Advertisement

Environmental Management

, Volume 51, Issue 5, pp 1025–1033 | Cite as

Human Activities in Natura 2000 Sites: A Highly Diversified Conservation Network

  • Maria A. TsiafouliEmail author
  • Evangelia Apostolopoulou
  • Antonios D. Mazaris
  • Athanasios S. Kallimanis
  • Evangelia G. Drakou
  • John D. Pantis
Article

Abstract

The Natura 2000 network was established across the European Union’s (EU) Member States with the aim to conserve biodiversity, while ensuring the sustainability of human activities. However, to what kind and to what extent Natura 2000 sites are subject to human activities and how this varies across Member States remains unspecified. Here, we analyzed 111,269 human activity records from 14,727 protected sites in 20 Member States. The frequency of occurrence of activities differs among countries, with more than 86 % of all sites being subjected to agriculture or forestry. Activities like hunting, fishing, urbanization, transportation, and tourism are more frequently recorded in south European sites than in northern or eastern ones. The observed variations indicate that Natura 2000 networks are highly heterogeneous among EU Member States. Our analysis highlights the importance of agriculture in European landscapes and indicates possible targets for policy interventions at national, European, or “sub-European” level. The strong human presence in the Natura 2000 network throughout Member States, shows that conservation initiatives could succeed only by combining social and ecological sustainability and by ensuring the integration of policies affecting biodiversity.

Keywords

Agriculture Biodiversity Conservation policy Protected areas Habitats directive Birds directive 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The work was supported by the EU FP7 SCALES Project (“Securing the Conservation of biodiversity across Administrative Levels and spatial, temporal and Ecological Scales”; Project #226852).

Supplementary material

267_2013_36_MOESM1_ESM.docx (32 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 32 kb)

References

  1. Apostolopoulou E, Pantis JD (2009) Conceptual gaps in the national strategy for the implementation of the European Natura 2000 conservation policy in Greece. Biol Conserv 142:221–237CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Apostolopoulou E, Pantis JD (2010) Development plans versus conservation: explanation of emergent conflicts and state political handling. Environ Plan A 42:982–1000CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Apostolopoulou E, Drakou E, Pantis JD (2012a) Unraveling stakeholders’ discourses regarding sustainable development and biodiversity conservation in Greece. In: Ghenai C (ed) Sustainable Development/Book 3. InTech Publications, Croatia, pp 405–430Google Scholar
  4. Apostolopoulou E, Drakou E, Santoro F, Pantis JD (2012b) Investigating the barriers to adopting a “human-in-nature” view in Greek biodiversity conservation. Inter J Sust Dev World Ecol 19:515–525. doi: 10.1080/13504509.2012.707991 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Armitage DR, Plummer R, Berkes F, Arthur RI, Charles AT, Davidson-Hunt IJ, Diduck AP, Doubleday NC, Johnson DS, Marschke M, McConney P, Pinkerton EW, Wollenberg EK (2009) Adaptive co-management for social-ecological complexity. Front Ecol Environ 7:95–102CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Balmford A, Moore JL, Brooks T, Burgess N, Hansen LA, Williams P, Rahbek C (2001) Conservation conflicts across Africa. Science 291:2616–2619CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Borzel TA (2000) Why there is no ‘southern problem’. On environmental leaders and laggards in the European Union. J Eur Public Policy 7:141–162CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Burgess ND, Balmford A, Cordeiro NJ, Fjeldsa J, Kuper W, Rahbek C, Sanderson EW, Scharlemann JPW, Sommer JH, Williams PH (2007) Correlations among species distributions, human density and human infrastructure across the high biodiversity tropical mountains of Africa. Biol Conser 134:164–177CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Byron H, Arnold L (2008) TEN-T and Natura 2000: the way forward. An assessment of the potential impact of the TEN-T Priority Projects on Natura 2000. BirdLife International, RSPB, Bankwatch Network, BEE, T&E. http://www.birdlife.org/eu/pdfs/TEN_T_report2008_final.pdf. Accessed 25 Jan 2013
  10. Chapin FS III, Carpenter SR, Kofinas GP, Folke C, Abel N, Clark WC, Olsson P, Stafford Smith DM, Walker BH, Young OR, Berkes F, Biggs R, Grove JM, Naylor RL, Pinkerton E, Steffen W, Swanson FJ (2009) Ecosystem stewardship: sustainability strategies for a rapidly changing planet. Trends Ecol Evol 25:241–249CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Corlett RT (2007) The impact of hunting on the mammalian fauna of tropical Asian forests. Biotropica 39:292–303CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Dharmaratne GS, Sang FY, Walling LJ (2000) Tourism potentials for financing protected areas. Ann Tourism Res 27:590–610CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. EEA (2010) 10 messages for 2010 agricultural ecosystems. EEA, DenmarkGoogle Scholar
  14. ETC/BD (2008) Online report on Article 17 of the Habitats Directive: conservation status of habitats & species of Community interest (2001–2006). European Topic Centre on Biological Diversity. http://bd.eionet.europa.eu/article17. Accessed 25 Jan 2013
  15. European Commission (2000) Natura 2000 standard data form: explanatory notes. European Commission, BrusselsGoogle Scholar
  16. European Community (1992) Council Directive 92/43/EEC “on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora”Google Scholar
  17. Evans D (2012) Building the European Union’s Natura 2000 network. Nat Cons 1:11–26. doi: 10.3897/natureconservation.1.1808 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. FN (Facenatura 2000) (2012). http://www.facenatura2000.net. Accessed 25 Jan 2013
  19. Folke C (2006) Resilience: the emergence of a perspective for social-ecological systems analyses. Glob Environ Change 16:253–267CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Gruber B, Evans D, Henle K, Bauch B, Schmeller DS, Dziock F, Henry P-Y, Szabolcs L, Margules C, Dormann CF (2012) “Mind the gap!”—How well does Natura 2000 cover species of European interest? Nat Conserv 3:21–45. doi: 10.3897/natureconservation.3.3732 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Gustafsson L, Baker SC, Bauhus J, Beese WJ, Brodie A, Kouki J, Lindenmayer DB, Lõhmus A, Pastur GM, Messier C, Neyland M, Palik B, Sverdrup-Thygeson A, Volney WJA, Wayne A, Frankling JF (2012) Retention forestry to maintain multifunctional forests: a world perspective. Bioscience 62:633–645. doi: 10.1525/bio.2012.62.7.6 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Hails RS (2002) Assessing the risks associated with new agricultural practices. Nature 418:685–688CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Hassan R, Scholes R, Ash N (2005) Ecosystems and human well-being: current state and trends, vol 1. Island Press, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  24. Henle K, Alard D, Clitherow J, Cobb P, Firbank L, Kull T, Mccracken D, Moritz RFA, Niemela J, Rebane M, Wascher D, Watt A, Young J (2008) Identifying and managing the conflicts between agriculture and biodiversity conservation in Europe—a review. Agric Ecosyst Environ 124:60–71CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Jaeger JA, Bertiller R, Schwick C, Müller K, Steinmeier C, Ewald KC, Ghazoul J (2008) Implementing landscape fragmentation as an indicator in the Swiss Monitoring System of Sustainable Development (Monet). J Environ Manage 88:737–751CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Kallimanis AS, Tsiafouli MA, Pantis JD, Mazaris AD, Matsinos Y, Sgardelis SP (2008) Arable land and habitat diversity in Natura 2000 sites in Greece. J Biol Res 9:55–66Google Scholar
  27. Loibooki M, Hofer H, Campbell KLI, East ML (2002) Bushmeat hunting by communities adjacent to the Serengeti national park, Tanzania: the importance of livestock ownership and alternative sources of protein and income. Environ Conserv 29:391–398CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Loucks C, Ricketts TH, Naidoo R, Lamoreux J, Hoekstra J (2008) Explaining the global pattern of protected area coverage: relative importance of vertebrate biodiversity, human activities and agricultural suitability. J Biogeog 35:1337–1348CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. MA (Millennium Ecosystem Assessment) (2005) Ecosystems and Human Well-being. World Island Press, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  30. McKee JK, Sciulli PW, Fooce CD, Waite TA (2004) Forecasting global biodiversity threats associated with human population growth. Biol Conserv 115:161–164CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Natura 2000 (2008) Business & Biodiversity. Opportunities for Natura 2000. European Commission DG Env Nature Newsletter 24. http://ec.europa.eu/environment/nature/info/pubs/docs/nat2000newsl. Accessed 25 Jan 2013
  32. Pickering CM, Hill W (2007) Impacts of recreation and tourism on plant biodiversity and vegetation in protected areas in Australia. J Environ Manag 85:791–800CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Piorr A, Ungaro F, Ciancaglini A, Happe K, Sahrbacher A, Sattler C, Uthes S, Zander P (2009) Integrated assessment of future cap policies: land use changes, spatial patterns and targeting. Environ Sci Policy 12:1122–1136CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Pressey RL, Whish GL, Barrett TW, Watts ME (2002) Effectiveness of protected areas in North-Eastern New South Wales: recent trends in six measures. Biol Conserv 106:57–69CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Pridham G (1996) Environmental policies and problems of European legislation in Southern Europe. South Eur Soc Politics 1:47–73Google Scholar
  36. Pullin AS, Baldi A, Can OE, Dieterich M, Kati V, Livoreil B, Lovei G, Mihok B, Nevin O, Selva N, Sousa-Pinto I (2009) Conservation focus on Europe: major conservation policy issues that need to be informed by conservation science. Conserv Biol 23:818–824CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Rands MRW, Adams WM, Bennun L, Butchart SHM, Clements A, Coomes D, Entwistle A, Hodge I, Kapos V, Scharlemann JPW, Sutherland WJ, Vira B (2010) Biodiversity conservation: challenges beyond 2010. Science 329:1298–1303CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Rauschmayer F, Berghöfer A, Omann I, Zikos D (2009) Examining processes or/and outcomes? Evaluation concepts in European governance of natural resources. Environ Policy Gov 19:159–173CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Robinson JG, Bennett EL (2004) Having your wildlife and eating it too: an analysis of hunting sustainability across tropical ecosystems. Anim Conserv 7:397–408CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Rouget M, Richardson DM, Cowling RM (2003) The current configuration of protected areas in the cape floristic region, South Africa—reservation bias and representation of biodiversity patterns and processes. Biol Conserv 112:129–145CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Scherr SJ, Mcneely JA (2008) Biodiversity conservation and agricultural sustainability: towards a new paradigm of ‘ecoagriculture’ landscapes. Philos Trans Royal Soc B 363:477–494CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Schmeller D, Maier A, Evans D, Henle K (2012) National responsibilities for conserving habitats—a freely scalable method. Nat Conserv 3:21–44. doi: 10.3897/natureconservation.3.3710 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Selva N, Kreft S, Kati V, Schluck M, Jonsson BG, Mihok B, Okarma H, Ibisch PL (2011) Roadless and low-traffic areas as conservation targets in Europe. Environ Manag 48:865–877CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Sinclair ARE, Mduma SAR, Arcese P (2002) Protected areas as biodiversity benchmarks for human impact: agriculture and the Serengeti Avifauna. Proc Royal Soc B 269:2401–2405CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Thompson K, Jones A (1999) Human population density and prediction of local plant extinction in Britain. Conserv Biol 13:185–189CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Tilman D (1999) Global environmental impacts of agricultural expansion: the need for sustainable and efficient practices. Proc Nat Ac Sci USA 96:5995–6000CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Tzanopoulos J, Kallimanis AS, Bella I, Labrianidis L, Sgardelis S, Pantis JD (2011) Agricultural decline and sustainable development on mountain areas in Greece: sustainability assessment of future scenarios. L Use Policy 28:585–593CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Tzanopoulos J, Mouttet R, Letourneau A, Vogiatzakis IN, Potts SG, Henle K, Mathevet R, Marty P (2012) Scale sensitivity of drivers of environmental change across Europe. Glob Environ Chang 23:167–178. doi: 10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2012.09.002 Google Scholar
  49. Underwood EC, Klausmeyer KR, Morrison SA, Bode M, Shaw MR (2009) Evaluating conservation spending for species return: a retrospective analysis in California. Conserv Lett 2:130–137CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Urquiza-Haas T, Peres CA, Dolman PM (2009) Regional scale effects of human density and forest disturbance on large-bodied vertebrates throughout the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico. Biol Conserv 142:134–148CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Votsi NE, Mazaris AD, Kallimanis AS, Zomeni M, Vogiatzakis IN, Sgardelis SP, Pantis JD (2012) Road effects on habitat richness of the Greek Natura 2000 network. Nat Conserv 1:53–71CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maria A. Tsiafouli
    • 1
    Email author
  • Evangelia Apostolopoulou
    • 1
  • Antonios D. Mazaris
    • 1
  • Athanasios S. Kallimanis
    • 2
  • Evangelia G. Drakou
    • 3
  • John D. Pantis
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EcologySchool of Biology, Aristotle UniversityThessalonikiGreece
  2. 2.Department of Environmental and Natural Resources ManagementUniversity of IoanninaAgrinioGreece
  3. 3.Land Resource Management Unit, Institute for Environment and SustainabilityJoint Research Centre, European CommissionIspraItaly

Personalised recommendations