value (ESV) in Qilian Mountain National Park (Gansu Area) showed a fluctuating growth trend on the whole, showing the characteristics of high northwest and low southeast, among which the total value of grassland was the largest, the value of unused land was the smallest with the largest increase range, and the increase in water area was the smallest. (4) Qilian Mountain National Park (Gansu Area) is mainly based on regulated services, followed by support services, supply services, and cultural services, all showing a clear growth trend, increasing by 181.77%, 183.90%, 196.19%, and 170.38%, respectively. With the development of low-carbon economy and circular economy as the main idea, we aim to build a national park industrialization development path of direct product supply, indirect product supply, and basic guarantee. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue National Parks and Protected Areas)
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24 pages, 2873 KiB  
Article
Sustainability and Tourist Activities in Protected Natural Areas: The Case of Three Natural Parks of Andalusia (Spain)
by María Bahamonde-Rodríguez, Francisco Javier García-Delgado and Giedrė Šadeikaitė
Land 2022, 11(11), 2015; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11112015 - 11 Nov 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1979
Abstract
As a form of protection, a nature park is often created to protect and valorise natural and cultural heritage in peripheral rural areas. However, in terms of multifunctionality, new nature parks incorporate traditional productive activities, such as recreational and tourist activities, which sometimes [...] Read more.
As a form of protection, a nature park is often created to protect and valorise natural and cultural heritage in peripheral rural areas. However, in terms of multifunctionality, new nature parks incorporate traditional productive activities, such as recreational and tourist activities, which sometimes compromise sustainability. The research objective is to study the relationship between tourism and sustainability in the nature parks of Sierra de Aracena y Picos de Aroche, Sierra Norte de Sevilla and Sierra de Hornachuelos that make up the Dehesas de Sierra Morena Biosphere Reserve in Andalusia, Spain. Therefore, selective interviews have been carried out with the stakeholders to establish their perception of sustainable tourism and the presence of dominant discourses. The main conclusions indicate: (1) the presence of different dominant discourses on sustainability, namely the conservationist and mercantilist ones, with the prevalence of the economic dimension; (2) poor awareness and adaptation to the context of global change; and (3) the presence of competitive relationships that generate difficulties for the governance of sustainable tourism. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue National Parks and Protected Areas)
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17 pages, 2533 KiB  
Article
Ecological Network Construction of a National Park Based on MSPA and MCR Models: An Example of the Proposed National Parks of “Ailaoshan-Wuliangshan” in China
by Caihong Yang, Huijun Guo, Xiaoyuan Huang, Yanxia Wang, Xiaona Li and Xinyuan Cui
Land 2022, 11(11), 1913; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11111913 - 27 Oct 2022
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 1543
Abstract
The establishment of ecological networks facilitates genetic exchange among species in national parks and is an effective means of avoiding habitat fragmentation. Using the proposed “Ailaoshan-Wuliangshan” in Yunnan Province, China, as the study area, the identification of ecological source sites using the morphological [...] Read more.
The establishment of ecological networks facilitates genetic exchange among species in national parks and is an effective means of avoiding habitat fragmentation. Using the proposed “Ailaoshan-Wuliangshan” in Yunnan Province, China, as the study area, the identification of ecological source sites using the morphological spatial pattern analysis (MSPA) method, extraction of potential ecological corridors using the minimum resistance model (MCR) and construction of the ecological network of national parks were performed. Based on the gravity model, important ecological corridors were selected, and corresponding ecological network optimization strategies were presented. The results showed that (1) the core area identified by MSPA was 4440.08 km2, with a low degree of fragmentation, and is distributed in strips within the woodland land classes in the study area; (2) the establishment of an ecological network model of least cost resistance based on 10 indicators in four dimensions of land tenure, geographic factors, vegetation characteristics, and human meddling; (3) the ecological network included 13 ecological source sites, 77 potential ecological corridors, 48 important ecological corridors and 25 pedestrian pathways and extracts an optimal ecological corridor connecting with the natural reserve; and (4) the network closure degree of the constructed ecological network was (1.18), line point rate (3.08), network connectivity (1.12), and cost ratio (0.98). By using the proposed ecological network construction method, ecological patches and potential corridors can be accurately identified to ensure the integrity and connectivity of the national park while minimizing the land demand pressure of the surrounding communities, which provides some reference for the construction of other national parks’ ecological networks in China. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue National Parks and Protected Areas)
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15 pages, 3181 KiB  
Article
Study on Functional Zoning Method of National Park Based on MCDA: The Case of the Proposed “Ailaoshan-Wuliangshan” National Park
by Junze Liu, Xiaoyuan Huang, Huijun Guo, Zhuoya Zhang, Xiaona Li and Mengxiao Ge
Land 2022, 11(11), 1882; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11111882 - 23 Oct 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1854
Abstract
In a national park master plan, functional zoning plays a key role in developing differentiated zoning controls that achieve multiple park construction objectives. In this study, a geographical attribute code and basic zoning elements are developed for the proposed “Ailaoshan-Wuliangshan” National Park, followed [...] Read more.
In a national park master plan, functional zoning plays a key role in developing differentiated zoning controls that achieve multiple park construction objectives. In this study, a geographical attribute code and basic zoning elements are developed for the proposed “Ailaoshan-Wuliangshan” National Park, followed by the development of spatial multi-criteria sets and weight sets to determine the suitability of the land. Next, we use a clustering algorithm and conflict unit prioritization to allocate space for multi-target units to get the preliminary zoning schemes, and then identify stable units and unstable units through sensitivity analysis. Ultimately, the functional zoning of the National Park was determined. According to the results, the proposed “Ailaoshan-Wuliangshan” National Park can be divided into nine types of 164 landscape units; the highest land suitability values of each zone showed the traits of differentiation and aggregation in spatial distribution; there are 97 stable units and 67 unstable units; approximately 62.83% and 37.17% of the total park area can be divided into core conservation area (primary sensitive area and secondary sensitive area) and general control area (ecological activity area and ecological control area). By implementing a comprehensive assessment and decision-making process, the defined functional zones are precise and simple to recognize on the ground, and they adhere to the area proportions needed by national standards. Furthermore, the functional zoning is clustered, which avoids the fragmentation of the zoning results causing difficulties in management, and serves as a point of reference for the functional zoning approaches used in other proposed national parks in China. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue National Parks and Protected Areas)
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27 pages, 1584 KiB  
Article
Constructing a Model of Government Purchasing of Ecological Services: Evidence from China’s Northeast Tiger and Leopard National Park
by Hongge Zhu, Yutong Zhang, Yaru Chen, Menghan Zhao and Cao Bo
Land 2022, 11(10), 1737; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11101737 - 08 Oct 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1571
Abstract
The harmonious coexistence of man and nature is the primary goal of the establishment of national parks. Creating an ecological service supply model that takes into account the efficiency of ecological services, the fairness of residents’ livelihoods, and the reasonable distribution of rights [...] Read more.
The harmonious coexistence of man and nature is the primary goal of the establishment of national parks. Creating an ecological service supply model that takes into account the efficiency of ecological services, the fairness of residents’ livelihoods, and the reasonable distribution of rights and responsibilities is an important way of achieving that goal. China’s Northeast Tiger and Leopard National Park (NTLNP) is a typical national park with state-owned forest land as the main body. Before the establishment of the national park, state-owned forest enterprises (SOFEs) and local government forest departments (LGFDs) were always the undertakers of ecological services. Issues such as the distribution of rights and responsibilities between the NTLNP Administration, SOFEs, and LGFDs and the livelihood of forest workers need to be resolved urgently. This study takes the NTLNP as the study area and constructs a model of government purchasing of ecological services. The main results show the following: (1) The driving factors of the government purchasing of ecological services are increasing the workload of ecological services, the need for workforce transfer, and the optimization of subsidy standards. (2) In the construction of the responsibility system, the NTLNP Administration is the purchaser, SOFEs and Protection Stations are the undertakers, and groups such as third-party institutions and the public are the Supervisors and Evaluators. (3) Setting the purchase price in 2022 at CNY 47,654.44 per person while maintaining an average annual growth rate of 6.10% will match the per capita wage income level of urban workers nationwide in 2035. Based on the research results, it is proposed that payment for ecosystem services (PES) and ecological compensation (EC) have mature research paradigms in solving the problems of efficiency and fairness, but government purchasing of ecological services is a more appropriate policy tool in terms of arranging rights and responsibilities. This study attempts to construct a model of government purchasing of ecological services in order to provide a useful reference for national parks with state-owned land as the main body. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue National Parks and Protected Areas)
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17 pages, 3245 KiB  
Article
A Protected Area Connectivity Evaluation and Strategy Development Framework for Post-2020 Biodiversity Conservation
by Zhicong Zhao, Pei Wang, Xiaoshan Wang, Fangyi Wang, Tz-Hsuan Tseng, Yue Cao, Shuyu Hou, Jiayuan Peng and Rui Yang
Land 2022, 11(10), 1670; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11101670 - 27 Sep 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2666
Abstract
Maintaining and improving the connectivity of protected areas (PAs) is essential for biodiversity conservation. The Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) aims to expand the coverage of well-connected PAs and other effective area-based conservation measures to 30% by 2030. We proposed a framework to [...] Read more.
Maintaining and improving the connectivity of protected areas (PAs) is essential for biodiversity conservation. The Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) aims to expand the coverage of well-connected PAs and other effective area-based conservation measures to 30% by 2030. We proposed a framework to evaluate the connectivity of PAs and developed strategies to maintain and improve the connectivity of PAs based on PA connectivity indicators, and we applied this framework to China’s terrestrial PAs. We considered that the concept of PA connectivity is at the level of both PA patches and PA networks, including four aspects: intra-patch connectivity, inter-patch connectivity, network connectivity, and PA–landscape connectivity. We found that among China’s 2153 terrestrial PA patches, only 427 had good intra-patch connectivity, and their total area accounted for 11.28% of China’s land area. If inter-patch connectivity, network connectivity, and PA–landscape connectivity were taken as the criteria to evaluate PA connectivity, respectively, then the coverage of well-connected terrestrial PAs in China was only 4.07%, 8.30%, and 5.92%, respectively. Only seven PA patches have good connectivity of all four aspects, covering only 2.69% of China’s land. The intra-patch, inter-patch, network, and PA–landscape connectivity of China’s terrestrial PA network reached 93.41%, 35.40%, 58.43%, and 8.58%, respectively. These conclusions indicated that there is still a big gap between China’s PA connectivity and the Post-2020 GBF target, which urgently needs to be improved. We identified PA patches and PA networks of ecological zones that need to improve PA connectivity and identified improvement priorities for them. We also identified priority areas for connectivity restoration in existing PAs, potential ecological corridors between PAs, and priority areas for PA expansion to improve the connectivity of PAs in China. Application of our framework elsewhere should help governments and policymakers reach ambitious biodiversity conservation goals at national and global scales. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue National Parks and Protected Areas)
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17 pages, 1492 KiB  
Article
Examining Social Equity in the Co-Management of Terrestrial Protected Areas: Perceived Fairness of Local Communities in Giant Panda National Park, China
by Qiujin Chen, Yuqi Zhang, Yin Zhang and Mingliang Kong
Land 2022, 11(10), 1624; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11101624 - 22 Sep 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1725
Abstract
Social equity is imperative both morally and instrumentally in the governance of protected areas, as neglecting this consideration can result in feelings of injustice and thus jeopardize conservation objectives. Despite the progressive attention paid to conservation equity, few have linked it with co-management [...] Read more.
Social equity is imperative both morally and instrumentally in the governance of protected areas, as neglecting this consideration can result in feelings of injustice and thus jeopardize conservation objectives. Despite the progressive attention paid to conservation equity, few have linked it with co-management arrangements, especially in the context of terrestrial protected areas. This study assesses the fairness perceptions in China’s Giant Panda National Park from recognitional, procedural, and distributional dimensions, to further disclose their correlations with individuals’ characteristics and participation in co-management activities. The regression analysis shows that all co-management types (instruction, consultation, agreement, and cooperation) are significantly linked with certain directions of perceived social equity. One novel finding here is that alternative types of co-management activities are influencing social equity in different ways. In addition, our research discloses the effects of education across all equity categories, and location is merely significantly related to recognitional equity. These findings suggest more inclusive and empowered co-management endeavors to strive for more equitably managed protected areas. Crucial steps to advance this include extending participative channels, co-producing better compensation plans, strengthening locals’ conservation capabilities, etc. Herein, this study appeals to a greater focus on social equity issues in co-management regimes, and tailored actions should be taken to tackle specific local problems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue National Parks and Protected Areas)
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26 pages, 2656 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of Cultural Ecosystem Service Functions in National Parks from the Perspective of Benefits of Community Residents
by Peng Wang, Nan Li, Yating He and Youjun He
Land 2022, 11(9), 1566; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11091566 - 14 Sep 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2029
Abstract
The ecosystem of national parks bears some cultural features. How the cultural ecosystem service functions are perceived by the public and how the cultural ecosystem service functions shape the public’s cognition have become urgent scientific questions. This paper performs a case analysis on [...] Read more.
The ecosystem of national parks bears some cultural features. How the cultural ecosystem service functions are perceived by the public and how the cultural ecosystem service functions shape the public’s cognition have become urgent scientific questions. This paper performs a case analysis on the Qianjiangyuan National Park System Pilot Area, a representative national park in China, which clarifies the main types of cultural ecosystem service functions from the perspective of the landscape aesthetics benefits of community residents, and analyze the varied impacts of demographics on functional cognition. On this basis, the entropy weight method was adopted to evaluate the importance of each function. Fuzzy comprehensive evaluation was employed to assess the composite level of the cultural service functions. The results show that: (1) the community residents value the benefits brought by the national park the most in terms of the ecological improvement function, and the situation is consistent across the four towns/townships; by contrast, the community residents attach the least importance to the benefits in terms of system governance function. (2) Except for the years of local residence, the community residents’ cognition of different cultural ecosystem service functions may vary significantly, owing to factors like gender, age, education level, occupation, and annual mean income. (3) Concerning the importance of functional indices, the importance scores of the natural experience functions, humanistic concern functions, and social service functions are 0.3286, 0.3503, and 0.3211, respectively. The community residents had a moderate to high level of cognition for the cultural ecosystem service functions (3.99). The different types of functions can be sorted by effectiveness as: the social service functions (4.11) > natural experience functions (4.03) > humanistic concern functions (3.86). The research results provide a reference for improving the management level of national parks, and ease the increasingly prominent contradiction between people and land. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue National Parks and Protected Areas)
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17 pages, 1407 KiB  
Article
Revealing Changes in the Management Capacity of the Three-River-Source National Park, China: An Application of the Best Practice-Based Evaluation Method
by Xianyang Liu, Qingwen Min and Wenjun Jiao
Land 2022, 11(9), 1565; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11091565 - 14 Sep 2022
Viewed by 1074
Abstract
Management evaluation is increasingly required for national parks worldwide as it is an essential mechanism for improving management levels and achieving management objectives. The management capacity evaluation (MCE), an integral component of management evaluation, emphasizes the suitability of management measures. It helps identify [...] Read more.
Management evaluation is increasingly required for national parks worldwide as it is an essential mechanism for improving management levels and achieving management objectives. The management capacity evaluation (MCE), an integral component of management evaluation, emphasizes the suitability of management measures. It helps identify the deficiencies in existing management measures and form feedback to improve them, thus increasing the overall management level of national parks. However, the existing MCE methods from international programs suffer from limited adaptability and are difficult to promote in other countries. In this research, we apply the best practice-based (BPB) method to the Three-River-Sources National Park (TNP), the first national park in China, to reveal the changes in its management capacity during the pilot period. The BPB method is new compared with other MCE methods, but is more adaptable to the current situation of China’s national parks. Results show that TNP’s comprehensive management capacity and the five aspects of management capacities improved effectively, which means the management measures adopted during the pilot phase were generally appropriate and practicable. Some management capacities, such as management organization, legal system construction, management planning, and natural resources confirmation and registration performed well or improved significantly during the pilot period, providing beneficial lessons for other national parks in China. Some management capacities, such as the ecological compensation scheme, monitoring and early warning system, and management team, are still deficient and should be prioritized for future improvement. The effectiveness and operability of the BPB method are validated in this research, as it provides a rapid and accurate diagnosis of TNP’s management capacities and useful feedback for improving them. We submit that the BPB method not only contributes to the theoretical improvement of MCE methods, but also shows wider adaptability to different protected area types and countries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue National Parks and Protected Areas)
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23 pages, 9909 KiB  
Article
Knowledge Mapping on Nepal’s Protected Areas Using CiteSpace and VOSviewer
by Liang Chang, Teiji Watanabe, Hanlin Xu and Jiho Han
Land 2022, 11(7), 1109; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11071109 - 19 Jul 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2804
Abstract
Protected areas (PAs) play a vital role in environmental conservation, particularly in Asian countries. Numerous studies were conducted on PAs in Nepal. We analyzed 864 papers from the Web of Science database using two visualization tools: VOSviewer and CiteSpace. This study identified the [...] Read more.
Protected areas (PAs) play a vital role in environmental conservation, particularly in Asian countries. Numerous studies were conducted on PAs in Nepal. We analyzed 864 papers from the Web of Science database using two visualization tools: VOSviewer and CiteSpace. This study identified the most influential journals, institutions, countries, and regions. In addition, we investigated the changing trend of research hotspots on PAs in Nepal. Keyword mapping was conducted for each type of PA and their differences were compared. We found that the research hotspots are changing with the shifting of conservation policies in Nepal. We suggest conducting more predictive studies on the future development of PAs. Currently, PA research is mainly conducted in traditional disciplines, but with the impact of climate change and the consequent increase in its negative impacts, academic contributions from other disciplines are expected to increase much more. We found that there was a shift in research power in countries and regions. We also detected an imbalanced distribution in which “protected areas” and “national parks” have been studied the most. Only 12 publications were about the hunting reserve, despite its importance to snow leopard conservation and economic significance to the buffer zone communities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue National Parks and Protected Areas)
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19 pages, 697 KiB  
Article
Estimating the Probability of Visiting a Protected Natural Space and Its Conditioning Factors: The Case of the Monfragüe Biosphere Reserve (Spain)
by Marcelino Sánchez-Rivero, Juan de la Cruz Sánchez-Domínguez and Mª Cristina Rodríguez-Rangel
Land 2022, 11(7), 1032; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11071032 - 07 Jul 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1257
Abstract
Spain is the European country with the highest percentage of protected areas (27.4% of its total surface area) and the country with the highest number of Biosphere Reserves, with 53. Extremadura, the region that we analyze in our study, has a total of [...] Read more.
Spain is the European country with the highest percentage of protected areas (27.4% of its total surface area) and the country with the highest number of Biosphere Reserves, with 53. Extremadura, the region that we analyze in our study, has a total of 89 Special Conservation Areas and 71 Special Protection Areas, Monfragüe being one of them. In this context, the aim of this paper is to determine which factors have an influence on the decision to visit Monfragüe. We perform a regression analysis using a logit model, which shows that the only four factors that influence the decision to visit Monfragüe are gender, travelling with one’s partner or family, the type of accommodation, and the importance given to nature conservation. We also analyze the structural change using the Chow test, which shows that there are no structural changes, i.e., that the probability of visiting Monfragüe in the high or low season is not significantly different. In the case of Monfragüe, ecotourism is not currently practiced en masse; only 3 out of 10 tourists practice ecotourism in Monfragüe, which is important for the sustainable management of the park because the number of tourists it receives each year is within its carrying capacity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue National Parks and Protected Areas)
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17 pages, 4978 KiB  
Article
Local Residents’ Social-Ecological Adaptability of the Qilian Mountain National Park Pilot, Northwestern China
by Jing Li, Guoqiang Ma, Jinghua Feng, Liying Guo and Yinzhou Huang
Land 2022, 11(5), 742; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11050742 - 17 May 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1885
Abstract
Protected areas are critical for biodiversity conservation and ecosystem services. In the last few years, there has been growing recognition of the role of indigenous peoples and local communities in the management of government designated protected areas, and thus their perceptions and adaptability [...] Read more.
Protected areas are critical for biodiversity conservation and ecosystem services. In the last few years, there has been growing recognition of the role of indigenous peoples and local communities in the management of government designated protected areas, and thus their perceptions and adaptability were paid much attention. Drawing on a survey of 487 residents in the Qilian Mountain National Park Pilot of Northwestern China, this study used the adaptive analysis framework to study the adaptability of local residents. The main contribution of this paper is to select a typical social-ecological system to study the adaptability of local residents, and using Elinor Ostrom’s Social-Ecological System framework to analyze the adaptability mechanism. The results show that different types of residents had different adaptability to environmental change. People whose income mainly depends on work salary with a small part of herding have the highest level of adaptability, while people whose income mostly comes from farming with a small part of herding have the lowest level. This result is related to people’s living location, as people living in the core zone and buffer zone of the reserve mainly earned from grazing, and people living in the experimental zone and peripheral zone earned mainly from outside work. Moreover, people living in the core zone and buffer zone are mostly elders and ethnic groups, while people in the experimental zone and buffer zone are Han people. To improve management effectiveness and to avoid conflict between local residents and managers, this paper suggests that more attention should be paid to these who have lived for a long time in the core zone and buffer zone. They are the most vulnerable groups and show low adaptability in almost all domains. For the long run, education quality should be improved to decrease the population in the reserve. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue National Parks and Protected Areas)
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19 pages, 3439 KiB  
Article
Interactive Effects on Habitat Quality Using InVEST and GeoDetector Models in Wenzhou, China
by Xue Zhang, Lingyun Liao, Zhengduo Xu, Jiayu Zhang, Mengwei Chi, Siren Lan and Qiaochun Gan
Land 2022, 11(5), 630; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11050630 - 24 Apr 2022
Cited by 23 | Viewed by 3041
Abstract
Global urbanisation has accelerated in recent years, especially in rapidly growing coastal cities, and the destruction of habitat and natural resources has intensified. Although much attention has been paid to the study of habitat quality, there are still gaps in our understanding of [...] Read more.
Global urbanisation has accelerated in recent years, especially in rapidly growing coastal cities, and the destruction of habitat and natural resources has intensified. Although much attention has been paid to the study of habitat quality, there are still gaps in our understanding of the factors that influence it and their interactions. In this study, the InVEST habitat quality evaluation model and the GeoDetector model were used to construct a framework for analysing the dynamic changes in habitat quality and their influencing factors from 1992 to 2015. Wenzhou City, Zhejiang Province, China, was selected as the study area. The new framework extends studies on habitat quality change to annual analysis and reduces the lag between the actual change and the mapping time. The interactions between natural and anthropogenic factors are explored, and the effects of different types of land use conversion on habitat quality are further discussed. The results show that: (1) During the study period, cultivated and construction land areas in Wenzhou City increased the most, and forest land area decreased the most. (2) Habitat quality in Wenzhou City was generally good during the study period, but it showed a declining trend from year to year, and the distribution of habitat quality decreased from west to east. (3) The interactions between land use change and annual precipitation change and those between land use change and population density change have the most significant impact on habitat quality. The conversion of forest land to cultivated land, conversion of water area to cultivated land, and conversion of forest land to building land have the greatest impact on habitat quality. The results of the study can provide recommendations for ecological restoration, optimal integration of protected areas, and provide a reference for the healthy and sustainable development of coastal regions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue National Parks and Protected Areas)
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18 pages, 2749 KiB  
Article
Understanding Residents’ Perceptions of the Ecosystem to Improve Park–People Relationships in Wuyishan National Park, China
by Siyuan He and Yang Su
Land 2022, 11(4), 532; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11040532 - 06 Apr 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2030
Abstract
A healthy park–people relationship depends essentially on the fair and sustainable maintenance of rural livelihood. When a protected area is designated, rural people may face restrictions on access to land and resource use. In Wuyishan of China, we analyzed the role of traditional [...] Read more.
A healthy park–people relationship depends essentially on the fair and sustainable maintenance of rural livelihood. When a protected area is designated, rural people may face restrictions on access to land and resource use. In Wuyishan of China, we analyzed the role of traditional tea cultivation during consistent protected area management to find ways to maintain the stability of this social-ecological system in the new national park era. Based on the social-ecological system meaning perception, we used an intensive social survey to investigate residents’ perception of the ecosystem in terms of tea cultivation and its interaction with conservation policies. Results showed that tea cultivation brought major household income and was associated with multiple cultural services. Protected area management affected land use, and conservation outcomes were more obvious to farmers than economic and social ones. We argue that the multi-functionality of the forest-tea system has the potential to benefit both the local people and the public through conservation-compatible activities at three levels: to regulate biophysical elements in the land plot, to link production and market at the mountain level, and to secure tenure and encourage community participation at the landscape level. This knowledge co-production approach revealed that to avoid a negative park–people relationship, traditional knowledge and people’s right to benefit must be respected. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue National Parks and Protected Areas)
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17 pages, 2205 KiB  
Article
The Intention of Community Participation in the Qilian Mountain National Park Policy Pilot
by Liqi Jia, Junqing Wei and Zibin Wang
Land 2022, 11(2), 170; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11020170 - 21 Jan 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2236
Abstract
As a management strategy, community participation is to implement the coordinated development of communities and protected areas. In recent years, the development of China’s national parks has faced many challenges related to human and environmental constraints. Community participation plays an essential role in [...] Read more.
As a management strategy, community participation is to implement the coordinated development of communities and protected areas. In recent years, the development of China’s national parks has faced many challenges related to human and environmental constraints. Community participation plays an essential role in solving such issues. As one of the critical indicators to test community participation, community residents’ willingness to participate significantly impacts community participation in constructing national parks. As such, this study was conducted using the extended model of the theory of planned behavior (TPB) and the structural equation model. Taking the Tianzhu county and Sunan Yugu county as examples, and based on 230 valid questionnaires, we investigated the impacts of the Qilian Mountain National Park System Pilot Area on community residents’ willingness to participate and provided relevant suggestions for amendments. The results indicated that, for the Qilian Mountain National Park System Pilot Area, behavioral attitude, subjective norms, and perceptual behavior control positively impacted the participation intention of community residents. At the same time, the variables mentioned above positively impacted the implementation of the participation intention of community residents. Specifically, the order of impacts is as follows: perceptual behavior control (path coefficient = 0.89) > participation behavior attitude (path coefficient = 0.68) > related impact system (path coefficient = 0.41) > subjective norms (path coefficient = 0.38). According to the results, we put forward three suggestions: (1) providing relevant instructions and guidance on various methods to ensure that the pilot policies on the construction of national parks can form a positive relationship with the participation intentions of the community residents; (2) making full use of the function of perceptual behavior control, so the subjective initiative of community residents can be maximized, thereby enhancing the willingness of community residents to participate in constructing national parks; and (3) strengthening the impacts of subjective norms, enhancing the soft culture of national park communities’ participation, reshaping the community cultural landscapes with the goal of constructing national parks, and establishing community residents’ sense of honor as the builders of national parks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue National Parks and Protected Areas)
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