Biodiversity & Conservation

, Volume 14, Issue 7, pp 1641-1661

First online:

Towards sustainable land use: identifying and managing the conflicts between human activities and biodiversity conservation in Europe

  • Juliette YoungAffiliated withCentre for Ecology and Hydrology (Banchory) Email author 
  • , Allan WattAffiliated withCentre for Ecology and Hydrology (Banchory)
  • , Peter NowickiAffiliated withECNC
  • , Didier AlardAffiliated withUniversity of Rouen
  • , Jeremy ClitherowAffiliated withEnglish Nature
  • , Klaus HenleAffiliated withUFZ Leipzig-Halle
  • , Richard JohnsonAffiliated withSwedish University of Agricultural Sciences
  • , Endre LaczkoAffiliated withUniversity of Basel
  • , Davy McCrackenAffiliated withScottish Agricultural College
    • , Simone MatouchAffiliated withARGE
    • , Jari NiemelaAffiliated withUniversity of Helsinki
    • , Caspian RichardsAffiliated withMacaulay Institute

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Conflicts between biodiversity conservation and human activities are becoming increasingly apparent in all European landscapes. The intensification of agricultural and silvicultural practices, land abandonment and other land uses such as recreation and hunting are all potential threats to biodiversity that can lead to conflicts between stakeholder livelihoods and biodiversity conservation. To address the global decline in biodiversity there is, therefore, a need to identify the drivers responsible for conflicts between human activities and the conservation of European biodiversity and to promote the management of these conflicts. Here, the drivers of biodiversity conflicts are analysed in a European context for five habitat types: agricultural landscapes, forests, grasslands, uplands and freshwater habitats. A multi- disciplinary approach to conflict management is described, with active stakeholder involvement at every stage of conflict identification and management as well as a range of other approaches including stakeholder dialogue and education, consumer education, improvement of political and legislative frameworks, financial incentives, and planning infrastructure.


Biodiversity Conflict Conflict management Conservation Participation Stakeholder Sustainable development