Research line 2: Biodiversity and land use restrictions


This research line investigates human behaviour related to protected areas and biodiversity. It explores narratives associated with the human impact of land use  
in areas which are protected due to their ecological function or unique biodiversity,  
such as national parks or Natura2000 sites. The research line also covers activities in the vicinity of protected areas which could have significant impact (e.g. illegal waste dumping).

Research approach

Narratives associated with informal use and human impact of protected areas will be investigated. The human and behavioral perspective complies with ACCTING’s intersectional approach and includes vulnerable groups in outermost regions, while considering the urban-rural context. The research will be implemented as five case studies in Bulgaria, Hungary, Portugal, Romania, and Turkey.

Research cycle #1

May 2022 – April 2023

Narrative interviews combined with a set of case-specific sub questions will be the main method to explore the situation at selected sites. 
Acknowledging the informality and the “illegal” status of activities, relevant authorities or representatives of affected communities will be reached through interviews. 
Cases which include communities acting as “agents of change” will be identified and covered where present.

Research Cycle #2

April 2023 – January 2025 

Research line partners will focus on the impact pathways of biodiversity protection on vulnerable groups. 
Vice versa, a second focus will be the impact pathways emphasising the active role of vulnerable groups for biodiversity protection. 
Identified impact pathways will be validated with active members of vulnerable groups. 


Expected impacts

Interviews will identify the inequalities due to biodiversity protection restrictions experienced by specific groups of high-value natural areas beneficiaries. 

Overall, the range of narratives will provide insights in existing and potential conflicts. Natural resources often create an “emotional” ownership of users who in the long run can also become agents of change. Narratives will highlight the specific role of vulnerable groups as agents of change.


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