Two things could improve the protection of Europe’s protected natural areas in future: first, responsible policy-makers and administrators need to know more about climate change and its effects on plant and animal life; and second, they need to exchange their experiences and the measures they are using to adapt to climate change. This is the conclusion reached by the authors of the book Managing Protected Areas in Central and Eastern Europe under Climate Change. It is the result of the HABIT-CHANGE project conducted by the Leibniz Institute of Ecological Urban and Regional Development (IOER) in Dresden, Germany.
Climate change and its effects on habitats and on the plant and animal worlds is one of the major challenges facing protected areas all over Europe. The management and protection strategies of national parks, nature parks and biosphere reserves must be adapted accordingly. To date however, these institutions have suffered from a lack of empirical data and recommendations for action.
Front-Cover "Managing Protected Areas in Central and Eastern Europe under Climate Change"
This gap has now been bridged by the book Managing Protected Areas in Central and Eastern Europe under Climate Change. The seventeen research institutes, conservation authorities and protected area administrations in Central and Eastern Europe which have cooperated in the HABIT-CHANGE project have together developed a set of recommendations which constitute a practical guide for how the managements of protected areas can react to the challenges of climate change.
What has become clear in the cross-border research project is that in order to be able to implement climate adaptation measures, it will first of all be necessary to develop the capacities in the protected areas to monitor, assess, manage and report the effects of climate change and their interaction with other impact factors. Based on the data and methods gathered and processed during the three-and-a-half year duration of the project, the manual presents possible ways of achieving optimized protected area management.
Brief and illustrative examples from Central and Eastern European investigation areas show the effects of climate change locally, and what consequences this has for future management. The main emphasis here is on habitats which are particularly sensitive to changed climatic conditions. These include alpine areas, wetlands, forests, grasslands and coastal areas.
These case examples showed not only the potential use of adaptation measures, but also possible barriers to their practical implementation. With the presentation of examples, the book seizes upon important knowledge gained from the research project: It has been shown that the partners particularly profit from the exchange of their own experiences in protected area management – for different perspectives have again and again led to new solutions for particular protected areas.
The book is written in non-technical language for a broad spectrum of readers.
Rannow, S. & Neubert, M. (eds): Managing Protected Areas in Central and Eastern Europe under Climate Change, Advances in Global Change Research, Vol. 58, Springer, Dordrecht, 308 p., DOI: 10.1007/978-94-007-7960-0 (ISBN 978-94-007-7959-4).
Dr. Marco Neubert, phone: +49 351 46 79-274, e-mail: M.Neubert[at]ioer.de
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