Gestionando las áreas protegidas más allá de sus límites: una aproximación socio-ecológica a la ordenación territorial

  1. Ignacio Palomo Ruiz
Supervised by:
  1. Berta Martín López Director
  2. Carlos Montes del Olmo Director

Defence university: Universidad Autónoma de Madrid

Year of defence: 2013

Committee:
  1. Francisco Díaz Pineda Chair
  2. Santos Casado de Otaola Secretary
  3. Benjamin burkhard Committee member
  4. Benis Egoh Committee member
  5. Miren Onaindia Olalde Committee member

Type: Thesis

Abstract

Introduction and objectives Protected areas are the main instrument for the conservation of nature. They cover 14% of the terrestrial surface and are present in nearly all world countries. These lands contain some of the most wonderful landscapes, the world¿s most valuable places in terms of biodiversity, and provide multiple ecosystem services that maintain human societies¿ well-being. However, these lands are not protected forever. For 30 years scientists have alerted that it is unrealistic to conserve islands of nature within a transformed landscape. Among the drivers of change recognized by the academia, land use change seems to be the most devastating one and could compromise the long term conservation of protected areas. Sustainability Science has emerged as a mission oriented discipline because it seeks to stop the current rates of nature destruction. For that it focuses on analyzing the links that exist between nature and society as means to reconnect human beings to nature, being Social-ecological systems its object of study. Ecosystem services, the contributions to human well-being derived from nature, is an emerging field originated in the Academia in the 1970¿s which is spreading among policy making for landscape planning. The aim of this thesis has been to design a holistic and integrative landscape planning approach that integrates protected areas into its surrounding landscapes from a social-ecological systems approach. For that purpose we used several ecosystem services assessments to design a landscape planning strategy for protected areas and their surrounding landscapes. To deal with this general objective, we specifically aimed to: (1) Analyze the historical evolution of the protected area concept under the light of the conservation paradigm, including its limitations and the challenges in the current context of global change (2) Evaluate the current scientific knowledge regarding ecosystem service mapping (3) Explore the role of deliberative ecosystem service flow maps (from service providing units to ecosystem service beneficiaries) for protected areas management (4) Analyze the effect of land use change around protected areas on the delivery of ecosystem services in the context of broad social-ecological systems in which the protected areas are embedded (5) Identify the historical trend of land use change at local scale, and its effect on ecosystem services (6) Analyze the zoning schemes of protected areas and its adequacy for Mediterranean cultural landscapes under a social-ecological approach, using ecosystem service maps (7) Create management guidelines that incorporate uncertainty for protected areas based on participatory scenario planning Methodological approach and study area This Thesis incorporates an analysis of the biophysical and social dimensions of ecosystem services through the combination of quantitative and qualitative data. Specifically we performed: (1) literature reviews on the topics of protected areas, ecosystem services and scenarios, including a systematic review of 113 papers mapping ecosystem services; (2) land use change analysis; (3) ecosystem service mapping including spatial modeling; and (4) field work from January 2009 to December 2011 in order to convey information about: (i) perceptions for ecosystem services through the realization of semi-structured interviews (N=32) and questionnaires (N=183); (ii) ecosystem service mapping through two deliberative ecosystem service mapping workshops (20 and 21 participants); and (iii) the effect of ecosystem service trade-offs in human well-being considering future scenarios through two participatory scenario planning and backasting workshops (34 and 32 participants). Figure 1 shows the aims of the PhD Thesis and the methodologies used to achieve them. Two contrasting protected areas have served to this study. The Sierra Nevada (South Spain) protected area which is representative of mountain protected areas in Spain and worldwide and the Doñana (Southwest Spain) protected area, which includes a coastal wetland unique in Europe, and exemplifies the problems of a protected area at the outfall of a major drain basin. Their importance is reflected in the number of protection categories: National Park, Natural Park, Natura 2000 reserve, World Heritage Site and Ramsar Wetland (these last two only Doñana). The landscapes covered by these protection figures are Mediterranean cultural landscapes also designated as biosphere reserves. As protected areas are deeply interrelated to their surroundings, we have delimited the social-ecological systems of both protected areas as our study areas (Figure 2). These include the greater ecosystems (biophysical system) on which the protected areas are located, and the municipalities (socio-economic system) covered by the protected areas, depending on, or influencing directly the protected area. Results Two theoretical (1 and 2) and five empirical results chapters integrate the thesis (3, 4, 5, 6 and 7). Figure 3 shows how results chapters¿ are related, successfully achieving the proposed objectives. Chapter 1 reviews the historical evolution of the protected areas concept. We have found that an originally static approach seeking the protection of islands of nature has evolved to the creation of reserve networks and to incorporate recently a landscape approach. Current protected area limitations are isolation, location bias and lack of societal support. We analyze how the ecosystem service framework could overcome some of these limitations and further integrate protected areas into their surrounding landscape. Then we propose a landscape management strategy for protected areas under the social-ecological approach. Its main characteristics would be to include Social Sciences as well as real participation of stakeholders into protected areas, to integrate a diversity of institutions in its management, and to incorporate the social-ecological factors that lead to the creation of cultural landscapes, among which local ecological knowledge is a key component. Chapter 2 results from collaboration with several scientists of the working group on mapping ecosystem services from the Ecosystem Service Partnership. Here, we identify the current gaps and trends of ecosystem service mapping and propose a blueprint for the systematization of knowledge in the field. We found that the main knowledge gaps are mapping the demand of ecosystem services, mapping cultural services, mapping more than one service in order to analyze ecosystem service tradeoffs and mapping services in areas such as South and Central America. Chapter 1 reviews the historical evolution of the protected areas concept. We have found that an originally static approach seeking the protection of islands of nature has evolved to the creation of reserve networks and to incorporate recently a landscape approach. Current protected area limitations are isolation, location bias and lack of societal support. We analyze how the ecosystem service framework could overcome some of these limitations and further integrate protected areas into their surrounding landscape. Then we propose a landscape management strategy for protected areas under the social-ecological approach. Its main characteristics would be to include Social Sciences as well as real participation of stakeholders into protected areas, to integrate a diversity of institutions in its management, and to incorporate the social-ecological factors that lead to the creation of cultural landscapes, among which local ecological knowledge is a key component. Chapter 2 results from collaboration with several scientists of the working group on mapping ecosystem services from the Ecosystem Service Partnership. Here, we identify the current gaps and trends of ecosystem service mapping and propose a blueprint for the systematization of knowledge in the field. We found that the main knowledge gaps are mapping the demand of ecosystem services, mapping cultural services, mapping more than one service in order to analyze ecosystem service tradeoffs and mapping services in areas such as South and Central America. social-ecological principles that created the cultural landscapes that both protected areas protect. We conclude that protected area zoning today disrupts the social-ecological processes that have created the Mediterranean cultural landscapes. An ecosystem service based zoning would have to take into consideration these processes and deal with ecosystem services bundles and trade-offs. A multi-scale participatory scenario planning and backasting approach in Doñana is presented in Chapter 7. As means to obtain management guidelines, this chapter incorporates local stakeholders into protected area management and the complexity and uncertainty of Doñana in the context of global change. The three scenarios from the European Medaction project were translocated to Doñana originating the following scenarios: Doñana ¿ Global Knowledge, Doñana Trademark and Arid Doñana. A fourth scenario, Adaptive Doñana ¿ Wet and Creative, was created according to participants preferences. This fourth scenario was selected as the most desired one and is characterized by the adoption of the socio-ecological approach for landscape management at the watershed scale. To establish consensual and broad management plans, to foster environmental education and to implement a watershed-scale management are some of the management recommendations. General discussion The Mediterranean region is included among the 25 worldwide biodiversity hotspots. One of the reasons for this unique biodiversity is the long historic co-evolution between man and nature that has shaped cultural landscapes through small scale perturbations. Several social-ecological practices, the use of local ecological knowledge and polycentric institutions have led to the creation of these resilient landscapes in which management of regulating services was a priority. However, global change, including the integration into a market economy through uncoordinated policies that homogenize the landscape, is depleting biodiversity, the diversity of ecosystem services and social-ecological resilience. Nowadays there are four main approaches to landscape planning coming from different disciplines: (1) conventional landscape planning; (2) economy; (3) landscape ecology; and (4) conservation biology. We analyzed how these approaches are currently shaping the landscape and reducing resilience, regulating services and cultural services enjoyed by the rural population of the Mediterranean cultural landscapes. The next paragraphs highlight the weakness and strengths of these four landscape planning approaches on the basis of the socio-ecological framework. (1) The conventional landscape planning approach focuses on managing the unprotected lands through management plans and regulations. The top-down approach of these regulations and not inclusion of local stakeholders is reducing the resilience of the landscape as regulations are not case-specific and bottom-up communication channels barely exist. Paradoxically, a weak legal implementation or an excessive rigidity of laws is hampering management efforts. Moreover, the parks can hardly influence on upper scales of management (National, European) although they are directly influenced by them. (2) The economic approach main aim is economic growth. It sees protected areas as impediments to economic growth (set aside tourism benefits) and therefore tries to compensate the surroundings of protected areas economically with development projects. This transforms the matrix around protected areas to unsustainable uses that reduce connectivity and regulating services (regulating services are associated to slow variables not included in markets and conventional economy). These dual landscapes based on the conservation vs. development model could compromise conservation of protected areas in the long term. (3) The landscape ecology approach integrates protected areas and their surrounding landscape. However it provides a descriptive rather than functional framework which doesn¿t solve the conservation and development disparities. Moreover, treating landscapes as a whole does not assess the ecological factors delivering ecosystem services nor the societal factors that shape their demand sufficiently. (4) The conservation biology approach to landscape planning has been to set aside protected areas from human transformation. Despite the evolution of the approach, it faces currently several problems because it doesn¿t integrate the social aspects of conservation, as well as the ecosystem services approach and the underlying experiential knowledge (local ecological knowledge) responsible of shaping the current cultural landscapes. Thus, social-ecological processes can be disrupted, promoting a deterioration of the ecosystem service delivery and human well-being. The social-ecological approach, which is based on Sustainability Science hasn¿t been applied before to protected areas and landscape management. We propose an application of the approach to protected area management based on the following aspects: (1) Incorporation of Sustainability Science in conservation planning including interdisciplinary collaboration between scientist, managers and local stakeholders, real participatory approaches, fostering stakeholder¿s empowerment and land stewardship. (2) Promoting the inclusion of local ecological knowledge in protected areas management, as it is necessary to maintain the social-ecological practices that have shaped the landscapes that protected areas cover. Involving a diversity of institutions related to the management of the ecosystem services that protected areas provide in the management of the protected area. (3) Designing multifunctional landscapes that maintain the social-ecological processes and the relationships between biodiversity, ecosystem services diversity and a diversity of knowledge sources and institutions. This would reduce border effects on protected areas and maintain the resilience and a diversity of ecosystem services necessary for human well-being. We finally suggest a new definition of protected areas to be discussed: ¿a defined geographical space managed through legal means under a social-ecological framework that acts as a functional unit maintaining biodiversity and its associated ecosystem services in the long term to contribute to human well-being¿. Concluding remarks Protected areas are necessary but not sufficient for the conservation of biodiversity and its associated ecosystem services. The way we protect nature within them has changed over time. Global change poses new challenges on protected areas and on earth as a whole, demanding new frameworks of analysis that deal with the complexity of the situation. Overall, this PhD dissertation is about the integration of the most recent conservation approach (Sustainability Science) to one of the oldest conservation practices (protected areas). The dialogue established among both illuminates several issues that need to be addressed such as protected area isolation and the loss of socio-ecological resilience. Sustainability Science provides a framework capable of dealing with protected area¿s current limitations (i.e., isolation, location bias and lack of local support) and to re-connect protected areas to their surrounding landscape and society. Protected areas are a core element not only for conservation, but also for landscape management due to their current worldwide extension and presence in society. Besides exploring theoretically the integration of Sustainability Science and protected areas, this thesis contains five empirical studies. These empirical chapters apply drivers of change, land use change, ecosystem service mapping, and participatory scenario planning as tools to incorporate the social-ecological approach to protected areas. All in all, this Thesis provides the Academia with a provocative integration of Sustainability Science into a realm (protected areas) that has been mainly managed from the side of the conservation biology. Given the various calls for the integration of ecosystem services into landscape management, this thesis provides policymakers of protected areas a comprehensive first step approach and several tools for doing so.