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Protected Areas As Elicitors Of Human Well-Being In A Developed Region: A New Synthetic (Socioeconomic) Approach

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Bonet-García, F.J., Pérez-Luque, A.J., Moreno-Llorca, R.A., Pérez-Pérez, R., Puerta-Piñero, C. & Zamora, R. (2015) Protected areas as elicitors of human well-being in a developed region: A new synthetic (socioeconomic) approach. Biological Conservation, Vol. 187: 221–229.

The socioeconomic impact of protected areas, crucial to conservation outcomes, has been investigated mainly in low-income, highly biodiverse, contexts. However, studies are needed on the impact of protected areas in high-income places managed for millennia. This paper looks at the links between protected areas and human well-being changes in a highly biodiverse area of southern Spain. The authors calculated well-being using an indicator that integrates information from 22 socioeconomic variables (which describe well-being according to the categories proposed by the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment). The results reveal significant increases in well-being in Andalusian municipalities between 1989 (when these protected areas were designated) and 2009. This increase was significantly higher in municipalities within protected areas. These results highlight a spatial correspondence between protected areas and improvement of the well-being of local municipalities in areas with long histories of human management.

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