The main task of protected areas is to protect and to produce value added in the conservation of nature. Due to this, the values of ecosystem services such as habitats, biodiversity, scenic beauty etc. are conserved and generate a long-term benefit for the region.
A protected area may lead to positive inputs, such as:
- New, additional funding opportunities.
- New income by entrance fees or merchandising.
- New services and products that are provided.
- Added value by regional brands (tourism, products, services).
- Improvement of "soft factors", such as: networks, inter- and intraregional co-operation, knowledge, etc.
The main task of protected areas is to protect and to produce value added in the conservation of nature (Source:
Due to regional marketing and networking between local stakeholders, protected areas can also increase social and economic value added within the region.
On the other hand a loss of value added may result from:
See also tutorial "Protected Areas".
- "Import" of products and services that cannot be provided in the region (typical example: expertise and consultancy)
- Lowered investment: protected areas may – of course – prevent large scale investment.
- Lowered production rate: protected areas may also lead to a lowered production (e.g. in agriculture, forestry or in other sectors); usually this loss gets compensated.
For a good example of the value added generated through a protected area, see the website of the Entlebuch Biosphere in Switzerland.
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For several article closely related to this topic, see this PDF. It contains a summary of the future in the alps report on protected areas.