Detecting the 'conservation effect' on the maintenance of natural capital flow in different natural parks
The identification of areas worthy of protection and their subsequent institution as natural parks are instruments that society uses to preserve biodiversity that, by supporting Natural Capital Flow (NCF), represents a guarantee for the maintenance of human life quality. However, the implemented strategies for the conservation of biodiversity may differ from those adopted for the maintenance of natural capital; consequently, planning for natural capital might require a different strategy from that used in conservation policies. The aim of this paper is to assess the 'conservation effect' of different conservation policies on the maintenance of NCF in three natural parks in Apulia Region (southern Italy). The assessment of natural capital flow variation has been carried out investigating the temporal dynamics of land-use/land-cover mosaics, and using Costanza et al.'s economic coefficients as surrogates of NCF. Results showed that not all environmental conservation management strategies have played an equal role in fostering NCF. This research highlights that the recognition of the natural value of a site according to the European Directives (e.g. NATURA 2000 network) is not sufficiently effective for the conservation of the NCF, while it is necessary to identify a management authority that can appropriately drive landscape transformations, and sets, if necessary, the appropriate limitations. In addition, the management of these areas as part of a network of natural parks seems to be more effective for the maintenance of NCF.
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