The origins of the use of the category ecosystem services (ESs) can be traced back to the late 70s, when Westman (1977) discussed the question of nature’s services. In the 80s, Ehrlich and Mooney (1983) treated systematically the issue of extinction and substitution of natural elements, that is populations, species and guilds, as a question of loss and substitute supply of ESs. Thereafter, a structured definition of the scientific and technical taxonomy and appraisal methodologies and uses of ESs was only put forward in 2003 by the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA), an international research project that involved more than 1300 experts worldwide (Gómez-Baggethun et al., 2010). According to the classification proposed by theMA, ESs “[A]re the benefits people obtain from ecosystems. These include provisioning services such as food and water; regulating services such as regulation of floods, drought, land degradation, and disease; supporting services such as soil formation and nutrient cycling; and cultural services such as recreational, spiritual, religious and other nonmaterial benefits” (Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, 2003, 3). ESs can be considered as a two-dimensional category (Abson at al., 2014). From this perspective, we can see them as an operational framework to explain and assess the mutual relations between human beings and natural systems (Balmford et al. 2011). Moreover, we can interpret ESs as sources of normative bonds to implement system persistence, biodiversity conservation and enhanced human well-being (Abson at al., 2014). In this conceptual framework, Natura 2000, a coherent network of areas established under Directive 92/43/EEC (Habitats Directive), represents the principal instrument to protect biodiversity, species and habitats. In particular, this EU-wide network of protected areas includes Sites of Community Interest (SCIs) and Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) identified under the provisions of the Habitats Directive, and Special Protection Areas (SPAs), identified under the provisions of the Birds Directive (Directive 2009/147/EC). Article 6 of the Habitats Directive establishes that Member States have to define the necessary conservation measures that can include appropriate management plans (MPs) and appropriate statutory, administrative or contractual rules, consistent with ecological needs of habitats and species. However, despite these conservation measures, biodiversity in the EU is decreasing at rapid rates due to alarming conservation status of species and habitats (European Environment Agency, 2010). Indeed, although starting from the end of the 20th century the Natura 2000 Sites (N2Ss) have represented a paragon of spatial protection and conservation in terms of minimization of the impacts generated by human activities on biodiversity, species and habitats, the spatial planning-related relations and connections between the N2Ss and the surroundings have been almost totally neglected (Martín-López et al., 2011). Therefore, careful and structured spatial analysis of the dialectical and possibly conflictual dynamics, which involves local societies and N2Ss under the provisions of the Habitats and Birds Directives, is an important and mostly still unexplored field of work. Therefore, the establishment of N2Ss should aim not only at preserving species and habitats, but also at protecting the adequate and productive capacity of the ESs (Castro et al., 2015). As a consequence, the N2Ss should eventually assume a double operational function, that is protecting species, habitats, processes and functions in ecological terms, and providing the local societies with ESs (Scolozzi et al., 2014). From this perspective, the relationship between N2Ss and ESs is quite evident. Indeed, ESs should be provided and/or preserved both within and outside the limits of the N2Ss. As regards this issue, Kettunen at al. (2009) have elaborated an overview of the potential ESs provided by N2Ss. So a new conservation paradigm should be included into the sets of the biodiversity conservation measures. Initial steps forward towards the new paradigm can be traced back to the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and the Aichi Targets, whose the Target 11 highlights the necessity to incorporate ESs within future protected areas planning rules . On the other hand, conservation measures concerning protected areas may possibly entail changes in land uses and, as a consequence, negative trends in the supply of ESs (Kovács et al., 2015), such asa reduction of parcels dedicated to food production (Castro et al., 2015). In this paper, we analyse the land use-related conflicts that may very possibly occur with reference to the conservation rules established by the MPs of the N2Ss under the provisions of the Habitats and Birds Directives, which may eventually decrease substantially the supply of ESs, especially provisioning services. In the following sections, we discuss the methodological approach and the case studies (section two), the analysis of results (section three), and our concluding remarks and directions for future research (section four).

Conflictual issues concerning land uses related to ecosystem services under the provisions of the Habitats and Birds Directives

LEONE, FEDERICA;ZOPPI, CORRADO
2016

Abstract

The origins of the use of the category ecosystem services (ESs) can be traced back to the late 70s, when Westman (1977) discussed the question of nature’s services. In the 80s, Ehrlich and Mooney (1983) treated systematically the issue of extinction and substitution of natural elements, that is populations, species and guilds, as a question of loss and substitute supply of ESs. Thereafter, a structured definition of the scientific and technical taxonomy and appraisal methodologies and uses of ESs was only put forward in 2003 by the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA), an international research project that involved more than 1300 experts worldwide (Gómez-Baggethun et al., 2010). According to the classification proposed by theMA, ESs “[A]re the benefits people obtain from ecosystems. These include provisioning services such as food and water; regulating services such as regulation of floods, drought, land degradation, and disease; supporting services such as soil formation and nutrient cycling; and cultural services such as recreational, spiritual, religious and other nonmaterial benefits” (Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, 2003, 3). ESs can be considered as a two-dimensional category (Abson at al., 2014). From this perspective, we can see them as an operational framework to explain and assess the mutual relations between human beings and natural systems (Balmford et al. 2011). Moreover, we can interpret ESs as sources of normative bonds to implement system persistence, biodiversity conservation and enhanced human well-being (Abson at al., 2014). In this conceptual framework, Natura 2000, a coherent network of areas established under Directive 92/43/EEC (Habitats Directive), represents the principal instrument to protect biodiversity, species and habitats. In particular, this EU-wide network of protected areas includes Sites of Community Interest (SCIs) and Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) identified under the provisions of the Habitats Directive, and Special Protection Areas (SPAs), identified under the provisions of the Birds Directive (Directive 2009/147/EC). Article 6 of the Habitats Directive establishes that Member States have to define the necessary conservation measures that can include appropriate management plans (MPs) and appropriate statutory, administrative or contractual rules, consistent with ecological needs of habitats and species. However, despite these conservation measures, biodiversity in the EU is decreasing at rapid rates due to alarming conservation status of species and habitats (European Environment Agency, 2010). Indeed, although starting from the end of the 20th century the Natura 2000 Sites (N2Ss) have represented a paragon of spatial protection and conservation in terms of minimization of the impacts generated by human activities on biodiversity, species and habitats, the spatial planning-related relations and connections between the N2Ss and the surroundings have been almost totally neglected (Martín-López et al., 2011). Therefore, careful and structured spatial analysis of the dialectical and possibly conflictual dynamics, which involves local societies and N2Ss under the provisions of the Habitats and Birds Directives, is an important and mostly still unexplored field of work. Therefore, the establishment of N2Ss should aim not only at preserving species and habitats, but also at protecting the adequate and productive capacity of the ESs (Castro et al., 2015). As a consequence, the N2Ss should eventually assume a double operational function, that is protecting species, habitats, processes and functions in ecological terms, and providing the local societies with ESs (Scolozzi et al., 2014). From this perspective, the relationship between N2Ss and ESs is quite evident. Indeed, ESs should be provided and/or preserved both within and outside the limits of the N2Ss. As regards this issue, Kettunen at al. (2009) have elaborated an overview of the potential ESs provided by N2Ss. So a new conservation paradigm should be included into the sets of the biodiversity conservation measures. Initial steps forward towards the new paradigm can be traced back to the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and the Aichi Targets, whose the Target 11 highlights the necessity to incorporate ESs within future protected areas planning rules . On the other hand, conservation measures concerning protected areas may possibly entail changes in land uses and, as a consequence, negative trends in the supply of ESs (Kovács et al., 2015), such asa reduction of parcels dedicated to food production (Castro et al., 2015). In this paper, we analyse the land use-related conflicts that may very possibly occur with reference to the conservation rules established by the MPs of the N2Ss under the provisions of the Habitats and Birds Directives, which may eventually decrease substantially the supply of ESs, especially provisioning services. In the following sections, we discuss the methodological approach and the case studies (section two), the analysis of results (section three), and our concluding remarks and directions for future research (section four).
9788890529641
Natura 2000 Network, Management Plans of Natura 2000 sites, Ecosystem services
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