Protected area designation effective in reducing, but not preventing, land cover changes

phys.org | 3/13/2019 | Staff
Cayley1561 (Posted by) Level 3
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The designation of protected areas in Europe has been effective in reducing, but not completely preventing, land cover changes associated with human activity, according to a study published July 17 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Niels Hellwig of Potsdam University and Osnabrück University of Applied Sciences in Germany, and colleagues. Approximately 1.5% of all protected areas and 3% of all surrounding buffer zones were affected by land cover change from 2000 to 2012.

Land cover change involves massive transitions from natural to less natural habitats and thereby threatens ecosystems and the services they provide. To retain intact ecosystems and reduce land cover change, a dense network of protected areas has been established across Europe. But even protected areas, and in particular the zones around protected areas, have undergone land cover changes. In the new study, Hellwig and colleagues set out to compare land cover changes in protected areas, non-protected areas, and 1 km buffer zones around protected areas across Europe between 2000 and 2012, and analyze their relationship to climatic and socioeconomic factors.

Results

The results show that...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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