COVID-19 and protected areas: Impacts, conflicts, and possible management solutions

Nikoleta Jones, James McGinlay, Angela Jones, Chrisovalantis Malesios, Jens Holtvoeth, Panayiotis G. Dimitrakopoulos, Vassilis Gkoumas, Andreas Kontoleon

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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Abstract

During the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, management authorities of numerous Protected Areas (PAs) had to discourage visitors from accessing them in order to reduce the virus transmission rate and protect local communities. This resulted in social–ecological impacts and added another layer of complexity to managing PAs. This paper presents the results of a survey in Snowdonia National Park capturing the views of over 700 local residents on the impacts of COVID-19 restrictions and possible scenarios and tools for managing tourist numbers. Lower visitor numbers were seen in a broadly positive way by a significant number of respondents while benefit sharing issues from tourism also emerged. Most preferred options to manage overcrowding were restricting access to certain paths, the development of mobile applications to alert people to overcrowding and reporting irresponsible behavior. Our findings are useful for PA managers and local communities currently developing post-COVID-19 recovery strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12800
Number of pages9
JournalConservation Letters
Volume14
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 6 Apr 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Research presented in this paper has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union's Horizon 2020 research programme (Project FIDELIO, grant agreement no. 802605) ( https://www.fidelio.landecon.cam.ac.uk ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Authors. Conservation Letters published by Wiley Periodicals LLC

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