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Parks 3.0 Protected areas for the Next society

Protected Areas for the Next Society
Heike Egner
Michael Jungmeier (eds.)
Parks 3.0 – Protected Areas for the Next Society
Sigrun Lange, Michael Jungmeier
Parks 3.0 - Protected Areas for the Next Society
Sigrun Lange, Michael Jungmeier
Series: Proceedings in the Management of Protected Areas, Vol. 6
Series editors: Heike Egner, Michael Jungmeier
Title page:
© Binding-Preis (2012)
© by Verlag Johannes Heyn
Klagenfurt, 2014
Druck: Druckerei Theiss GmbH, A-9431 St. Stefan
ISBN: 978-3-7084-0528-5
“The next society will be sustainable or there will be no society“
(Andrej Sovinc)
This year’s World Park Congress in Sydney provided us with the reason for and the
opportunity of raising questions about the future: What do protected areas look like in
the 21
century? Can we recognize the outlines of a new generation of protected areas?
Can protected areas evolve into innovation regions balanced between persistence and
avant-garde? How can protected areas turn into cornerstones of ecological globalisation
and can these sites really become fields for experimenting with new forms of communi-
ty? Based on these questions, we invited selected European experts to join the debate.
You are holding the results in your hands. Taking 23 hypotheses as a point of depar-
ture, this journal discusses and illuminates the prospects, contradictions and problem
areas with which protected areas will be faced in the coming decades. As one would
expect, the experts represent different standpoints. What all of the contributions have in
common is a plea for innovation and the high expectations they have of the unfolding
potential of the protected areas. If the selection of experts has produced a specifically
European perspective, this is both justifiable and intentional.
In volume VI of the “Proceedings in the Management of Protected Areas” we present
not the results, but rather a possible seedbed for the development of a more broadly
scoped discussion of the future. We cordially invite our colleagues across the world to
take part. Your feedback will be collated and considered further as part of the interna-
tional degree programme “Management of Protected Areas” (
As the publishers, we hope to spark some interesting discussions with this book. We
would like to thank every author and commentator for their contributions. Our thanks
also go to the Bristol Foundation, which has made this discussion of the future possible.
Heike Egner
Head of the Institute of Geography and Regional Studies at the
University of Klagenfurt, Austria
Michael Jungmeier
CEO of E.C.O. Institute of Ecology, Austria; Senior Scientist at the Institute of
Geography and Regional Studies, University of Klagenfurt
............................................................................................................... 5
................................................................................................................. 7
......................... 9
....................................... 11
Challenges in the next society .................................................................. 11
The development towards Parks 3.0 ......................................................... 12
......................................................... 15
Interrelation between society and protected areas .................................... 15
The next society ............................................................................ 15
Parks 3.0 ....................................................................................... 17
Conservation focus ................................................................................... 19
Closing the gaps ............................................................................ 19
Limits to growth ............................................................................ 21
Post management .......................................................................... 23
New subjects requiring protection ................................................. 25
Social perspectives ................................................................................... 27
Sustainability ................................................................................. 27
Governance ................................................................................... 28
Empowerment ............................................................................... 30
Innovation ..................................................................................... 32
Knowledge management ............................................................... 34
Future platform ............................................................................. 35
Regional fractals ........................................................................... 37
Economic perspectives ............................................................................. 38
Economics rooted in protected areas ............................................. 38
Benefits ......................................................................................... 40
Return of the public contract ......................................................... 41
Management perspectives ........................................................................ 43
Systematic learning ....................................................................... 43
Extreme planning .......................................................................... 44
New spatial patterns ...................................................................... 45
Speed breakers .............................................................................. 46
Synthesis categories ...................................................................... 48
System research ............................................................................. 49
Fully interactive ............................................................................ 51
.......................................................... 53
We have failed so far ................................................................................ 53
We need more innovation! ....................................................................... 56
A continuous process ................................................................................ 59
Sustainability, good governance and benefit sharing ................................ 60
The “ideal” protected area ........................................................................ 63
........................................................... 65
...................................................................................................... 71
............................................................ 73
Abbreviations of commenting experts ...................................................... 73
Information on the authors ....................................................................... 75
Information on the commenting experts and guest commentators ............ 76
................................................................... 89
................................................................................. 93
1 I
Just like Dolly the clone sheep, Frank Sinatra, cubism, and the landing on the
moon, national parks, nature parks as well as biosphere reserves can be regarded
characteristic features of the 20
century. Back then, in every country across the
world, particular habitats and ecosystems have been declared protected areas. To-
wards the end of the century, supranational agreements, international NGOs, and
the global development of environmental awareness further accelerated the appear-
ance of protected areas. It is astonishing, that parks have been designated world-
wide, regardless the social system, ideology, and regime. Today, more than one
tenth of the terrestrial area is covered by protected areas. The concept of nature
protection in the 20
century represents the success story of an idea: Nature also
needs room on a planet with less and less space.
Since then, protected areas such as Serengeti, Yellowstone, the Lake District, the
Galapagos Islands or the Great Barrier Reef are well-known worldwide. They have
become familiar to many of us and developed as important brands. They will not be
missing in any tourism brochure showing the most important places of interest.
Many parks have become integral components of regional identity, and are consid-
ered to be typical for the respective country and its people. Meanwhile, the man-
agement systems of protected areas developed towards large organisations. Disad-
vantaged regions and communities can seek important future prospects in parks as
“landscapes of hope” (Mose 2007). Pioneers working in nature protection at the
beginning of the 20
century probably would not have dared to imagine such a
The Galápagos Islands are fa-
mous worldwide for their vast
number of species, such as the
marine iguanas (© S. Lange).
Step by step, historical research is revealing the roots of nature conservation.
What is emerging is a many-layered conglomerate of different ideas and approach-
es. The “protection of native species against the infiltration by foreign species” is
one of the common notions, “allowing natural processes” is another one. It seems
that nature conservation is a concept of contradictions, which (may?) stand along-
side each other unresolved. Currently, protected areas are the flagships of the na-
ture conservation movement. Thus, they are the pillars and the proponents of these
inherent contradictions.
Removing alien species and allowing dead wood in the forest – both measures are consid-
ered nature conservation activities (left: © E.C.O. Institute for Ecology; right: © S. Lange).
Technological revolutions, demographic trends and new forms of knowledge
work define the corner points of fundamental social change. This is linked to inse-
curities and shifting perspectives. In contrast, national parks, biosphere reserves
and world heritage sites stand for continuity. They represent a significant legacy
and are perceived as resting and anchor points. Nevertheless, they are facing new
challenges. Looking ahead into the 21
century: What trends and developments can
we expect? Will our common tools still be useful in the future? Is the concept of
designating protected areas still relevant, even though it originated in a time of
horse-drawn coaches, Morse code devices and imperial dynasties? The hypotheses
that follow below in chapter 3 should serve to open up a future debate.
2 D
2.1 Challenges in the next society
“Times change, and we must change with them.” Drucker (2007) explored the
fundamental changes that are being wrought upon society and the economy by the
new media, in particular by the Internet. In this context he coined the term of a
“next society”: Just as the expansion of the railroads opened the way to (or en-
forced) entirely new economic and social patterns and developments in the nine-
teenth century, the same can be said of today’s communication technologies. “In
the new mental geography created by the railroad, humanity mastered distance. In
the mental geography of e-commerce, distance has been eliminated. There is only
one economy and there is only one market”. This global market of products, ser-
vices and ideas adheres to new laws; in particular, it is necessary, according to
Drucker, to let go of the notion that the complexity can still be managed. “When we
talk about the global economy, I hope nobody believes it can be managed. It can’t.”
In the course of his deliberations, Drucker describes many phenomena, which
are also of great significance for the management of conservation areas. For exam-
ple, he emphasises the need for new kinds of governance. “In my view,… more and
more of the input we need will not come from people or organisations that we can
control, but from people and organisations with which we have a relationship, a
partnership – people whom we cannot command.”
Of course, in this context, Drucker is referring to (large) business enterprises;
however, the statement is undoubtedly also true for parks. Today, they operate far
beyond the narrowly defined borders of a public administration organisation.
“Modern government needs innovation. What we have now is roughly four hundred
years old. The invention of the nation-state and of modern government in the clos-
ing years of the sixteenth century was certainly one of the most successful innova-
tions ever. Within two hundred years they conquered the globe. But it’s time for a
new way of thinking.”
Drucker also established the term “knowledge worker”, which is very helpful for
describing the kind of work that is typical for a modern protected area: No other
type of institution exists that accumulates more regional knowledge about the natu-
ral space and about sustainability than a protected area. This applies to an even
greater degree to the worldwide networks of protected areas (cf. Huber et al.,
The increasing importance of civil society was also clearly recognised by
Drucker, and was neatly encapsulated as follows: “We now know that we need
three sectors, not two – not just government and business, but what people now call
the civil society or third sector in between”. In many European countries, the parks
and conservation areas represent the result of the extended efforts of civil society,
over years and even decades. Many parks are manifestations of the above-
mentioned third sector. Ultimately, Drucker asks the same question that many parks
are also pondering: “What other big changes may lie ahead of which we are as yet
The opinion of civil society is becom-
ing more and more important, when
decisions upon future developments
have to be taken. Here stakeholders
are discussion nature conservation
strategies in an Austrian nature park
(© E.C.O. Institute for Ecology).
2.2 The development towards Parks 3.0
As demonstrated by Drucker (amongst many others), society is undergoing con-
stant chances which impact on the conservation of nature in general, and on the
management of protected areas in particular. Over the past 40 years, several chang-
es occurred in our thinking and practice towards protected areas. The significance
of a bunch of different changes (each on its own largely unnoticed) can be traced in
the decisions of the past world parks congresses. Step by step, a new paradigm for
protected areas in the 21
century was produced (Phillips 2003). The traditional
prohibitive top-down approach (first generation) successively gave way to an inte-
grative management of protected areas in close cooperation with related stakehold-
er groups (second generation). Human beings are no longer strictly excluded, but
seen as an integral part of the park management. The main function of protected
areas, the conservation of biodiversity, was extended to the new function of sus-
tainable development.
Quite recently, Jungmeier (2011b) observed new developments, constituting
eventually a third generation of protected areas. The constituting parameters of the
three generations of parks are presented in Fig. 1. Most distinctive are the steering
mechanisms deriving from the principles of public administration to management
and finally to governance, upgrading the people concerned to become stakeholders
and finally owners. In many cases this may lead back or at least refer to traditional
forms of organising common land. Generally, the increased complexity is a chal-
lenge for managing, planning and consulting protected areas (Jungmeier 2011b).
Generation 2
Generation 3
Generation (Parks 3.0)
Approach static dynamic integrated
Concept segregation balance integration
Motivation ethic, romantic emotional, ethic-political rational, evidence-based
Steering public administration, top
down, regulating
management, top down
and bottom up, mediating
governance, network,
Aim species, habitats,
land-use and
socio-sphere in
Disciplines natural sciences natural sciences,
(human & social sciences)
natural sciences,
human & social sciences,
planning techniques,
philosophy & cultural
Principles long-term perspective,
global perspective,
ethically based approach
sustainable development,
global perspective,
benefit sharing,
participation, governance,
long-term perspective,
knowledge management
sustainable development,
global perspective,
inter- & transdisciplinarity,
ecological and economic
benefit sharing,
participation, governance,
long-term perspective,
ethically based approach,
knowledge management
Process constant cyclic ?
Complexity low high very high
Staff sectoral experts multisectoral experts /
interdisciplinary managers
Education sectoral (autodidact) specific education / training
References Lane 2010
Weixlbaumer 1998
Lane 2010
Weixlbaumer 1998
Imboden 2007
Mose 2005
Imboden 2007
Getzner & Jungmeier 2009
Jungmeier 2011a
Fig. 1: Constituting elements of three generations of protected areas (Source: Jungmeier
23 hypotheses, related to the understanding of the potential third generation of
protected areas which we here call Parks 3.0, have been formulated by Michael
Jungmeier to trigger a discussion on the outlines of the future of protected areas in
the 21st century.
3 E
In an open call, nature conservation experts from all over Europe have been in-
vited to discuss the 23 hypotheses on the future of protected areas. 31 experts from
nine European countries responded. They cover different scientific disciplines (e.g.
biology, ecology, geography, forestry, agriculture, and social sciences) and differ-
ent fields of activity (e.g. park management, administration, NGOs, science, and
consultancy). About one third of them are females. Older and younger experts
participated comparably. Furthermore, different hierarchical levels, from directors
of high ranking international institutions to staff members of parks, are represented
in the survey. With this selection of experts a broad spectrum of different visions
on the future development of our parks could be covered. Their interesting thoughts
can be found in the following chapters.
3.1 Interrelation between society and protected areas
3.1.1 The next society
H1: A society in transition needs pro-
tected areas to accept new functions
and to develop new forms of perfor-
mance delivery. The protected areas of
the future can offer so much more than
their creators, the nature conservation-
ists, ever dared to hope.
Results of the expert discussions:
It was questioned if we know enough about the hopes and intentions of the for-
mer creators of protected areas. Probably already in the past there have been differ-
ent purposes for the establishment of parks, e.g. the maintenance of exclusive hunt-
ing grounds, the protection of outstanding landscapes, the conservation of
particular charismatic species, or the development of rural areas (LS). Further, it
was argued that currently we might not be able to assess how the next society will
look like. Throwing a glance at school children might give us an idea of the prefer-
ences of future societies. It seems that prospective parks will have to compete with
the experiences offered by the virtual era, and therefore will have to get rid of
outmoded behaviour, structures and methods (MM). It was predicted, that future
generations might be more and more separated from nature, but at the same time
more and more searching for nature experiences as sources for inspiration or recre-
ation. Thus, new methods for interpretation will be required (SJ).
Most experts agreed that our society currently is and always will be in transition
(EH, PC, LA, IA, PKC). In contrast, the functions of protected areas are expected
to remain more or less stable (PC, LA), although their tasks are gradually increas-
ing: Protected areas are no longer strict reserves, excluding people for the benefit
of nature, but large areas where nature is allowed to “breathe”, while still providing
services and recreational space for people (TJ). In the future, the pressure on pro-
tected areas will probably rise, for instance because of climate change, an increas-
ing scarcity of resources, and the worldwide search for alternative energy sources
mitigating global warming (FKM, PD). Hence, on the one hand, parks will be
needed as reference areas for undisturbed “nature”. On the other hand, they are
expected to demonstrate how sustainable land-use forms may contribute to nature
conservation (RB, SE). Biosphere reserves in particular are seen as “model re-
gions”, indicating a way towards sustainability, and delivering effects even beyond
their borders by transferring good practices, replicable approaches, and policy
advises to neighbouring regions (PP-2). Therefore, park managers are increasingly
requested to cooperate with manifold stakeholder groups and maintain a close
contact with the people living in and around the protected areas. Networking,
communication processes and bottom-up approaches are considered key elements
of the current and future park management (RL, PP).
However, it seems to be dangerous to extent the expectations towards protected
areas too much. They cannot be much better than the socio-political systems they
are embedded in. This rather might be a utopia, a heterotop, in terms of Faucault
(LS). It is a nice vision that parks might stimulate societal change. But probably
they are always just mirroring the attitudes and values of the current society (PP,
IA). Expecting that they offer much more than their creators ever dared to hope
is probably related to their new sustainable development function, which quite
often simply means less nature conservation (SKS). This is probably true as long as
society still considers economy to be the basis for human development. Once socie-
ty starts to accept the natural resources being the basis and framework for any
social and economic development (SE), parks might become true models for sus-
tainability, showing that people have to sacrifice some commodities in order to
maintain high standards of nature conservation (SA).
Parks of the next generation might be compromises between environmental pro-
tection and economic development, facing the pending danger that their conserva-
tion function is neglected in favour of their development function (PG, KY). Alter-
natively, we might experience a shift from protected areas to “sustainably used
green areas” on the one hand, and “wilderness areas” on the other hand, which are
so large that they need no particular management or protection (MM-2).
3.1.2 Parks 3.0
H2: The understanding of parks, their
aims, responsibilities, and methods is
subject to continuous change, sometimes
shifting by leaps and bounds, sometimes
charging ahead of the spirit of its time,
and sometimes lagging behind. Today, we
can observe the emergence of a new
generation of protected areas, their out-
lines just becoming visible: we call them “Parks 3.0”. Whereas the first generation
of parks operated (or still operates) on the principle of command and control, the
second generation is target, problem und solution oriented. The development of
Parks 3.0 is a process that meanders along the path of three principles: sustaina-
bility, good governance and benefit sharing.
Results of the expert discussions:
This hypothesis was very controversially discussed. The assumed succession of
three generations of protected areas was questioned (RB). Besides, it was criticised,
that the concept of Parks 3.0 remains pretty undefined. It seems to be a very general
kind of postmodern approach for problem resolution, or maybe an instrument for
regional development under the command of nature conservation. However, expe-
rience showed us, that uncertain concepts – such as the concept of sustainable
development – are dammed to become paper tigers. Therefore, the concept of Parks
3.0 has to be sharpened and it should not be branded with the label of an ultimate
solution bringer (WN).
The described core processes of Parks 3.0 were regarded as too simplistic since
sustainability, good governance, and benefit sharing can hardly be considered new
aspects: This type of parks already exists. Even in the past, the development of
some protected areas (e.g. the French regional nature parks) has been guided by
such principles (KY,
). In fact, the notion of Parks 3.0 sounds like good
practice of sustainable land use planning and resources management – thus, nothing
new, but rather mainstream. Many questions remain, for example: How to address
conflicts? How to make the local society 3.0 defending “their” park against present
and future pressures? How to (self-)organise sustainable development in a regional
context (PD) and thus avoid that sustainability remains only a myth (PC)? General-
ly, sustainability, good governance and benefit sharing are indeed important pillars
of modern parks, in particular of biosphere reserves (RB). But new aspects have to
be equally considered, e.g. the handling of commons, the provision of ecosystem
services, and the development of local identity (including spiritual values) and
ownership (ST, SS). Finally, it was doubted if the principles of Parks 3.0 are appli-
cable to parks all over the world. In regions with growing population pressure,
being caught in military conflicts or fighting the effects of serious natural disasters,
the principles of Parks 2.0 or 1.0 probably will still be in effect for a long time
Although ambitious, most experts considered stakeholder participation and ben-
efit sharing to be key elements of Parks 3.0 (SS, TJ, SE, PP, BR). With the devel-
opment of the worldwide web, information flows are expected to be facilitated
which allows for an involvement of the greater public (BR). In a world with mil-
lions of people still dying of hunger, benefit-sharing is a concept which needs to be
developed further. Protected areas shall contribute to poverty alleviation instead of
threatening the livelihood of the rural poor even further by limiting their access to
nature. Besides conservation functions, Parks 3.0 shall adopt social functions by
employing, feeding and protecting poor locals and allowing them to use the natural
resources inside the park (TJ). It was mentioned, that particularly in Africa, includ-
ing humans into the development and management of parks and reserves is the only
successful way out of poverty and environmental degradation (BKS). However, the
concept of benefit-sharing shall not only be constrained to a support for marginal-
ised communities. In fact, particularly in biosphere reserves an exchange should
occur at least on three levels: locally (benefit for communities in the reserve), with-
in the international network of biosphere reserves (sharing of experiences, learning
from each other to reinforce the network and its outreach), and outside the
UNESCO network (impacting decision making and policies both at national and
international levels) (PP-2). For some, the fear remains that stakeholder involve-
ment and benefit sharing might water down the primary function of protected areas
which is nature conservation (PP). In the case of strict nature reserves, for example,
stakeholder needs shall not be in the front. If conservation shall be successful,
unpopular decisions need to be taken from time to time. In these cases, compromis-
es cannot be afforded (TJ).
3.2 Conservation focus
3.2.1 Closing the gaps
H3: Many parks are not located where
they are needed, but instead they are
located where their establishment has
been possible. In contrast, Parks 3.0 will
be located at the centres of biodiversity,
in the conflict zones of competing inter-
ests, in urban and peri-urban spaces and
in Earth’s oceans.
Results of the expert discussions:
Many experts agreed that focusing on the protection of biodiversity hotspots
would be highly desirable (PP, TJ, MR, KG, BKS, SKS), but many doubted that
this will be possible in the future (LS, MR, KG, BKS). Since nowadays the estab-
lishment of protected areas requires much more involvement of local stakeholders,
in most cases the designation of parks in hotspot areas probably would remain
wishful thinking (LS, MR, KG, PG). The ongoing population growth and the in-
creasing economic interests in fertile grounds and clean water will rather embitter
the global fight for natural resources and thus weaken the status of protected areas
in the long run (BKS). Some experts pointed to the threat, that by applying Mitter-
meier’s hotspots concept
parks which are “poorer” in biodiversity and manage-
ment efficiency might be traded off in exchange to safeguard only “biodiversity
hotspots” (SA). Besides they worried about the multitude of national parks situated
above the tree line or on glaciers, which would be at risk if Parks 3.0 should only
The concept of “Biodiversity Hotspots” was developed in the 1980s by the two biologists Russell
Mittermeier and Norman Myers. They tried to find out the most efficient way to conserve nature.
be located in the regions with the greatest diversity in species (LA). It was claimed
to maintain all existing parks even if they host only a small variety of species (TJ).
With its Natura 2000 network, the European Union already made the first steps
towards putting protected areas at the centres of biodiversity, in the conflict zones
of competing interests”. 21 years after the launch of the Flora and Fauna Directive,
however, the challenge still remains to make this initiative a successful one. Unfor-
tunately, most of the countries have not succeeded in establishing the ecological
network as a model for the wise use of the natural resources (SE). Where new parks
will be established will depend on what future generations will consider worth
preserving. An honest and rigorous re-evaluation of our protected area networks
would be needed (e.g. performing network analysis, identifying gaps and making
all the necessary efforts to integrate these areas in the network). Although this is not
a simple task, it should be on the agenda of our political leaders (IA).
Regarding biosphere reserves, in more recent years there already has been a no-
ticeable increase of sites located in urban areas and coastal regions which are also
heavily populated by human beings (ST). Some urban areas and even large cities,
such as Berlin, host a great number of species, and offer an enormous potential to
address a great number of townspeople who generally have a higher desire for
nature than the rural population (SKS). Furthermore, protected areas in the proxim-
ity to cities could increase the environmental awareness of the urban population
which might positively influence the negotiation of conflicts (RB). However, the
“disneyfication” which already takes place in some urbanized parks demonstrates
the absurdity of nature protection in these areas (MM-2). But maybe, in a way, all
parks are “disneyfications” as they represent different images of nature, and differ-
ent perceptions of how nature should be (PKC). Furthermore, in Germany and
other industrialized countries probably all parks can be considered urban or peri-
urban to a certain extent, maybe not in the geographical, but in their social and
cultural context (MM), and with respect to their degree of nativeness. Anyway,
protecting areas of environmental restoration and rehabilitation (ST) and consider-
ing the ecological connectivity between parks will be equally important for future
planning processes than filling the existing gaps in the global protected areas net-
works (RL, PC).
3.2.2 Limits to growth
H4: After decades of a steady increase
of protected areas (in numbers and area),
the protected area system now is entering
a phase of consolidation. In Parks 3.0 the
focus shifts from quantity (scale of areas)
to quality.
Results of the expert discussions:
The vast majority of the responding experts agreed that a shift from quantity to
quality would be highly needed in nature conservation (PC, LS, ST, KG, SKS,
BKS, WN, PP, IA, SS, BR, RB, SE, PD). However, the term “quality” needs fur-
ther explanation (e.g. what are the relevant criteria, who is deciding on the quality?)
otherwise it can be (mis)used in manifold ways (LA). In Eastern Europe, for exam-
ple, protected areas have been declared under the political pressure in the context
of joining the European Union. Back then, for instance in Romania, a “conservation
boom” could be observed. The focus was mainly on quantity (achieving a minimum
area in a short period of time), but not on quality (IA). In the rush to meet interna-
tional, regional or other obligations, some countries may have designated inappro-
priate sites, in order to avoid the protection of other, more contentious sites. Thus, a
focus on quality would also imply an honest and thorough review of the current
protected area network in order to ensure the protection of the most valuable sites
(TJ). In many parks, serious improvements will have to be made in the fields of
management planning, applied research, evaluation and monitoring schemes, ca-
pacity building, environmental education, and community outreach (PC, LS, KG).
The focus on quality seems to be even more essential as nowadays many bio-
sphere reserves or nature parks are mainly installed for economic or touristic rea-
sons (KG). Furthermore, an improved park management will be significant in coun-
teracting the damage done by unlimited economic growth worldwide (BR). There-
by, not only the adjoining areas and ecological corridors shall be integrated into the
conservation efforts, but also the unprotected areas in between (PD, SS). Too many
stakeholders still believe that biodiversity conservation or sustainable development
issues shall be addressed and solved mainly through the establishment of protected
areas, which is considered to be a wrong approach. Environmental issues must be
the concern of all sectors and actors of development, which is still a quite difficult
principle to apply (see for example the present review of the agricultural/rural
development policies of the European Union). Parks 3.0 and in particular biosphere
reserves should provide concrete examples and approaches for the full implementa-
tion of this principle (PP-2). Connectivity, wilderness and self regulation will be
important topics in the future (RL).
However it was questioned, if in times of huge financial shortages the quality of
parks can really be improved (WN). Currently, most parks suffer from low budgets
and limited human capacity, and there are hardly any signs that this might change in
the future (PD). Even in Germany, one of the richer countries within the European
Union, staff numbers are constantly reduced in several protected areas (SKS). Even
if a focus on quality was principally embraced, not everybody agreed on consoli-
dating the number of protected areas. According to international agreements within
the framework of the Convention on Biological Diversity
, by 2020, 17 per cent of
the world’s land, and ten per cent of the costal and marine areas are supposed to
become a protected area of some sort. Most countries so far do not comply with
this obligation. Particularly high seas, of which only one per cent of the area is
protected, have a huge backlog demand (PP). The concept of Parks 3.0 shall not
fall back behind these international standards (FKM, MM-2) as for insuring a high
quality of protection and ecological connectivity it is necessary to guarantee a
certain surface (habitats and ecological functions) as well as a certain number of
protected areas (PG, MM). For biosphere reserves, in particular, the quantity in
terms of area also increases due to the inclusion of larger buffer and transition
zones which quite often are not legally protected (ST).
The Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011 2020 and the related Aichi Biodiversity Target have
been adopted in 2010 during the 10th meeting of the Conference of the Parties of the Convention on
Biological Diversity. Target 11 calls for: “By 2020, at least 17 per cent of terrestrial and inland water,
and 10 per cent of coastal and marine areas, especially areas of particular importance for biodiversity
and ecosystem services, are conserved through effectively and equitably managed, ecologically repre-
sentative and well connected systems of protected areas and other effective area-based conservation
measures, and integrated into the wider landscapes and seascapes.”
3.2.3 Post management
H5: The management of landscapes is
becoming more and more mired in
bureaucratic processes, populist ac-
tion, and unresolved conflicts of goals.
Parks 3.0 stand for the new approach
of letting go, new extensive nature
conservation. Nature develops accord-
ing to its own laws, even where this is
not desired by nature conservation.
Results of the expert discussions:
With some limitations, most of the experts generally supported the approach of
allowing more natural dynamic processes in protected areas without too much
human intervention (GM, MC, PD, LS, RL, RM, WN, FKM, TJ, IA, BR, SE, PG,
PP-2). So far, in Europe, nature conservation measures mainly focus on the preser-
vation of (extensively managed) cultural landscapes and their related species (LS,
RL). Unfortunately, it has become necessary to consult textbooks to know how
virgin nature is supposed to be like (MC). By calling for extensive nature conser-
vation”, the environmentalist becomes the politician calling for deregulation or the
philosopher defining mankind`s place in the world (MM). In the future we’ll again
have to learn to leave nature alone and show the benefits of “wilderness” to those,
who still tend to spend huge amounts of money to maintain certain features in the
cultural landscapes of Europe (SE). Generally, it can be questioned if modern peo-
ple, especially Europeans, are able not to manage nature. Long before taking the
decision to leave a specific piece of land to itself and its development, a selection is
made and a plan developed. Thus, freely adopted from Paul Watzlawick, one could
assume that “it ca nnot not be managed” (PKC).
Outsiders sometimes wonder about European nature conservation approaches.
African park managers, for example, who visited German biosphere reserves, have
been surprised by artificial shelters for bats and amphibians. They consider it to be
the natural task of the animals to look for themselves (BKS).
The current shortages in public financing might enforce less management any-
way, and thus facilitate the trend of letting nature being nature (BR, PD, BKS). But
this development also bears some threats. If the typical features of a cultural land-
scape are lost, the aesthetic ecosystem services (which are an important asset for
tourism) are lost as well (PD). In the Alps for example, it will be hard to ask for
wilderness as long as visitors expect to find a certain type of landscape and species
there. If the wilderness approach includes “phenomena” such as large carnivores,
the call for a strict management will even raise louder (KY). New conflicts on land
use will most likely emerge (BR).
At the end of the day the protected area itself might be questioned (PD). At the
moment it is still not clear, how extensive nature conservation” could work in
reality. In Europe, there seems to be neither the space for it, nor the political will
(WN), and nobody knows how to protect unmanaged wild places from encroach-
ment (FKM). So obviously, also Parks 3.0 need professional management. This
might be less bureaucratic and following innovative and more creative approaches,
but certain management structures are inevitable (RB). For some, adaptive man-
agement would be the method of choice, as not only nature will change according
to its own laws, but also human needs and land use forms, and these changes have
to be addressed constantly (MM-2). Based on a good understanding of landscape
functioning, some guided actions could be carried out in order to restore ecosys-
tems or improve their capacity to be resilient and to deliver services that are essen-
tial to both nature and humankind (PP-2). Furthermore, some sites may require
intervention, in case certain species or habitats would be highly threatened by natu-
ral succession (TJ). In a nutshell, it probably can be concluded that we need both
“wild” areas and managed areas (IA). In the future, we might distinguish between
“sustainably managed landscapes” and protected areas (SA).
Populist activities, however, are expected to further increase in the next society,
as “nature” and its conservation meanwhile has become a pseudonym for the nego-
tiation of a large number of varied social interests. Besides, new communication
means will facilitate the mobilisation of large numbers of citizens at short notice
(EH, SKS, PG, PKC). But it might be a contradiction to criticise ‘populist action’
and at the same time to promote the trendy approach of “extensive nature conser-
vation”. It is quite probably that many NGOs and park authorities will always
follow the latest “fashion” in nature conservation as long as this promises funding
for new projects (LA).
3.2.4 New subjects requiring protection
H6: The most important subjects re-
quiring protection in the parks are spe-
cies, habitats and ecosystems; also, fre-
quently, features of landscapes or specific
resources. The concept of Parks 3.0 ex-
pands to embrace the future subjects
requiring protection. Today’s landscapes
are followed by the soundscapes (natural
sound environments), climatescapes (spaces of interest in terms of climate), and
airscapes (fresh air spaces) of tomorrow.
Results of the expert discussions:
Many experts appreciated the idea of diversifying the range of elements which
could be protected in Parks 3.0 (SE, SJ, SA, ST, LS, KG, RM, TJ). It would be
desirable to literally look at “the bigger picture” and start thinking beyond the
numbers of species and the size of the habitat areas (TJ). Many respondents even
extended the given list of potential new subjects of protection. For example, in
response to light pollution, some suggested protecting “darkness” in Parks 3.0
(MC) as already implemented in the so called “parks of dark sky” in Slovakia (SJ).
These efforts correspond to the goals of the “Declaration in Defence of the Night
Sky and the Right to Starlight” (KG) which was jointly signed in April 2007 in La
Palma (Spain) by representatives of UNESCO, UNWTO, IAU, and other interna-
tional agencies. As the service functions of protected areas for health and the well-
being of people are more and more explored, in future so called “healthscapes”
might be established (LS). In 2010, the “Healthy Parks Healthy People Congress”
was held in Melbourne (Australia) in order to reveal the manifold ways nature and
parks contribute to our health and wellbeing. Likewise, “mindscapes” or “spiritual
homes” could be special places where people interact with nature, enjoy spiritual
issues (SA) or just feel at home (MM). Both concepts “mindscapes” and
“healthscapes” underline the interrelationship between human beings and nature
(ST). This approach might facilitate a deeper understanding and acceptance of the
importance of protected areas in the public (IA). In addition to these “emotional”
Information on the Healthy Parks Healthy People Congress 2010 (in Melbourne) can be found
categories, additional “seascapes” were claimed by an expert in order to properly
protect our marine environment (BR).
Although meeting general approval, the integration of new subjects of protection
in Parks 3.0 faces some limitations. The extensive use of neologisms and new la-
bels might confuse the public (SS) which is already bewildered by the meaning of
the existing range of protected area categories. Besides, fresh air, quietness or a
healthy climate must not be restricted to protected areas (RL). Ideally, by way of
positive example, parks should induce a will to change the “real world” (PP-2). The
whole discussion on this hypothesis reminds of Douglas Adams’ fictional work
“The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”, in which ideal worlds can be ordered from
a catalogue. If one were to consistently pursue this thought, it could also mean that
the most original and most exclusive soundscapes, airscapes, etc. are only accessi-
ble to the elite and those who can afford it (PKC).
Generally, we should avoid stylizing protected areas as healthy “paradise”
whereas the remaining areas without particular protection are just “hell” with re-
spect to noise, pollution, or the loss of biodiversity (PP-2, LA). In reality, this is not
true anyway. For example, the engine sounds from the popular high Alpine road
leading over the Großglockner in the National Park Hohe Tauern (Austria) can be
heard from any of the surrounding mountains (GM). So this remote national park is
far from providing a natural sound environment. In contrast to densely populated
Europe, silence can be enjoyed for instance in Canadian parks. Here you would
only listen to the gentle sound of the wind rustling in the trees (KG). In the densely
populated and intensely used space in Europe, even in the future protected areas
will probably not be able to meet all the high expectations (KY).
Without any doubt, the parks of tomorrow will have new functions and roles to
play. New concepts will probably be developed in compliance with the subjects of
protection mentioned in the hypothesis, but nevertheless space is limited and con-
troversial interests of land use are to be expected (PG). Soundscapes” or “air-
scapes” for instance would probably be quite sensitive to increased visitation, so a
trade-off with tourism or development goals might occur (PP). Generally it could be
difficult to define the difference between a “climatescape” park and a park for
biodiversity conservation. So it might be a better solution to integrate the men-
tioned aspects in already existing protected areas. It seems to be important to claim
the right for a dark sky without light pollution, the right to listen to natural sounds
only, and the right to enjoy the peace of internet free zones. All this stands for the
absence of human civilization. Probably in the future, more and more people will
highly value protected areas as retreat from the negative impacts of civilization, and
as haven to replenish their energies (PD). However following an alternative scenar-
io, for the next society it might also be enough to coat their living room with a
nicely looking wall paper with nature impressions, deceiving themselves with a
lovely ‘fir forest’ scent and a ‘magical sounds of the forest’ CD (BKS, IA).
3.3 Social perspectives
3.3.1 Sustainability
H7: The principle of sustainability
has become the guiding principle of
many protected areas. Even more than
today, Parks 3.0 represent an ongoing
intervention in terms of sustainability.
Results of the expert discussions:
All experts agreed that sustainability should be one of the guiding principles of
protected area management (LA, SS, PC, LS, SKS, IA, TJ, RL, MR, BR, PP-2, ST,
KG, FKM, MM, RB, MM-2, SE, PP, PG). In most of the parks, the potential to
showcase the principles of sustainability seems to be higher than elsewhere – there-
fore it should be high on the agenda (LA). Protected areas should more and more
become laboratories for sustainable approaches to be spread beyond their borders
(SS, ST). Tourism offers in protected areas may become important means for
achieving education for sustainable development: Once guests experienced alterna-
tive approaches while visiting a park, they may become “actors of change” back in
their everyday life (PP-2). Generally it was assumed, that sustainability can only be
achieved through a cooperative action of all stakeholders across all levels and
functions (MM-2), Furthermore it shall be realised in an integrative approach and
not as a sequence of single, more or less short-dated measures (PG).
Some parks already started contributing to a sustainable life style (e.g. accessi-
bility by public transport, use of renewable energy, organic food in restaurant or
cafes) but still there is a huge gap between vision and reality and it is questionable
if this will change substantially in the future (LS, PD, TJ, IA). Maybe only staff in
Parks 4.0 will know how to apply sustainability in practice (TJ). It seems that quite
often, people working in parks are not yet fully focussed on sustainability but on
classic nature conservation (SKS). Although sustainability already has become a
common principle, it is not always understood in its full sense and not all parts of
the world follow the same trend. So its application into practice remains a big chal-
lenge (IA). Best practice examples have to be implemented in order to convince
people of the importance of a sustainable life-style (RL, MR). The fear was ex-
pressed, that by talking about sustainability, quite often the social and economic
aspects are in the front whereas nature is pushed back. Thus protected areas must
not refer to the weak definition of sustainability (equal consideration of ecologic,
social and economic aspects), but to the strong one, where the natural resources are
considered to be the indispensible basis for social and economic development (SE,
PP). Moreover, it has to be considered that sustainability in parks refers not only to
local challenges, such as maintaining the welfare of the people at an ever lower
environmental cost. It also implies not to externalize problems which are not solved
locally to the outer world (FKM).
Not all experts have been so doubtful about the slow and insufficient application
of the sustainability principle. Some believe that the number of parks implementing
a sustainable lifestyle is increasing quickly. Thus the gap between vision and reality
will be filled faster than we might expect (KG), although there is still a lot of work
to do (RB). It appeared that sustainability is no universal remedy. In consequence
of the overall efforts towards a sustainable energy supply, for instance, currently
many controversial discussions on renewable energy projects in protected areas
arise. Parks 3.0 could be a supportive instrument to solve these problems (KG).
3.3.2 Governance
H8: In contrast to the parks of the
first generation (command and con-
trol), and the parks of the second gen-
eration (target oriented), Parks 3.0 are
process oriented. Consequently, they
represent complex fields for experi-
menting with new forms of community.
Results of the expert discussions:
Many experts embraced the idea that Parks 3.0 should emerge as model regions
for new forms of community which are closely related to bottom-up processes and
the principles of “good governance” (MR, RB, PP, SS, BKS, TJ, IA, PC). Stake-
holder involvement, “good governance” structures, and periodic consultation meet-
ings with local residents are very positive features of any democratic society – and
thus need to be actively promoted (ST). The atmosphere of governance in protected
areas will be closely linked to the atmosphere of governance in the society in gen-
eral. Looking at the civil unrest in some European countries, governance of Parks
3.0 might become an experiment (MM). Currently, already some so-called “peo-
ple’s parks” which are driven by local communities exist. The challenge in the
future will be to set people’s involvement as a fundament for a well-designed “co-
management structure” without disturbance by political changes (MM-2). Develop-
ing innovative forms of communication processes will be an essential task of new
protected area policies (WN). Ideally, new forms of community would result in a
higher sense of social responsibility and solidarity towards the global environment
However, although local negotiation and participation processes are essential el-
ements of today´s protected area management, command and control as well as
clearly defined targets will never be totally obsolete (MR, RB, PG). Modern bio-
sphere reserves, for instance, are target and process oriented because a process
without (agreed) targets probably will end nowhere (PD). Generally, all parties
involved still need to learn a lot in order to find the best ways of communication,
participation and governance in parks. Protected area managers will have to adopt
new functions as facilitators and catalysts of these participation processes, which
require a new set of skills, knowledge and mindsets (SE).
So far, in process-oriented approaches, the establishment of new protected areas
has often been refused by local people. If the target should be achieved anyhow
(that is if the park shall be designated), huge efforts have to be made to explain the
benefits of protected areas – not only for nature, but also for the society (TJ). As a
lot of time and expenditures have to be invested, some experts predicted that to-
day’s focus on extensive bottom-up processes may again decrease in the future (LS,
LA). Besides, it can be questioned if in the future there will be sufficient active
stakeholders who are willing to become involved and shape the development of
their region (LA). Due to the current financial cuts of the protected area budgets,
bringing young people to take an interest in nature conservation and sustainable
development is only partially possible (SKS, IA).
3.3.3 Empowerment
H9: Protected areas are often re-
garded as a burden by communities,
many of which are already disadvan-
taged. Parks 3.0 can evolve into pow-
erful instruments for the activation and
support of communities that are mar-
ginalised or even discriminated.
Results of the expert discussions:
It was agreed that the advantages for communities to be or become – part of a
protected area should be made clear (e.g. economic potential, worldwide reputa-
tion, ownership feeling) (PP, PD). If parks would be regarded as a burden by
communities’, they probably won’t survive in the long run (LA). Since 40 years,
UNESCO biosphere reserves are already trying to demonstrate that nature conser-
vation is able to generate benefits for the communities which are implementing it
(PP-2). Once protected areas are considered an opportunity rather than a constraint,
for instance for testing innovative sustainable approaches, enhancing local cultural
identity, and marketing region-specific products (ST), communities will be interest-
ed in being involved (PP). It would be a great achievement if at the end of the day
the local people would identify themselves with the goals and the management of
“their” protected area (MM). Although this seems to be a feasible scenario, it is a
very difficult task that needs specialized people to make it happen. However, most
of the staff members in parks so far do not know how to highlight the most obvious
benefits of their protected areas for the communities. Thus, special new skills and
resources are needed within the management teams (SE).
(Economic) studies show that even nowadays the establishment of protected are-
as may facilitate the development of marginalised communities (LS, MR). The
region around Bavarian Forest National Park, for instance, is benefiting from the
existence of the national park which attracts many visitors and tourists who are
spending money in the region and thus provide additional sources of income and
new jobs (LS). However even though these effects already exist, there would be a
lot space for further improvement (MR) and Parks 3.0, with their values and way of
acting, could be an important pillar of a new socioeconomic approach (SS). Unfor-
tunately, in many national parks in Madagascar for example, the local communities
are perhaps even worse off as a result of the protected areas they live next to. They
have been literally booted out of the parks, and are not even allowed to collect
firewood any longer. While some are fortunate enough to achieve some sort of
education and training, and become freelance guides, many others are simply left to
their own means, and continue to struggle with daily life. Similar situations can be
observed in Uganda, and Kenya, and to a lesser degree in Malaysia (TJ). Thus, the
empowerment of local communities and indigenous peoples will probably be the
greatest challenge in the future. Regular capacity building measures and the estab-
lishment of local support and good governance mechanisms shall ensure that em-
powerment is really implemented on a continuous basis (MM-2, KY, PG, PC).
Initiatives such as the European Charter for Sustainable Tourism may help to
strengthen local communities and economies (BR). However, the benefits of parks
should not only be assessed in economic terms, but also in terms of resilience:
those who still have land and water available will for sure be better prepared to
cope with the global crisis the planet is facing (PP-2).
In any case if Parks 3.0 shall develop as powerful instruments for the empower-
ment of local people, a perfect zoning is needed (agreed in a participatory way at
local level) which balances between conservation and development, and allows for
a good cooperation between “inside” and outside”. Thus, for biosphere reserves the
term “cooperation zone” would be more appropriate in comparison to “transition
zone” (KG, RB, IA).
3.3.4 Innovation
H10: Protected areas have revealed
new challenges and have explored,
developed and implemented diverse
solutions in response. The innovative
benefit of protected areas lies in merg-
ing location-specific knowledge that
has been handed down with interna-
tional state of the art technologies and
insights. Parks 3.0 will evolve into
innovation regions balanced between
persistence and avant-garde.
Results of the expert discussions:
Some experts assumed that even today, protected areas can be regarded as inno-
vative places (PC). They often are – and probably will even be more in the future -
places where tradition and innovation meet (SS). There is a lot of innovation poten-
tial in rural areas and parks are used as catalysers for innovative processes, mainly
in the fields of agriculture, education, and tourism (LA). In the Mediterranean, for
instance, a number of marine protected areas already established underwater self-
guided trails using new audio-visual technologies. On land, smart-phone technolo-
gy is commonly used to provide intelligent interpretation (TJ). However, for
achieving a balance between persistence and avant-garde, highly skilled and open
minded staff is needed (KY). Besides, environmental education activities have to
be initiated already at the youngest age (PG) and innovative forms of communica-
tion have to be developed (RL). One expert argued that protected areas probably do
not stimulate technological innovations, but rather social ones, resulting in new
organisations, processes, networks and institutions. It seems to turn out that in some
peripheral regions parks are the only academic institutions that have the potential to
innovate at all (LS).
In contrast, others pointed to the fact, that in rural areas, where parks are usually
located, people tend to stick to traditions rather than being known for innovative
approaches (LS, SKS). Generally, local knowledge and traditions can be a source
for new approaches and innovative products, but they don’t have to be. Quite often,
traditional structures hinder innovation (MR). But on the other hand, parks could
exactly be those free spaces, in which it is possible to break with tradition and
above all with conventions. They could present a way for lateral thinkers and free
spirits to overcome traditional barriers (PKC). However, the given management
objectives (fixed in long-term management plans) and clear governance structures
(composed of advisory and decision-making boards) may prevent the emergence of
innovative ideas. For testing innovative ideas you need flexibility and a creative
environment which tend to be more distinct in urban and younger environments
(LS, SKS). Although even if it might be true, that urban areas tend to be more
innovative, innovation can also be observed in rural areas: There are (still) enough
young people around, and many older people are very interested in modern ap-
proaches, such as computing, use of the internet, engagement in organic farming,
healthy cooking or a mix of traditional and modern architecture (KG, IA). However
it can be questioned, if the assumed innovations (e.g. organic farming or healthy
cooking) are really innovative or just re-invented traditional practices (PP).
To a certain extent, protected areas have been “pushed” towards innovation by
new population levels migrating to these areas. More and more people are moving
to the countryside, as well as more and more people from Western Europe are
moving to Eastern European countries in order to search for “innovative” lifestyles
that build on the traditional ones (SE). Protected areas are often considered to be
places where humans can reinvent themselves, regaining the ability to live in har-
mony with nature (PC). Sometimes, people who have left their hometown or even
their homeland, in order to try out a completely new way of life in a protected area,
have been eyed with suspicion in the beginning. But usually, in the end, it brought a
positive boost for further development to the newly chosen habitat (PKC). New
technologies and fast internet connections provide an opportunity for E-working,
and thus for connecting isolated rural areas with the rest of the world, making them
more attractive as living space also for younger people (PP-2). Thus, technology
development might bring about the postulated balance between tradition and inno-
vation (BR).
Maybe we do not need that much innovation anyway, as traditional knowledge
on the sustainable use of the natural resource has stood the test of time. Its empiri-
cal value needs to be promoted both for protected and non-protected area manage-
ment (ST). Besides, protection and persistence itself can be regarded very “avant-
garde” (PG). But there are new challenges arising which probably cannot be solved
with traditional or conservative approaches only. Climate change, for instance, will
definitely be an important topic to be dealt with in Parks 3.0. Today’s delineation
of protected areas might not be appropriate anymore in the future climatic situation,
for example when beech forest habitats move northwards and semi-arid ecosystems
enlarge. As a consequence, Park 3.0 might have to move, too (MM-2), in order to
adapt to a changing environment (BKS).
3.3.5 Knowledge management
H11: Protected areas are (have be-
come) region-locked knowledge based
organisations. The structure, utilisa-
tion, application, and archiving of
knowledge is gaining significance.
Parks 3.0 will develop into complex
knowledge landscapes straddling the
living environment and excellence.
Results of the expert discussions:
Some experts agreed that parks stimulate and support the dissemination of
knowledge in their surroundings (LA, FKM). There is a lot to learn from protected
areas and their interactions happening at landscapes level. They are teaching us the
lessons of nature including the potentials of a harmonious coexistence. It is up to us
to decode the information and use it rationally (PC). It seems to be important that
Parks 3.0 develop into a real functional network which facilitates the transfer of
knowledge and expertise, by exchanging staff and regularly communicating with
other protected areas, rather than falling into the trap of becoming knowledge-
hoarding institutions (TJ). For the Alps, such a tool already exists: Since more than
17 years, ALPARC, the Alpine Network for Protected Areas, is fostering an active
knowledge exchange, and developing common strategies, joint EU projects, and
numerous publications (PG).
As the long standing knowledge of locals on the landscape is very valuable
(BR), more resources should be allocated to preserve traditional knowledge, which
is disappearing due to globalization and socio-economic changes, and integrate it
into the park management (IA). It is highly welcomed that knowledge is not the
exclusive property of “science” anymore, but part of a more complex knowledge
landscape, owned by manifold stakeholder groups. Such knowledge shall not only
be preserved, but expressed and integrated into broader decision and management
processes (PP-2). However it is not yet clear, how to handle the information in
order to share it in wider regional or global contexts (ST, MR). Either managers
could become “knowledge brokers” who facilitate the integration of knowledge in
the neighbouring regions (PP-2) or additional human resources outside the park
administrations would have to be installed, such as for example knowledge scouts
or trouble shooters (PD). Considering the current trend of economic optimisation, it
remains questionable, if enough funds will be provided for such activities (KY).
Besides, park managers might have some difficulties valuing and using the
knowledge they are gaining every day. Examples, where knowledge acquired in
parks has been taken up and efficiently used regionally (for example to improve
regional or local strategic development) are still rare (SE). Maybe there are not
always enough open-minded people available for a discussion between the parks
and their surrounding regions (BKS). The potential degree of such a knowledge
transfer also depends on the type of protected area, its governance structure, and
the political system in which it is embedded (WN). Many biosphere reserves (new
generation) have already achieved these aims, whereas other parks still “lock” their
knowledge, without distributing it to where it has to be (MM-2).
Finally it has to be considered that some information is secret knowledge, e.g. in
the case of protected areas that contain sacred sites. In such cases, the distribution
of knowledge can only be effected upon the prior and informed consent of local
custodians and communities concerned (ST). Additionally, parks should not com-
municate nesting places of rare birds, stands of endangered orchid or other “sensi-
tive” information (LS).
3.3.6 Future platform
H12: Even more than today, the so-
ciety of the future will need places for
reflection, inspiration and recreation.
Parks 3.0 are spaces that inspire
thoughts about the future.
Results of the expert discussions:
Many experts agreed that, from their personal experience, in an increasingly ur-
banized world nature is the perfect place for gaining insights and inspiration. Pro-
tected areas that provide the appropriate scenery for an overall spiritual reflection
are essential for human well-being at large, and for the personal development at
individual level (ST). Nature is a miracle, providing endless benefits for mankind
(PC): It is a perfect place to recover from illnesses (RL) and the best environment
to develop high-flying thoughts about the future (SE, MC). Its beauty inspires art,
ideas and actions of people (PC) as it invites to stay and enjoy muse or even illumi-
nation (MC). Out in nature, we constantly feel that we must not “detach” ourselves
from the natural resources in order not to turn “root-less” (SE).
Thus, preserving wild areas will become an increasingly important task for pro-
tected area managers, especially in crowded continents like Europe (SE). Those
wilderness areas remind us of our past and how nature and environment used to
look like in former times (BKS). In an over-civilized industrialized world with the
same shops and brands everywhere, and many urban areas and culturally formed
landscapes, it is comforting to experience, that there are still some places which are
different (MM, MC, KG). But what is meant by the term „different“? This can be
illustrated by a simple example: From Innsbruck, an Austrian city, it takes only 20
minutes by car to Italy. In the same second you cross the border, suddenly there is
something different. It´s Italy, you see it, you feel it, you feel well, and you get
inspired. Italians will probably have the same impression when heading north to-
wards Austria. A good park should offer such experiences, too (KG). In some
cases, this seems to be already achieved. Many people (even VIPs and journalists)
visiting Neusiedler See National – even if they only stayed for a very short time
(LA). However it has to be kept in mind, that even if protected areas are ideal plac-
es for reflection and inspiration, this is not a USP of parks (or Parks 3.0). Sitting in
the interior of an old church or in front of a tree in your (or a public) garden (WN,
GM) may provide an equal experience.
As we observe today, future societies will probably be even less connected to
nature. Therefore, Parks 3.0 need to address “nature interpretation” in more innova-
tive ways (MM-2). We generally have to distinguish between recreation and reflec-
tion; with some advice and support, the former can be done by a lot of people,
whereas the latter requires solitude (BR). However it was questioned by some
experts if this solitude is still provided in our protected areas: A focus on events
and modern visitor management attempts to steer visitors towards the “attractions”
of the park. They are pointing more towards activities and “experience”, rather than
peacefulness, reflection and inspiration (EH, GM). Due to prohibitions or de-
marketing measures, quite often the untouched wild core zones are difficult to
enter, whereas the remaining zones are crowded by visitors or at least influenced by
large visitor infrastructure (LS). A conflict of aims emerges: The more parks have
to fulfil the development function, the less space for reflection in wild areas re-
mains (PP).
As nowadays it is becoming increasingly difficult to experience nature alone,
Parks 3.0 need to provide this space, while at the same time allowing for guided
tours (TJ). Anyhow it is not sufficient for parks to provide great nature experiences
and inspiration. The most relevant question is: How to make sure that this inspira-
tion could be translated into a change of lifestyle? If protected areas will not pro-
vide concrete responses to that very challenge, inspiration could quickly turn to
frustration: “There”, in the park, everything is nice, peaceful, and friendly, but
“here”, in my daily environment, it is the opposite, and I do not know how to make
the world a better place (PP).
3.3.7 Regional fractals
H13: All around the world, protect-
ed areas pursue the same goals. Insti-
tutions are developing with similar
responsibilities and cultures. Parks 3.0
are self-similar structures and can thus
become the cornerstones of ecological
Results of the expert discussions:
This hypothesis was controversially debated by the experts. Some assumed that
protected areas might act as a counterbalance to the well-known negative effects of
globalisation (BR), and that they represent ecological cornerstones once they are
connected to each other (RL). In case ecological globalisation would really happen,
the next century might become the century of ecology – following a century of
physics (20th century) and a century of biology (21st century) (PC).
In order to achieve global conservation goals it seems essential that institutions
worldwide are following the same goals (IA). During the last decades, international
organisations, such as IUCN, or conventions, such as the Convention on Biological
Diversity (CBD), developed general guidelines for conserving nature, which result-
ed in comparable structures and approaches of protected areas. Thus, Parks 3.0 are
probably not facilitating ecological globalisation but they are rather a result of it
(LS, KG, WN). While a certain degree of harmonisation of protected area man-
agement has probably already taken place the bandwidth of interpretation of park
categories as well as the governance structures still are and shall remain – di-
verse. Thus, ecological streamlining shall not be an intrinsic feature for Parks 3.0
(LA). Whereas strict nature protection might be achieved by complying with uni-
versal rules, adapted approaches are needed for developing a sense of social re-
sponsibility towards nature and the environment across different cultures. Accord-
ingly, the relevant cornerstones of ecological globalisation are not similar objec-
tives and structures in protected area management, but rather a deep perception of
sustainable development as global challenge which has to be resolved by each of us
individually, on every part of the globe (PP-2). In this respect it has to be consid-
ered that even if protected areas are key players for nature protection, conservation
efforts must not be restricted to parks but extended to and integrated in other eco-
nomic sectors (e.g. agriculture, industry) (PG).
3.4 Economic perspectives
3.4.1 Economics rooted in protected areas
H14: Protected areas are becoming
promoters and model regions for a
green economy, which has a strong
regional context and encourages en-
trepreneurship. As such, Parks 3.0
represent a counter concept to invest-
ment-led global economies.
Results of the expert discussions:
The meaning of protected areas for advancing green economies is still quite de-
batable. One expert affirmed that by fostering local economies, hand craft, and
quality products, biosphere reserves already fulfil the mentioned function (PD),
whereas another one doubted that the fuss about traditional handicrafts and stage-
managed countryside idylls should be the economy of the future (PKC). Generally,
it was stressed, that only the buffer and transition zones of biosphere reserves may
become motors for green development, in particular if use is made of organic and
bio-dynamic farming, renewable energies, and ecotourism. In contrast, in core
zones the primary function has to remain focused on conservation (ST, RB). In this
respect, conservation and business seems to be compatible (RB). Thus, if wisely
and efficiently managed, protected areas can become engines for sustainable devel-
opment – especially at local and regional levels (PC, SS). An import of models
from outside, however, even if considered to be a good example for “green econo-
my”, could be quite critical for the respective context of individual parks (SS).
Generally, the problem remains that different stakeholders still have a different
understanding of green economy (PC). Therefore, the term has to be used with
caution as “green economy” must not necessarily be beneficial for nature conserva-
tion (MC, IA, PP-2, BKS). It is a trendy and pretty dangerous term and it would be
better to simply refer to a “future oriented economy” (WN). Anyhow, it will be
crucial to determine certain criteria for this type of economy (PC). By way of ex-
ample, the ecological footprint concept might be used in order to measure the de-
gree of sustainability of particular economic activities (PP-2).
Whereas many parks already demonstrate that within a strong regional context
business ideas can be developed in accordance with the nature conservation goals,
it also became obvious that people in rural, lesser developed areas tend to increase
their ecological footprint as soon as they earn more money. Parks 3.0 will have to
find a way out of the contradiction that on the one hand the designation of the pro-
tected area might increase the standard of living of the local people which on the
other hand increases their ecological footprint and thus the pressure on the envi-
ronment (LA). In this respect it would be more productive if Parks 3.0 would be-
come models of habit-change instead of being models for green economy. Without
a reduction of our consumption green technologies make little sense (SA, KY, PP,
KG). Thus, Parks 3.0 should at least contribute to the question of how to create
wealth with a minimum consumption of natural resources (MR). In addition, envi-
ronmental protection and concepts for sustainable development need to be extended
beyond the current boundaries of our protected areas (BR).
Concluding it can be affirmed that protected areas are the places where a respon-
sible use of the natural resources shall be promoted. However it has to be avoided
at all costs that the “magic” of economic development outweighs the primary con-
servation role of parks. It seems to be dangerous to focus on pleasing developers
and politicians by emphasising that protected areas will become the new models for
economic development. Park 3.0 should rather be places where we experience and
learn how to live well in harmony with nature (SE).
3.4.2 Benefits
H15: As employers, innovation
hubs, consumers and stimulators for
services as well as tourism offers,
protected areas can be regarded as
regionally significant economic fac-
tors. Parks 3.0 systemise their regional
and national economic effects and
Results of the expert discussions:
Most of the experts agreed that the primary role of Parks 3.0 should remain first
and foremost nature conservation. It should be avoided that conservation is pushed
aside whereas the economic benefits of protected areas are moved into the lime-
light. Not all parks can be economic motors, and most of them will never be self-
financing but continue to depend on public funds (TJ). The staff of a protected area
can be compared with policemen who are enforcing the law: both are providing
important public services. Whereas nobody ever requires that the police should be
“on market” or “generate income”, protected areas are repeatedly requested to
provide benefits for local economies which has brought more negative than positive
impacts (SA, PP, SS). Thus it can be questioned who or what is actually protected
by a protected area: “nature” or the local regional economy in its peripheral loca-
tion? The emphasis on the economic benefit seems to point to the latter (EH, SS).
Conservation is not the simple opposite of development (LA). Biosphere re-
serves are already trying to achieve the reconciliation between conservation and
development (PD). Thereby, a balanced local development, based on nature con-
servation and participative approaches, shall be pursued instead of unilaterally
focusing on tourism (SS). But even if many experts believe in the potential of pro-
tected areas to be catalysers for sustainable economic growth, the long term preser-
vation of the natural values has to be given absolute priority in Parks 3.0 (PC, MM-
2, IA). It is assumed that if managed efficiently, the natural resources and ecosys-
tem services provided by protected areas are the basis for a long-term well-being of
those who live in the area. If this assumption proves to be true, park managers
should promote these non-use values instead of changing the emphasis from con-
servation to economic development (SE, IA).
Anyway, economic development can only happen in the buffer zones (MM-2).
Thereby, it shall be avoided that the use of the natural resources, as well as the
consumption of energy and land is increased. Instead of being motors for economic
growth, Parks 3.0 should rather be innovative counter models to the current eco-
nomic development (MG, PP, MR, RB, SS). The “ecological footprint” concept
seems to be a useful tool to avoid the contradiction between conservation and de-
velopment. So, Parks 3.0 must not systemise their economic effects and impulses,
but rather their capacity to promote sustainable development. This implies for
example, that fresh water generated in a protected area is not bottled in plastic and
consumed 1,000 kilometres far from its spring, or that quality tourism in parks
results in millions of air travel miles caused by nature lovers (PP-2). Generally,
great care has to be taken to avoid that protected areas are “loved to death” through
uncontrolled and excessive mass tourism (ST).
3.4.3 Return of the public contract
H16: In their vast majority, nowadays
protected areas are public institutions
which are publically funded. In con-
trast, Parks 3.0 will become fundrais-
ing agencies in the future, forced to
raise money on the open market from
sponsors, donors and visitors.
Results of the expert discussions:
Many experts stressed that protected areas fulfil manifold public functions (e.g.
nature protection, environmental education, health services) and thus have to be
funded by the public (SS, PP, SE, WN, KY). They need to be regarded and defend-
ed as (local, regional, national or even international) commons (FKM) and thus
shall remain in the public domain for the benefit of all (ST, MM-2). Public owner-
ship and access should be reinforced, not abandoned (PP). With their primary aim
of preserving nature, completely self-funded parks will probably be a utopia any-
way (TJ, PP-2). It is to be expected that the maintenance of biodiversity and eco-
system services is – and will remain – an overall objective society is willing to pay
for (MR).
However reality shows that even today additional fund-raising is a necessity in
many parks (PP-2). It particularly takes place in countries where protected areas are
neglected in terms of financing by the government (PC). But as there is less public
money available all over Europe, a mix of funding sources will be generally im-
portant for Parks 3.0 (BR). We might follow the example of many national parks
for instance in the USA or in Eastern Africa, who already raise money through
entrance fees from visitors (ST). Such self-funded protected areas could free them-
selves from external pressure and political influence. However this kind of inde-
pendency would probably only be feasible for a very limited number of parks (KG),
and it might push parks into a direction that is far from their primary conservation
function (SE). Besides, the political influence can also be confined, if state funding
is combined with governance systems involving local stakeholder groups (SE).
Other funding options would be concepts such as the Yasuní-ITT Initiative (PP),
ecosystem payments (e.g. claiming part of the profits generated by entrepreneurs in
and around the park) (RL), or the cooperation with private donors. But it remains
questionable if such approaches are sustainable in the long-term (MR). Potential
sponsors (especially globalized enterprises) may have their own agenda in mind
which may not necessarily be beneficial for nature protection. In order to avoid that
Parks 3.0 become play grounds for green washing (PD, KY), private sponsoring
needs to be critically questioned and always related to the particular philosophy and
commitment of the company. Generally, it would be necessary to keep a certain
room for negotiation which allows for searching appropriate funding opportunities
that help achieving the vision of the respective park, and not the opposite way
around (PP-2). However, once protected areas would start courting private donors
for basic funding, a new rivalry with environmental NGOs is to be expected (LA).
Anyway, the recent economic crisis in Europe demonstrates the limitation of fund-
ing by the private sector, resulting in a stronger need for a reliable public support
Due to all these reasons, some claim that the privatization of parks shall be avoided
as far as possible (ST, SKS). Others consider an equilibrated mix of public and
private financing "healthier" for the management of our protected area systems. In
this case, the public money would bring stability and cover all basic management
needs, while private money could complete the budget for additional activities such
as second and third priority activities from the management plan (PC). There are
already good examples existing where parks are partly financed by public and
private investors (RB, BKS). For any fund-raising activity, the services provided by
protected areas should be promoted (IA) which requires a good information and
cooperation policy (RB). For acquiring public funding it has to be communicated
that every Euro spent for a protected area is a fruitful investment in the local /
regional economy (LA).
3.5 Management perspectives
3.5.1 Systematic learning
H17: A long distance flight requires
highly qualified, specialised staff,
ranging from the aviation maintenance
technician to the pilot. Accordingly, in
Parks 3.0., the era of the self-taught
individual will be over. Everyone in-
volved, from the director to the ranger,
will be a qualified knowledge worker.
Results of the expert discussions:
All experts principally agreed that highly qualified staff is an important precon-
dition for efficiently managed parks (PC, KG, TJ, RB, PD, IA, WN, MM-2). One
expert, however, pointed to potential problematic side effects, such as overqualified
staff which causes high costs, or the recruitment of qualified experts from outside
the protected area who might not be accepted by locals in the region (LA).
Managing a protected area is a complex task, so constant learning is essential
(SE). Park managers need to be multi-tasking, and open to adapt to new challenges
and new technologies (BR). They shall develop a common sense of how to promote
conservation and sustainable use (MM-2). Many of the conservationists are classi-
cally trained in natural sciences, but in their daily work they predominantly have to
deal with people. Thus, knowledge in psychology, human behaviour, and ethnic
issues is quite important (PD). Furthermore, developing a model region for sustain-
ability requires many different experts with the capacity of involving and motivat-
ing stakeholders, building consensus, and delivering services in and outside the
protected area. Consequently, the terminology has to change. Instead of classical
park managers or rangers, we rather need facilitators, knowledge brokers or anima-
tors (PP-2). Local knowledge and experts living in and around the park can addi-
tionally contribute to the management of the protected area (RB). Even self-taught
individuals, organised in social networks, might help to achieve the conservation
objectives (RL).
Some argued that the majority of park managers are already highly qualified
knowledge workers (KY, SS, WN), particularly in national parks and in some of
the biosphere reserves (WN). While one argued that qualification only develops
through own experiences and the daily work in the parks (PP), another one claimed
that park managers should not be left on their own (SE). There is a need for par-
ticular trainings, and an exchange of experiences and best practice (SS). Appropri-
ate capacity building programmes should prepare the staff for the long and tough
battle related to biodiversity conservation (PC). However, so far only few models
of comprehensive capacity building programmes exist (SE). Besides, acquiring
specialised knowledge and developing skills for protected area management (like
for example in the Klagenfurt MPA Programme, cp. chapter 0) is often very costly
and time demanding, but worth the effort (PC). Knowledge is power (MM), and if
we want to preserve our nature we need to have the right people at the right place
3.5.2 Extreme planning
H18: The planning involved in pro-
tected areas belongs to the spatially
large-scale endeavours of modern
society. Complex processes draw to-
gether the framework conditions relat-
ing to landscape, technology, society,
and economy. Planning and implemen-
tation are tightly interwoven.
Results of the expert discussions:
The majority of the experts agreed that the planning involved in the development
of protected areas is a quite complex task (PC, BKS, MR, MM-2, PP-2). Particular
structures and processes are needed in order to support managers in dealing with
this complexity (MR). Common planning processes will have to change if the man-
agement of parks shall be based on ecosystem services in the future (BR).
Generally, during the planning, the basic needs and requirements of various ac-
tors and sectors have to be satisfied and included without violating legislation and
harming other important principles. It seems that the most valuable results of plan-
ning process are the intensive discussions, the search for compromises, and the
commitments agreed between the involved stakeholder groups (PD). If planning is
not done carefully in the pre-phase, severe consequences might pop-up in the im-
plementation phase (PC). Taken as a whole, it is essential, that management plans
of protected areas are recognized and accepted by the stakeholders in the entire
region, and incorporated in wider strategic and sectoral plans (SE). As the planning
and implementation of protected areas is a continuous process (PP-2), appropriate
adjustments have to be made whenever necessary (BKS).
Although planning is highly needed, due to changing natural, political, or socio-
economical conditions the development of parks is sometimes unpredictable (PP).
Consequently, planned actions are often not implemented: Either the required re-
sources are not in place and there is not enough staff, or some short term interests
interfere. Thus agreeing on visions, guiding principles, or philosophy seems to be
more effective than defining concrete action plans to be implemented in certain
time periods (PD).
The term “extreme planning” was not clearly understood by some experts (BR,
MM-2). It seems to be too complex and too scientific to be comprehensible. Parks
3.0 should ensure a holistic planning approach from people for nature. The plan-
ning should be initiated by the parks themselves (SA, LA), and led by people in and
around the protected areas. Additional experts are required to assure that facts and
expert knowledge form the basis for decision-making (MM-2). Besides, other sec-
tors and institutions dealing with the surroundings have to be involved in order to
avoid the development of parallel worlds without any chance for integration (LA).
3.5.3 New spatial patterns
H19: Protected areas produce effects,
many of which take place beyond the
borders of the protected area. The
sharply defined boundaries between
inside and outside begin to blur. This
development is set to continue. Parks
3.0 will evolve into pulsating cores
with a radiating sphere of influence.
Results of the expert discussions:
Some experts agreed to the hypothesis (SS, RB, SE), but even more argued that
this scenario is already in place, in particular in UNESCO biosphere reserves (PD,
SKS, SA, LA). Here, the boundaries of the three zones (core, buffer and transition
zones) are indeed clearly defined in spatial terms, but an extension of the transition
zone(s) is noted in many biosphere reserves in recent years, who start reaching out
beyond their defined boundaries (ST). The transition zone is by far the most valua-
ble zone in a biosphere reserve as the experiences of an assumed model region for
sustainability are relevant for the surrounding societies, and thus attract a lot of
interest from outside (PP-2). Accordingly, the transition zone of biosphere reserves
should better be called “cooperation zone” (KG, IA). However, these “positive
influence areas” should not only be seen in terms of geographical neighbourhood. It
has to be assured that this sphere of influence reaches policy-making (PP-2). Only
if this is achieved, protected areas will play a role as driving forces to induce
change. In the Alps, they already act as promoters to improve ecological connectiv-
ity. Gone are the days, where park managers only acted within their own bounda-
ries. Nowadays, they are obliged to establish a close cooperation with their sur-
roundings and with other protected areas (KY).
One expert, however, argued, that it might be the other way round: Instead of
positively influencing the neighbouring regions, protected areas will be increasingly
intruded from outside and will barely be able to secure their grounds (BKS). Con-
sequently, there is a need for larger patches of strictly protected areas: The bigger
the core areas are, the greater are the chances of safeguarding the most representa-
tive elements of biodiversity (at least if the core areas have been established in the
right places) (PC). In turn, neighbouring regions will benefit from the ecosystem
services provided by the protected area (PP).
3.5.4 Speed breakers
H20: Processes of evolution and geo-
logical developments occur at a differ-
ent speed than social trends or eco-
nomic and technological processes.
The management of Parks 3.0 will be
able to bridge these differences.
Results of the expert discussions:
None of the experts agreed to this hypothesis. On the one hand, scientists still do
not fully understand the ecosystem functions (MM-2), and phenomena like the
accelerating rate of climate change will impact on both nature and society (BR). On
the other hand, Parks 3.0 will neither be able to slow down the social and economic
developments, nor will they accelerate the natural processes such as the evolution-
ary forces (PC). Furthermore, people will always be influenced by the actual trends
in society which automatically impacts on the management of protected areas (PG,
Even nowadays it can be observed that social trends outweigh the reflection on
evolutionary processes: From a historical point of view, the landscape and its spe-
cies composition changed dramatically over time. But many nature conservation
efforts focus mainly on the conditions around the year 1900 as reference status for
our conservation objectives (LS, SE, IA). Until now, almost no discussions have
been held on the difficulty of the (subjectively chosen) reference conditions. Due to
the lack of communication some of the regulative measures of nature conservation-
ist in protected areas remain “suspect” for other people. Consequently, in Parks 3.0
there should be a shift towards natural processes and self regulation (RL). Nature
should be allowed to exist without too much intervention (unless this is required in
specific situations), instead of just conserving the status quo (TJ). But it remains
unclear who will be the one to determine these “specific situations” (PKC)?
If parks are allowed to evolve naturally, they will be able to fulfil their im-
portant function of monitoring changes in nature, even if some of them happen so
slow, that we even “forget” about them. We are still far from having well developed
long-term monitoring programmes, jointly set up by networks of protected areas
(SE). Other changes might be too fast to properly assess their possible effects, and
to enhance our capacity to adapt. This again emphasises the need for “resilient
territories” (PP-2).
Generally, the question remains how to bridge conservation goals with economic
and technological processes in the core and buffer zones. This might even give way
to the installation of wind turbines, and solar energy plants in the strictly protected
areas (PD). Parks 3.0 may better stand for reducing the speed of nature experience
than for bridging the mentioned differences in speed. Protected areas are the right
places to find out the differences between nature on the TV-screen and in reality,
but many visitors are still not ready to spend more time in a park than for watching
a documentary. So Parks 3.0 might turn the quick nature consumption into a real
nature experience (LA).
3.5.5 Synthesis categories
H21: Currently, the IUCN categories
successfully sort the protected areas of
the 20
century. In the 21
century, a
new system of categories will be estab-
lished which is guided less by man-
agement objectives and more by man-
agement principles.
Results of the expert discussions:
Whereas some experts did not see the difference between management “objec-
tives” and management “principles” (LS, PD, MR, BKS) another one agreed to
focus on management principles instead of objectives. In most situations, the basic
principle should be the allowance of natural processes, based on the adage “if it
isn’t broken, don’t fix it”. Management objectives are only required in some cases,
where particular species or habitats need intervention to ensure that determined
conservation goals are met (TJ).
The majority of the respondents controversially discussed the potential need of a
new system of protected area categories. While one assured that the current system
provides effective principles (SA), another one argued, that it would require in-
depth assessments (including comprehensive biodiversity monitoring programmes),
and thus will take a while until we would be able to judge whether the present
protected area categorisation system is efficient or not (PC). As many of the deci-
sion-makers and even park managers in some parts of the world just recently started
to understand the IUCN categories and their benefit for the management, no more
energy should be invested in developing a different categorisation system. Instead,
improving the effectiveness of the park management should be emphasised (SE). In
this respect, the IUCN “green list” of well-managed protected areas, an initiative
started by WCPA, might be a constructive approach (SJ).
It was discussed if a single categorisation system, comprising and unifying all
existent protected area categories, is at all needed or not. Some hope for a revision
of the existing approaches in order to include the current categories of IUCN,
UNESCO, BirdLife International, or Conservation International into one system
(BKS, IA). Others are pleased with the existing variety of categories as they repre-
sent different approaches, which still have some common points and overlapping
areas (PP).
As long as the category systems and their zoning models do not make a differ-
ence between the high mountain areas and lowland wetlands, this discussion re-
mains rather academic anyway (LA). Besides, by investing a lot of time on the
definition of category systems and related rules, we might lose track of the real
challenges we have to solve, namely the question of how to achieve a sustainable
use of the natural resources. Even a well defined and strictly managed protected
area does not make much sense in the middle of a completely unsustainable society.
Thus, focusing on the possible positive impact of parks on our society is far more
urgent and essential than exhaustingly discussing the right classification system.
Less perfectly defined parks (representing about ten percent of our land) are ac-
ceptable if only they contribute to the transformation of agricultural practices
(which impact about 80 percent of our European landscapes) in the direction of
sustainability (PP-2).
3.5.6 System research
H22: The creation of inventories of
hoverflies and flatworms is coming to
an end. Parks 3.0 are research and
observation platforms that allow the
exploration of spatial, temporal, and
functional relationships and interac-
tions of natural systems.
Results of the expert discussions:
Most experts agreed that inventorying of species must be continued (ST, PC,
MC, SA, TJ, KG, SE, RB, SS, MM-2, KY, IA). It is a precondition for the long-
term ecological monitoring (related to the abundance, distribution and dynamics of
species populations), and an overall indicator for the status of ecosystems, for
example in the context of climate change (ST, RB). Exploring the relationships and
interactions is important, but it cannot be done properly unless the building blocks
are known (SE, KG, RB). One expert however encountered, that it will probably
not be a disadvantage to any species if they remain undiscovered by mankind
Species inventories and monitoring provide the basic information for conserva-
tion programmes and management decisions (PC, SS), but so far all the inventories
are incomplete (KG, RB). At present, for only about 2.5 percent of the species at
the globe the basic requirements for survival are known (SA). Gaps in the protected
area coverage also exist due to a lack of data, so basic research (together with
monitoring) should stay high on the agenda (SA, TJ). Currently, there isn’t a single
park in existence, where an inventory in terms of biodiversity is even close to com-
pletion (MC, TJ, KG, RB).
Consequently, the flatworms – and their related experts – shall not be dispar-
aged, and nature research shall not be left to amateurs (MC, TJ, KG, RB). Although
taxonomy shall still be given a priority in protected and non-protected areas, the
ecology and interaction of species is an increasingly important research topic (MM-
2).Very often, particularly the “hoverflies and flatworms” provide an early-
detection system for identifying problems (TJ). Currently, non-invasive, remote
sensing techniques, like photo trapping, are substituting the classical research ap-
proaches. More and more data is collected about biodiversity, but often the various
links and laws that are governing in nature are not fully understood (PC). Even
worse is the fact, that the monitoring results are often not included in the manage-
ment decisions (PC, SA).
Biodiversity, however, not only comprises the species diversity but also the di-
versity of ecosystems and genes. Even in well-studied areas such as the Alps the
diversity of species is not entirely known – not to speak about the genetic diversity
which should also be protected according to the Convention of Biological Diversi-
ty. Parks 3.0 might play an important role in this respect (KY).
Although the overwhelming majority agreed that species inventories have to be
completed, and will be relevant in the future, some respondents argued that greater
attention should be paid to socio-ecological research, as well as to processes and
relations between the human and the natural dimensions (IA, RB). So in Parks 3.0
research might not be dedicated to “natural systems” anymore, but to “territorial
systems”, defined as a system of interactions between physical (natural) and socio-
cultural (human) sub-systems. It will be challenging to organise the interaction
between these sub-systems (between “Man and the Biosphere”) in a sustainable
way (PP-2).
Concluding it was argued that even Parks 3.0 will neither be able to bridge the
gaps in science and public administrations nor will they achieve abolishing the
sectoral thinking. But they can require that each of these stakeholders and actors
can play his or her role where appropriate and thus contribute to the functioning of
a protected area (PD).
3.5.7 Fully interactive
H23: Today’s high-tech visitors’ cen-
tres are a thing of the past. Members of
the new visitor support staff are fully
interactive; they are very knowledgea-
ble and possess a sense of humour. In
Parks 3.0, people will show people
Results of the expert discussions:
The hypothesis was not agreed on. It was argued that it would be marvellous if
skilled people would show visitors around. But people cost money, and due to
financial shortfalls, these costs will be the limiting factor (KY). Even nowadays the
employees of visitor centres are increasingly replaced by smart gadgets, offering
basic information with few (screen) touches. Human-to-human interactions are less
and less encouraged. Resulting from our technology-dependent society, many chil-
dren do not know which animal is providing the milk for the daily coffee (PC).
Additionally, it was predicted that in future protected areas, not only the high-
tech visitor centres might be outdated but also the huge offer of guided tours. In
Parks 3.0, people might go out in nature and enjoy wilderness experiences them-
selves without interpretation and instructions (LS). This scenario was highly wel-
comed by some experts (PP, RL, PD, MM, KG, RM, KY) as for them there seems
to be nothing better than being fully off-line (PD) and listening to wolf’s howling
somewhere out in wilderness (PP). Besides, it was expected that people visiting
protected areas in the future will probably be those who really want to flee from
technology (MM). Thus, Parks 3.0 could also stand for a different relationship of
humans to nature: Nature might not be seen as an object anymore which has to be
shown to and interpreted for people. Instead humans perceive themselves as being
part of nature and thus are able to experience it for themselves (RM). Although
even if this vision might be seductive, the current trend doesn’t indicate this way.
Probably there will be more high tech centres in the future (KY) which is good, as
they are needed to fulfil the educational and socio-economic function of protected
areas (IA). Without interpretation, many park visitors would not be able to know
more about the site than what they see on the digital maps on their smart-phones
(LA). Particularly for schools and young people, visitor guidance seems not only to
be necessary, but an essential enrichment (RB).
Concluding it was claimed that Parks 3.0 have to fulfil different functions: They
need to allow people to experience nature by themselves, and find space for inspi-
ration and reflection, but they also need to provide guided tours for those who are
interested in them. People with limited abilities, for instance, depend on guided
tours and visitor centres if they want to experience nature (TJ). Parks 3.0 might
develop into two different directions: Some of them will be wilderness areas where
people can relax, contemplate and feel nature as it is without great disturbance from
park staff or guides who want to tell them what it is all about. Others, particularly
the parks close to urban conglomerations, will offer a lot of sophisticated technolo-
gies (e.g. ISmart’s) in order to entertain all different kinds of people in nature
(MM-2, KG).
4 V
In addition to the international experts, commenting on the hypotheses, some
guest commentators have been invited to briefly sketch their personal view on the
future roles and outline of protected areas. Four of them took an effort to share their
thoughts with us.
4.1 We have failed so far
By Roger Croft (IUCN WCPA Emeritus)
I warmly welcome the debate stimulated by Michael Jungmeier as we prepare
for the next IUCN World Parks Congress in 2014. This debate is at the centre of
teaching and learning at the University of Klagenfurt as part of its outstanding MSc
in Protected Areas Management. My commentary is based on reflecting over many
years on our successes, but especially on our failures, as we are not sufficiently
prepared to learn from our mistakes: surely the ultimate, if somewhat humiliating,
We have failed so far!
We are too complacent to accept that 10 per cent of the land area and less than
one per cent of the sea area protected is a success a point we celebrated at the
2003 World Parks Congress. This is not success but big failure: what about the
remaining 90 per cent and more than 99 per cent respectively? Worse, not all pro-
tected areas exist in reality; they are so called ‘paper parks’. Worse still, not all will
measure up to the IUCN definition of a protected area, or to its management effec-
tiveness evaluation system. They are subject to political manipulation and reduc-
tions in resource allocation, and they are the targets of mining companies, agricul-
turalists and foresters globally and locally. At least in Europe, the EU has shown
the way with the Natura 2000 system which has resulted in better protection of
many areas and some additional areas.
Even in the protected areas community there is an insufficient agreement on the
great variety of protected area types. For instance, are the cultural landscapes of
Europe really protected areas? Yes, say Europeans who understand the subtle inter-
play between society and nature over many centuries and millennia, and the values
these represent for our modern society. No, say biodiversity specialists from North
America as protected areas must be pristine nature. A healthy, but not necessarily
productive, debate has ensued.
So what shall we do?
Let’s warmly welcome Michael’s Parks 3.0, but think even beyond that to Parks
4.0! Parks 4.0 are not restricted to protected areas as we do not want to persist with
“islands of protection in a sea of devastation”. Parks 4.0 therefore cover all of the
land and the sea as it is all important in its own right: nature for nature’s sake, and
for our human survival for this and following centuries. My vision is for a nature
based stewardship of our natural resources and natural systems, to use them sus-
tainably, to understand their limits and carrying capacities, and to leave a worthy
inheritance for the future. This means: making sure that protected areas really work
to protect and preserve nature’s systems and processes, that they are properly buff-
ered against cross boundary activities, and most significantly that all of the land and
sea areas are cared for at a higher level of stewardship than at present.
What’s needed to achieve Parks 4.0?
First and foremost, there has to be a political will, coming directly from politi-
cians internationally, regionally and nationally as a result of pressure from civic
society and lobbyists of the need for a new mandate. Recognition of protected areas
has to go beyond the CBD, where some key nations are absent. They need to be at
the heart of the new “Millennium Plus Development Goals”: it’s obvious in terms
of soil productivity, breeding and spawning areas, water catchment management
Second, societal involvement is essential as people will determine future agen-
das by the way they influence politicians and by their own attitudes and behaviours.
This means improving understanding of the importance of all of the land and sea,
and the part which protected areas play for our increasingly urban society. En-
gagement of younger generations is a key component of this second element. The
iACT Dialogues being developed under the IUCN Youth Programme, with in-
volvement inter alia of the Sibthorp Trust, is a case in point to articulate new fu-
tures from a younger perspective and expose them to older generations in the hope
and expectation of changing the latter’s mindset. The outcomes will be reported to
the 2014 WPC.
Third, the global corporates need to be re-aligned to recognise the positive role
which they can play in sustaining a business environment without over exploitation
of nature. The continuation of the various forums under the umbrella of the World
Business Council for Sustainable Development, the dialogues with the International
Council for Mining and Minerals, need to become positive action for the environ-
ment, including protected areas, rather than posturing form rigid positions. Surpris-
ingly, companies like Rio Tinto, have been prepared to move forward in their own
operations and others need to follow.
Fourth, we need some scientific pragmatism. We know a lot about natural pro-
cesses and the interactions with humans. But we do not make it available in an
understandable or accessible form to managers in protected areas and beyond their
boundaries. This should be priority of the academic and consultancy professions.
The WCPA Best Practice Guidelines are helpful, but we need more scientists to
translate their ideas, knowledge and understanding to everyday use. The E-book on
protected areas management being developed in time for the WPC by WCPA ex-
perts is a good exemplar for others to follow.
Fifth, we need greater common sense in conservation. The conservation move-
ment has moved on, but there are still those who wish to turn the clock back to
some idyllic past-time. Recognition that this is not achievable because of natural
changes and changes in human activities and behaviour is essential. It is not selling
the birthright, but recognising that the ‘no never’ philosophy has rarely won the
argument against commercial aspirations and demands.
Sixth, we need to harness global tourism so that it does not become even more of
a threat to protected areas, especially World Heritage Sites, as part of a “must go
to” collector mentality. Deals with tourism companies and their representative
bodies to adopt stringent nature centric policies and practices are needed.
Seventh, we need to move from a consumptive society to one which will live
sustainably within the carrying capacity of the Earth’s resources. Previous argu-
ments on the finite level of Earth’s resources from the 1960s onwards have always
left a legacy of ‘it will not happen’ and, as a result, they have not been as influential
as had been hoped. This does not mean ‘sack cloth and ashes’ living but one where
everyone citizen is mindful of the use of ‘waste’ through philosophies such as ‘re-
use, recycle and reduce’. Civic and political leaders at all levels have key roles to
play is getting these messages over.
And finally, eighth, we need to develop and implement new ways of spatial
planning. Too often the boundaries of protected areas are a line on the map and on
the ground, easily seen on satellite imagery: the classic examples of protection hard
next to devastation. Spatial planning at national and inter-country transboundary
levels should recognise the natural flows of water, energy etc across boundaries and
the positive, as well as negative, ways of managing these through application of
management zones, buffers and corridors.
For those readers who feel that this eight point agenda is far-fetched, at least I
hope it will stimulate debate and result in new thinking stimulated by Michael
Jungmeier’s Parks 3.0 challenge. For those who think that this agenda has nothing
to do with protected areas, I ask them to look beyond the core areas and ask why
we have so few protected areas and why there are continuing demands for the ex-
ploitation of their resources.
4.2 We need more innovation!
By Mario F. Broggi (private scholar)
The submitted hypotheses are refreshing; the ideas require further development
in relation to major conservation areas. I believe that we should not be contemplat-
ing a softening of the conservation status, but rather its further development in
content, without inflationary appellations of category. My comments are organized
in a somewhat unstructured manner, reminiscent of a quarry. The background to
these thoughts is provided by the knowledge and understanding of numerous major
Alpine conservation areas, my earlier work in the spheres of nature conservation
and land use, as well as my current participation in the establishment of the
Locarnese National Park in the Swiss Southern Alps.
1. It appears that – for all too long and in a manner that has been too one-
sided – those of us working in nature conservation have been concerned
with the conservation of rare species, and thus, have unintentionally al-
lowed the segregation into protected areas and unprotected “waste areas”.
Both are necessary: the separation of priority zones for biodiversity as
well as an adequate quality of life across the entire area. Working meticu-
lously, we have created inventories for many species and habitats, which
are only partially supported by acceptance, drawing the scorn of an ETH
professor in Switzerland, who exclaimed: “Stand still, Helvetian, here lies
an inventory!” While nature continuously reshapes the landscape, we hu-
mans pursue the aim to achieve landscape stability. Consequently, nature
conservation areas are designated, where a certain status quo is preserved.
These areas were protected against modernisation efforts, not always con-
sidering that a recipe for handling change in nature was necessary, in order
to preserve the condition of these areas worthy of conservation. There was
little discussion about which nature actually needs to be protected. To
date, we have very few answers about the why and how of species’ surviv-
al. Because we do not know how many and which kinds of biodiversity are
really needed, and which kind of biodiversity protection needs to be ar-
ranged, we have to learn to “manage the unknown”. I have personally en-
countered this uncertainty in the context of a study where we wanted to
identify the national priorities of ecological compensation in the agricul-
tural lowlands of Switzerland and discovered that two thirds of all occur-
rences of nationally threatened species do, in fact, occur outside of the
habitats that we had recorded in the numerous federal inventories. What is
more, it would be nice if the moral pressure towards more ecology could
be enhanced with aesthetic feelings of pleasure. Putting the emphasis on
that which is beautiful is surely worth further examination.
2. Our regionally diverse cultural landscapes are of great inherent value.
They reflect the long history of human land use in Europe. Much would be
lost, if we allowed the entire Alpine region to “return to wilderness”. The
cultural landscape itself carries a value that is not yet receiving adequate
attention from the market of competing interests. We are going to have to
conceive of significantly more innovations, for example in order to give
small-scale “high nature value agriculture” a chance with its biodiversity
hotspots. But we are also lacking the necessary stimulants for a more ex-
tensive “low energy agriculture”, with areas kept open to prevent the
spread of woodland and with meat production (here we mean the use of
robust grazing animals that are kept throughout the year in low density
3. On the other hand, areas that are growing wild are seen as a viable alterna-
tive due to economic considerations with real cost-benefit analyses. It
would be necessary to dispense with many new developments or with ex-
pensive redevelopments. The potential for free dynamics can be estab-
lished relatively quickly with the determination of areas that have re-
mained more or less undisturbed so far. Marking these for free develop-
ment would represent a significant contribution to European nature con-
servation. I would make the conscious decision to allow the randomness of
nature, simply because we often do not know what is right. As the Ameri-
can poet and farmer Wendell Berry (Worldwatch Report 1992) said: „We
cannot know what to do, as long as we do not know, what we would do, if
we did nothing“. Allowing wilderness is consequently also a form of rein-
surance in nature conservation. However, allowing wilderness also re-
quires broad mental acceptance by society. This rethinking does not yet
have majority appeal and in terms of spatial planning we are only aligned
for growth, not for shrinkage. Here too, we are lacking the necessary inno-
vation to turn the “weakness” of retreat into a “strength”. This could, for
example, take the shape of a compensation for public services. It appears
that the CO2-binding forest is crucial for reaching climate goals. Why,
therefore, don’t we compensate this reduction effect as a service for cli-
mate protection, rather than redeeming it through trading indulgences
somewhere in the Third World?
4. Finally, I submit a plea in favour of not holding on tight to images that no
longer depict reality, but rather reflect distorted notions of what form sus-
tainability should take in the context of land use. The cementing of struc-
tures is not sustainable. Too often, the countryside is “staged” and harmo-
ny is faked. It is not necessary to maintain cultivation efforts right into the
furthest corner. In the long term, it is also not affordable. Nature will seek
a path of variation and of the unforeseen. We must allow this, and thus, we
must increasingly anticipate what has, so far, been unthinkable. In other
words, in Central Europe, we must accept the coexistence of nature and
history. It is therefore pointless to play off the traditional cultural land-
scape against the wilderness. Areas growing wild are also part of the cul-
tural landscape and vanishing cultural landscapes still retain the “Machu
Picchu effect”, which can be very attractive for nature tourism. From a
Central European perspective, ideas such as these are not adequately re-
flected in the IUCN categories, and should be appropriately developed.
4.3 A continuous process
By Engelbert Ruoss (Senior Advisor and Lecturer)
The new generation of protected areas, Parks 3.0, started already to exist world-
wide. It is a matter of continuous process that a lot of parks have adopted the new
philosophy. The most visible shift can be seen in the biosphere reserve concept
which moved from the first to the 3
generation within 40 years, the third genera-
tion conceptualized mainly in the Seville Strategy 1995 and the Madrid Action Plan
The dramatic development of the world economy as well as the global change
issues (climate change, social transformation) will be the major challenges the
protected areas will face in the future. The hypothesis defined regarding Parks 3.0
are therefore already reality and, whether desired or not, they are the baseline of the
future parks.
The future scenario I see rather pragmatic and consider the situation of most
parks as dramatic in terms of endangering natural and cultural heritage, govern-
ance, management, funding, and participation. A majority of parks will remain first
and second generation parks or badly managed third generation parks. A minority
of parks will successfully implement the sustainability concepts, protect the local
natural and cultural resources and create the wealth for local people and business;
hence balance the protection of natural and cultural heritage and local development.
The successful future parks will represent a new “regional” business and man-
agement model, as a Private Public Partnership (PPP) and managed by a “Profes-
sional Service Centre (PSC)” which is acting as a territorial professional hub. Pub-
lic and private bodies are share and stakeholders of nature, human and financial
capital of the area and the PSC acting upon a charter and a long term contract es-
tablished among the partners. They will be managed according Outcome-Oriented
Public Management (OPM) principles (see Schedler and Proeller 2010), as the
“New Public Management” concept. The new territorial business model is a corpo-
rate model organized three dimensional as bottom-up, top-down and side-in pro-
cesses. This could be a truly corporate responsibility approach for the implementa-
tion of sustainability in parks areas. Besides the above mentioned hypotheses I
would add the following: leadership as key factor for the success and mid to long
term strategies and action plans are “musts”. To be a park will be an asset in future,
but local people and authorities have to catch the moving train.
4.4 Sustainability, good governance and benefit sharing
By Marta Mugica (EUROPARC Spain)
Congratulations on opening this debate, particularly considering the current so-
cial, institutional and environmental changes. From the lessons learned along sev-
eral decades of protected areas in Europe, it is the right moment to think about the
desired future, enhancing the positive results, and adapting and creating new ways
to achieve the same old aim: nature conservation in harmony with human needs.
I consider the concept of “Parks 3.0” very intuitive and inspirational. Since cen-
turies, mankind and nature have been closely linked to each other in most of our
countries. Thus, the three principles suggested are crucial: sustainability, good
governance and benefit sharing. It is true that these general principles can be more
or less relevant depending on the type of protected areas, but without these ele-
ments nature conservation policies will never be relevant for society.
Especially in times of economic crisis, it is crucial to prioritize the use of scarce
resources. It is not always obvious that high budgets guarantee high quality man-
agement. Many conservation projects need less budget than some big infrastructure
projects (sophisticated visitors centres, for instance, expensive to build and expen-
sive to keep). A less bureaucratic approach is needed, though efficient management
structures are needed, working in a more collaborative and creative way, based on
professional-multidisciplinary management.
Quality versus quantity? In many countries the evolution of nature conservation
history has led to a relevant percentage of protected areas (terrestrial, different
situation in the seas), so to keep the “prestige” of the role of protected areas as tools
for nature conservation more efforts are needed in terms of monitoring and evalua-
tion of success. For instance, EUROPARC Spain is promoting the use of a “Stand-
ard for conservation projects”, a manual elaborated together with managers as a
tool to check the main quality criteria every nature conservation action should
fulfil. It is time for quality.
The question of percentage: different approaches “Nature needs 50%” versus in-
tegration in the landscape matrix (i.e. “biodiversity conservation or sustainable
development solved mainly though the establishment of protected areas, a wrong
approach”). Though more challenging, I fully agree with the second approach.
Landscapes cannot be “black or white”, they have all colours of the rainbow. This
comment links to the discussion of “wild areas”. There are some “wild areas” in
Europe, and they are relevant “in quality” to contribute to biodiversity and nature
conservation processes. But the highest percentage of “natural lands” in Europe is
the result of centuries of human intervention. The challenge is how to avoid the
destruction of those landscapes (protection against artificialization pressures let’s
say), and how to keep their values in terms of ecosystem services. This portion of
landscape is much bigger than the current and probably the future “wild areas”.
If we accept protected areas are key tools to provide ecosystem services and
well-being, it is clear that beyond the fundamental role of protecting species, habi-
tats, ecosystems and landscapes, other functions such as education, research, health
and spiritual experiences are important. Connecting nature and people is easier if
we, as professionals and managers of protected areas, use other arguments better
understood by general people. Codes of habitats and catalogues of species make
sense for some individuals because of their professional or personal interest, but
“hard data” don’t move the hearts of more generalized public or enterprises. We
need to touch the heart, to convince people they need protected areas as a guarantee
for their well-being.
Governance is a very difficult task. Good governance is very much about partic-
ipatory culture, and it is true it is time and resource consuming. It is also about
short or long term perspective. Particularly when short budgets are available, other
ways of doing things are welcomed. As part of a democratic society, protected
areas policy should be more open to other ways of collaborative work. Many sec-
tors of society are willing to contribute with their time, knowledge, expertise and
energy: young people looking for professional experience, retired people who are
still very active and are willing to share their experience, local enterprises, commu-
nities, NGOs working with privates (land stewardship model), etcetera. Working in
a collaborative way requires particular skills, requires a well defined “role play
framework”, and of course an honest will from the authorities. Nobody says it is
easy, but it is worthwhile. Crisis situations bring some opportunities. Let’s use them
not only as a reaction to a bad situation but as a more democratic and sustainable
way of working.
In any case, this new model of governance cannot be interpreted as a lack of
support from public administrations and public budgets. On the contrary, nature
conservation should be part of the priorities of the Agenda for any government.
Healthy environment is the basis for any healthy society. Protected areas are essen-
tial tools for a modern society that recognised high tech cannot give responses to all
our needs as society. Protected areas can help to promote economy in rural areas:
promotion of local products with labels related to healthy products, etc, can help.
These initiatives can help “green economy”, but they will not solve all the prob-
lems, therefore public budgets will probably always be needed. And private or
semi-public companies dealing with natural resources (water, energy) should also
be involved. Again, ecosystem services provided by protected areas to society
should be clearly connected.
How to apply the best knowledge to management decision is also a crucial ques-
tion. The transfer of knowledge through exchanging staff and communication
should be promoted in every region. Best practice platforms to transfer scientific
knowledge into management decision are also needed. Not all scientific knowledge
is easy to integrate into the decision making process. Researchers and managers use
different languages and work at different time scales, and priorities are frequently
different. However, managers need the best scientific knowledge to make the best
decisions. Therefore, a bridge between these two worlds is always needed. Profes-
sionals specialized in “translating” scientific information into practical management
tools are needed in Parks 3.0.
And this is part of the new aspects to be developed in a process of capacity
building. Skills related to social and communication process have to be improved.
New generations of managers need them.
Global change, particularly its causes linked to the model occupation of territo-
ry, natural resource consumption and demands of society, requires strengthening
the role of protected areas to human welfare.
The new scenario requires managing protected areas as places not only for the
conservation of species or unique ecosystems, but as providers of essential services
for the welfare of both the local population and other beneficiaries.
The challenge is to demonstrate that protected areas are not a luxury for rich so-
cieties, but an essential tool to keep the welfare of society as a whole, and therefore
an obligation of any public policy.
4.5 The “ideal” protected area
By Zoltan Kun (PanParks)
I don’t like to comment the various hypotheses. They are all fine to me, as they
represent Michael Jungmeier’s view on protected areas. I congratulate him for the
courage of making this exercise! However I have my own hypotheses about the
Parks 3.0, which I call “The Ideal Protected Area”. Such an ideal area suits the
following requirements:
The protected area of the future is the place you want to be! People (the igno-
rant public) know about these places, they love them, therefore they care
about them! This means there is an excellent communication strategy for pro-
tected areas. No politician will be brave enough to suggest a budget cut for a
state-run protected area.
The protected areas of the future are the best work places of all! These are the
places where people really want to work! Let me give you an example: The
top news of Le Monde in 2013: Christine Lagarde resigns as Head of IMF and
starts working in Mercantour National Park as the park’s chief economist.
The future parks are not designed based on political boundaries or realities
but based on biodiversity needs.
The future protected area system or network is balanced between intervention
and non-intervention management. 50 per cent of all protected areas represent
The Parks 3.0 are places where the income is based on diverse activities. The
public funding is only one of the sources, but an important one which covers
the core costs of the protected area.
The management of parks does not depend on the results of political elections.
Parks 3.0 will run five different audit processes regularly: management audit
(confirming that it is a good place to work), biodiversity audit (a place that
meets is primary objective), financial audit (the funding available is used cost-
efficiently), visitor management audit (the visitors are satisfied with the ser-
vices), local impact audit (the local communities can maximise their benefits
out of the protected area but not against the biodiversity protection goals).
5 C
Times are changing
In Europe, the idea of protecting larger pieces of land in order to preserve their
natural assets has been developed in the 20th century. Meanwhile, fundamental
changes occurred in society: in our way of living, working and thinking. Although
the principal concept of protected areas remained, the respective management
approaches changed accordingly. In the course of the time, the tasks of protected
area managers have been enlarged substantially. Depending on the respective cate-
gory and the political or societal priorities, they range from mere conservation of
species, based on bans and control, to an integrated development of the region in
cooperation and accordance with different stakeholders. It can be assumed that this
development will continue. Our society will always be in transition, and the way of
managing protected areas will always mirror the attitudes and values of the current
society. Thus, we recommend protected area institutions or park staff to keep an
eye on societal trends and changing perceptions or needs of local stakeholders and
visitors, for example by applying methods of future research (e.g. organisation of
future workshops) or by considering the general predictions of renown futurologists
(e.g. societal megatrends as defined by Matthias Horx). By realising and reflecting
larger trends in due time, management strategies can be adapted accordingly.
People’s call for having a say
Most likely, in the coming years, bottom-up processes will further gain in im-
portance in society in general, but also in protected areas management. Thus, in
future parks, people’s involvement has to be set as a fundament for well-designed
co-management structures. Interest in nature conservation and sustainable devel-
opment has to be raised in broad societal strata in order to ensure the active in-
volvement of a sufficient number of stakeholders who are willing to shape the
development of their region. Unfortunately, experiences show that bottom-up pro-
cesses are time consuming, partly nerve-wracking and not always constructive. In
order to avoid that participation ends up with fruit-less discussions or provokes
manifold conflicts, clearly defined targets, rules and regulations have to be agreed
on. Creative ways of collaboration in a multidisciplinary environment are just as
needed as “translators” who are able to bridge science and management needs on
the one hand, as well as society and nature conservation concerns on the other
Quality versus quantity
More than 100 years after the first national park has been established in Europe,
we have to ask ourselves if our existing protected area system and the related man-
agement approaches have achieved the major goal of efficiently preserving biodi-
versity and ecosystem services in Europe. Roger Croft, IUCN WCPA Emeritus, at
least, is sure that we have failed so far. According to him there are still too many
„paper parks” in Europe and elsewhere. Besides, parks are often subject to political
manipulation and reductions in resource allocation, and targets of mining compa-
nies, agriculturalists or foresters. Furthermore, they never will be able to achieve
their conservation goals if they remain “islands of protection” in a “sea of devasta-
tion”. Consequently, the quality of protected areas management has to be improved,
in fact not only in terms of the management efficiency of the designated site, but
also in terms of integrating adjoining areas, ecological corridors and the unprotect-
ed areas in between into the conservation efforts. The focus on quality seems to be
even more essential as nowadays several protected areas are mainly designated as
potential growth engines for regional economies or peripheral tourist destinations.
Of course, it can be questioned, if in times of financial shortages the quality of
parks can really be improved while at the same time the number and size of pro-
tected areas is increased as required by the Convention on Biological Diversity
(Aichi Biodiversity Target 11). Facing up to the given facts, probably it is more
advisable to primarily focus on improving our existing parks and better integrating
them into the wider landscapes before expanding the preserved areas rapidly.
Wilderness, new trend in nature conservation
Experts such as Zoltan Kun from PanParks call for designating future protected
areas in response to biodiversity needs, instead of following political or societal
priorities. But was does this mean? In fact, for a long time, there was little discus-
sion about which kind of nature actually needs to be preserved. Shall we protect
selected species, or direct our conservation activities to particular sites with a max-
imum number of different species (which implies that in Europe we mainly would
have to preserve extensively used cultural landscapes, requiring an active manage-
ment). Or shall we rather focus our efforts on the last remaining near-natural areas
and ensure that natural processes are able to flow with minimum human interfer-
ence? It seems that in future we more discussions on these crucial questions. Mario
Broggi, a private scholar how is active in many conservation organisations, criti-
cizes that in Europe, in the last decades, we have been concentrating too one-sided
on the conservation of rare species. To date, we have very few answers about the
why and how of species’ survival. Thus, we have to allow natural processes and
learn how to “manage the unknown” which requires broad mental acceptance by
society. It may be assumed, that in Europe wilderness conservation will highly gain
in importance. In the past, most of our land surface has been converted to cultural
landscapes. Thus on the one hand it seems likely to intensify our focus on the
preservation of the last reference areas in which natural processes are still allowed
to proceed freely, even if the direction of their development will remain unpredict-
able. On the other hand, many people in Europe are increasingly longing for real
nature experiences. It is no wonder, that for example the initiative “Rewilding
Europe” was mainly launched by groups from the Netherlands, a country which has
cleared its forests long time ago and engaged in intensive farming business so that
almost no pristine natural areas are left.
Parks as balm for the soul
Many of us are living in highly industrialised environments, having a highly
structured life, and are being permanently stressed for time. Thus an increasing
number of people hope to find a counterworld in protected areas, in which silence,
recreation and inspiration can be enjoyed. Consequently, in the future, parks may
have to fulfil additional tasks: besides sheltering plants and animals they might
have to serve as sanctuaries for all those who are searching for the absence of hu-
man civilisation in order to replenish their energies. This development may be
reflected in the invention of new labels, such as „parks of dark sky“, “parks of
silence”, „health parks“, „spiritual parks“ or “internet free zones”. However, the
current orientation of many protected areas towards attractions and sophisticated
visitor infrastructure may prevent us from reconnecting ourselves to nature. Thus,
high tech information centres might be outdated soon, as people will increasingly
look for real nature experiences instead of learning arbitrary facts in technically
upgraded exhibitions. They want to be fully offline, just listening to wolf´s howling
somewhere out in nature, instead of playing indoor with computers. Besides, in
times of small budgets and scarce workforce, resources might be withdrawn from
prestigious projects, which are expensive to build and to maintain, anyway. Gener-
ally, future parks might stand for a different relationship of humans to nature: Na-
ture might not be seen as an object anymore which has to be shown to and inter-
preted for people. Instead, people might re-develop a feeling of being part of this
nature while experiencing the wild outside. However, in many parts of Europe,
preserving larger patches of land with only little human intervention is a relatively
new concept. It is to be expected that any attempt of establishing wilderness areas
will cause several problems, ranging from complaints about the loss of aesthetic
cultural landscapes (such as Alpine pastures) to fears of the return of large carni-
vores (such as wolfs and bears). Thus, allowing more natural dynamic processes in
protected areas will require re-discovering the concept of wilderness in our minds.
Methods of how to deal with the presence of large carnivores have to be adopted
from societies who are still used to live together with those animals smoothly.
Our cultural heritage
Nevertheless, much would be lost, if we would allow all protected areas to return
to wilderness. In Europe, our regionally diverse cultural landscapes are of great
inherent value as they reflect the long history of human development. Furthermore,
the different land use forms created different habitats for many – mainly open land
– species. In order to reconcile land use and biodiversity conservation, an efficient
small-scale agriculture with high respect for nature has to be promoted (e.g. certi-
fied organic agriculture), and harmful subsidies have to be reduced. In addition, we
need stimulants for more extensive forms of agriculture, such as the use of robust
grazing animals (e.g. particular cattle or sheep breeds) that are kept outside
throughout the year in low density herds. Those animals keep the landscape open
and their meat can be put on the markets as local speciality which adds to the
unique selling proposition of a particular region.
Model regions for sustainable development
Several studies show that protected areas have the potential to stimulate tourism
development, and thus generate income for different businesses in the park and its
neighbourhood. Therefore, more and more protected areas are designated in order
to stimulate the economies of peripheral regions (e.g. Park Adula, Switzerland).
The focus on socio-economic development, however, may water down nature con-
servation efforts in parks. Quite often, improving the economic wellbeing of the
people means increasing their ecological footprint, and thus the pressure on nature.
In order to leave this vicious cycle, management teams shall not only aim at in-
creasing the socio-economic benefits for local populations, but simultaneously
focus on minimising the consumption of natural resources. In this respect, future
parks should become counter models to the current economic development, instead
of just being motors for economic growth in marginalised regions. The concept of
sustainable development is condemned to become a “paper tiger” if not implement-
ed in practice. Protected areas of the future are more and more expected to be the
places, where nature conservation requirements are really reconciled with the de-
velopment needs of mankind. This task, however, is not restricted to the develop-
ment and marketing of some regional brands for sustainably produced goods (e.g.
agricultural products or handicrafts) – just to mention one popular example for
sustainable development approaches in parks. In fact, the commenting experts
claimed that protected areas should become facilitators for inducing changes in
people`s life-style in order to achieve a general reduction of our ecological foot-
print in all areas of life. Instead of promoting “green economy” in parks, a pretty
undefined and thus somehow dangerous term, the ecological footprint concept
might be useful to measure the degree of sustainability of certain economic activi-
ties. As knowledge brokers, protected areas may even be able to induce changes
outside their boundaries, for example by influencing regional, national or even
international policies.
Between tradition and avant-garde
Revaluing and further developing traditional land use forms might lead to a sus-
tainable use of the natural resources. However, sticking to traditions may also hin-
der innovation which is needed to cope with new challenges, such as the impacts of
climate change. Ideally, future parks shall be the places where tradition and innova-
tion meet. Therefore, highly skilled and open-minded staff is needed, including free
spirits and lateral thinkers who brake with traditions and try something totally dif-
ferent. Park administrations are encouraged to provide for a diverse team with a
balanced age and gender structure, and with people coming from different disci-
plines and backgrounds. Generally, new communication techniques and fast inter-
net connections may further stimulate the migration of broad-minded people from
urban to rural areas in search of alternative life-styles. This trend may contribute to
maintain the balance between tradition and avant-garde in peripheral park areas.
Public services require public funding
Still, in many countries it is accepted that protected areas are fulfilling manifold
public functions, and thus have to be funded by public authorities. However, in
times of financial shortfalls, park staff is increasingly asked to generate additional
income from different sources (e.g. project-based financing, private sponsoring, or
entrance fees). Our experts, however, agreed that protected areas have to be de-
fended as public commons, as they are providing valuable public services. Just as
policemen do – and nobody would expect the police to supplement their budget by
selling goods or searching for sponsors. Even if some protected areas will be able
to raise additional money for particular expenses, public money will always be
necessary for covering the basic costs. Totally self-financed protected areas will be
rare, even in the future. It might be tempting to be completely free from political
influence, but self-financed parks either depend on large visitor numbers which
might counteract nature conservation objectives, or on the requirements and respec-
tive agenda of some private sponsors who quickly can change their minds. Thus,
public money shall be the main pillar of funding even for future parks. In order to
achieve this, park administrations have to intensify promoting the societal benefits
of their protected areas.
Ongoing challenge
Concluding it can be said that the efficient management of protected areas al-
ways was – and probably always will be a big challenge. Even if some global
tendencies seem to be visible (as sketched in chapter 3.1.2), management ap-
proaches differ substantially according to the respective category, to regional or
national priorities, and to political requirements. The only proven fact is that so far
we have not achieved our biodiversity conservation goals as defined by internation-
al conventions. Thus, future park managers and decision-makers will have to in-
crease their efforts, and probably also to change their management approaches in
order to adapt to upcoming new challenges and new demands triggered by envi-
ronmental and societal changes. Hopefully, the present results of the discussion of
the hypotheses on Parks 3.0 will help to stimulate new ideas and maybe even to
find some answers to pending questions of the current and future time.
Thanks a lot to all who contributed to this fruitful and inspiring discussion.
6 L
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7 P
7.1 Abbreviations of commenting experts
BKS: Bender-Kaphengst, Svane (Germany): Head of Africa Program at the Na-
ture and Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU)
BR: Blackman, Richard (UK): Development Adviser to EUROPARC Atlantic Isles
EH: Egner, Heike (Austria): Head of the Institute of Geography and Regional
Studies at the University of Klagenfurt
FKM: Fischer-Kowalski, Marina (Austria): Director of the Institute of Social
Ecology at the Alpen Adria University, Vienna.
GM: Getzner, Michael (Austria): Institute for Public Finances and Infrastruc-
tures, Technical University Vienna
IA: Ionita, Alina (Romania): Independent PA expert, currently working for
ProPark Foundation in Romania
KG: Köck, Günter (Austria): Executive Secretary of the Austrian MAB National
Committee, Representative of Austria to the MAB-ICC, Vice Chair of the
MAB Programme
KY: Kohler, Yann (France): Alpine Network of Protected Areas; Task Force
Protected Areas, Permanent Secretariat of the Alpine Convention
KZ: Kun, Zoltan (Hungary): Director of Pan Parks
LA: Lang, Alois (Austria): Head of Public Relations and Ecotourism in
National Park Neusiedler See
LS: Lange, Sigrun (Germany): E.C.O. Germany, Munich
MC: Manzano, Carl (Austria): Director of Danube Floodplane National Park
MM: Mertz, Michael (Germany): Independent consultant, Freiburg/Brsg
MM-2: Meyer, Michael (Germany): Ecological Tourism in Europe
MR: Moser, Ruth (Austria): Director of Biosphere Reserve Great Walser Valley
PC: Papp, Cristian-Remus (Romania): WWF International Danube-Carpathian
Programme, Head of Protected Areas,
PD: Pokorny, Doris (Germany): Rhön biosphere reserve, Germany
PKC: Pichler-Koban, Christina (Austria): E.C.O. Institute for Ecology
PP: Puchala, Peter (Slovakia): Protected Landscape Area Malé Karpaty
PG: Plassmann, Guido (France): Director of the Alpine Network of Protected
Areas (ALPARC)
PP: Petridis, Panos (Austria): Researcher at the Alpen Adria University, Insti-
tute of Social Ecology Vienna.
PP-2: Philippe Pypaert (Italy): Programme Specialist at the UNESCO Venice
Office – Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe
RB: Reutz, Birgit (Switzerland): Lecturer at the Zurich University of Applied
Sciences, Institute of Environment and Natural Resources: Centre for Tour-
ism and Sustainable Development Wergenstein.
RL: Reyrink, Leo (Netherlands): Director Dutch-German Cross Border Park
SA: Sovinc, Andrej (Slovenia): IUCN, WCPA Europe (member of the advisory
board of the MSc Programme “Management of Protected Areas”)
SE: Stanciu, Erika (Romania): President of the ProPark Foundation for
Protected Areas Romania
SJ: Svajda, Juraj (Slovakia): Assistant at Faculty of Natural Sciences, Matej
Bel University Banská Bystrica
SKS: Stoll-Kleemann, Susanne (Germany): Chair of Sustainability Science and
Applied Geography at the University of Greifswald, Germany
ST: Schaaf, Thomas (France): Director a.i., UNESCO Division of Ecological
and Earth Sciences, and MAB Programme
SS: Santi, Stefano (Italy): Director of the Parco Naturale delle Prealpi Giulie
TJ: Tabone, Joanna: Malta.
WN: Weixlbaumer, Norbert (Austria): University of Vienna, Department of
Geography and Regional Research
7.2 Information on the authors
, Michael (CEO of E.C.O. Institute of Ecol-
ogy, Austria; Senior Scientist at the Institute of Geography
and Regional Studies, University Klagenfurt) is specialised
in planning and consulting protected areas, mainly in Eu-
rope, but also in Central Asia and Africa. He is expert in
communication and participation design, the interface
between biodiversity conservation and regional develop-
ment. Since 2004 he is Managing Director of the MSc
Programme “Management of Protected Areas” at the Uni-
versity of Klagenfurt. Besides, he is lecturing at several
other universities in the field of project management and
protected area planning.
, Sigrun (CEO of E.C.O. Germany, Germany)
holds a Diploma Degree in Biology from the University of
Bayreuth, Germany, and an MSc Degree in Protected
Areas Management from the University of Klagenfurt,
Austria. Since almost 20 years she works in the field of
biodiversity conservation management and public relation,
with field experiences in Latin America, East Africa, and
South East Asia. Since seven years she is dealing with the
broad field of protected areas management with particular
focus on biosphere reserves and transboundary coopera-
tion. As of 2008, she is CEO of E.C.O. Germany special-
ised on communication, management and planning pro-
cesses in protected areas.
7.3 Information on the commenting experts and guest
, Svane (Head of the Africa Pro-
gramme at NABU, Germany): Svane obtained her diploma
in Landscape Ecology and Nature Conservation at the
University of Greifswald (2001). Since 2005 she works
with the Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union
(NABU) where she became Head of the Africa Programme
in 2009. In Ethiopia, she successfully supported the estab-
lishment of Kafa Biosphere Reserve. Recently, she sup-
ports Lake Tana area becoming a UNESCO biosphere
, Richard (Development Adviser to EURO-
PARC Atlantic Isles, UK and Ireland): Richard brings
extensive experience from his previous role as Deputy
Director of the EUROPARC Federation, where he was
instrumental in the development of the European Charter
for Sustainable Tourism in protected areas and in establish-
ing protected areas’ representation in Brussels. Prior to that
he worked for a think tank in London, where he worked on
a number of studies in the field of European politics, eco-
nomics and citizenship, including future scenarios for
(private scholar, active in several
conservation foundations) studied Forestry at the ETH
Zürich and holds a PhD from the University of Natural
Resources and Life Sciences in Vienna. He qualified as a
professor at Vienna University and lectured on nature
conservation and Alpine land use at the Universities of
Basel and Vienna. From 1982 to 1991 he was President of
the International Commission for the Protection of the Alps
(CIPRA), and later, from 1997 to 2004, Director of the
Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape
Research in Birmensdorf, Switzerland.
(IUCN WCPA Emeritus)
is a geographer
specialised in geomorphology in his early career. He
worked in central government as researcher, adviser and
administrator, and was the first CEO of Scottish Natural
Heritage. He now advises anybody who will listen in Scot-
land, Iceland and around Europe on environmental strategy
and policy, and through writing and lecturing hopes to help
people to understand the Earth’s heritage and environment.
Roger has been a member of IUCN WCPA since 1996,
undertook a major review in 1998, was Regional-Vice
Chair Europe 2000-08, and chaired the Durban Accord
Working Group. He is now a WCPA Emeritus. Roger also
chaired the IUCN UK Committee 1999-2002 and has been
chairman of two IUCN members Plantlife and Sibthorp.
, Heike (Head of the Institute of Geography and
Regional Studies at the University of Klagenfurt, Austria):
As of October 2012, Heike is scientific director of the MSc
Programme “Management of Protected Areas” at the Uni-
versity of Klagenfurt. Her research interest focuses on
interrelations of society/humans and environment/nature
with particular focus on sustainable regional development,
global change dynamics and education for sustainable
development, geographical risk research and conflict re-
search, as well as protected areas.
, Marina (Director of the Institute of
Social Ecology at the Alpen Adria University, Vienna,
Austria): Marina received a PhD in Sociology from the
University of Vienna, but later involved in interdisciplinary
work, founding the Institute of Social Ecology in Vienna,
and becoming Professor of Social Ecology at the Alpen-
Adria University. She has published scientifically in indus-
trial ecology and sustainable development, and currently is
President of the International Society of Ecological Eco-
nomics. She is member of the MAB Committee of the
Austrian Academy of Sciences. Recently, she received an
Honorary Citizenship on the Island of Samothraki, Greece,
for her efforts to found a biosphere reserve there.
, Michael (Full Professor at the Centre for
Public Finance and Infrastructure Policy at the Technical
University Vienna, Austria): Michael’s main fields of
research are public finance, infrastructure policy, ecologi-
cal economics, and regional policy. Before becoming Full
Professor at the Technical University of Vienna, he served
as an Associate Professor of Economics at the University
of Klagenfurt (1997 to 2010). Besides, from 2004 to 2010,
he was the Academic Director of the MSc Programme
“Management of Protected Areas”.
, Alina (Project Manager at ProParks Founda-
tion for Protected Areas, Romania): Alina finished her
MSc and PhD studies at the Faculty of Geography and
Geology within Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iaşi,
Romania and holds an MSc degree in Protected Areas
Management from the University of Klagenfurt, Austria.
Her professional experience is related to the fields of eco-
tourism, participatory management, governance, and man-
agement planning related to protected areas in Romania
and in the Eastern European countries.
, Günter (Coordinator of the national and interna-
tional research programmes of the Austrian Academy of
Sciences, Austria): Günter studied Biology at the Universi-
ty of Innsbruck, Austria. His research focuses on biomoni-
toring of aquatic ecosystems. Since 1997 he has been lead-
ing projects of the Austro-Canadian research cooperation
High-Arctic. In 2004 he became coordinator of the national
and international research programmes of the Austrian
Academy of Sciences. He is the Austrian delegate to the
International Coordinating Council of UNESCO´s MAB
Programme. In 2004, 2010 and again in 2012, he was
elected as Vice-Chair of the MAB Programme. Since 2009
he is co-editor of the scientific journal “eco.mont”.
, Yann (Project Coordinator at ALPARC, the
Alpine Network of Protected Areas, France): Yann studied
Forestry and Environmental Sciences in Freiburg, Germa-
ny, and Cordoba, Spain. He did his PhD thesis at the Insti-
tute for Alpine Geography in Grenoble, France. Since
2004, he is working for ALPARC on the topics of biodi-
versity and ecological connectivity. From 2009 to 2011 he
coordinated the activities of the Platform Ecological Con-
nectivity. He cooperated in various international projects,
like the Ecological Continuum Initiative, and the working
group Green Infrastructure of the European Commission.
, Zoltan (Director of Pan Parks, Hungary): Zoltan
attained a Forestry Technician Diploma at the secondary
school in Sopron, Hungary in 1990 and graduated with an
MSc in Landscape Architecture in Hungary at the Univer-
sity of Horticulture and Food Industry in 1996. The same
year, Zoltan started working with WWF Hungary as coor-
dinator of the Gemenc Foodplain restoration project. He
joined the PAN Parks Initiative in August 1997 as Conser-
vation Manager, and was appointed Executive Director in
March 2002.
, Alois (Head of Public Relations and Ecotourism
at National Park Neusiedler See, Austria): In the 1980ies,
Alois was tourist manager on the local and regional level in
the Neusiedler See area, focusing on the development of
nature experience products. He was involved in the plan-
ning and establishing phase of the transboundary National
Park Neusiedler See. Since 1993 he is Head of the De-
partment for Public Relations and Ecotourism of the na-
tional park. He contributed to various projects in protected
areas dealing with ecotourism, mainly in Austria and in
Romania (Danube Delta). From 2005 to 2008, he was
released from his job for acting as IUCN‘s coordinator for
the European Green Belt Initiative.
MANZANO, Carl (Director of Donau-Auen National
Park) is a biologist with a post-graduate diploma in Politi-
cal Science. He had been involved in the contest for the
National Park in the early 1980s and became secretary of
the Government Commission to draft the first concepts for
a National Park along the Danube between Vienna and
Bratislava. From 1988 to 1995 he was Director of the
„Thistle Association“, a NGO bent on preserving and
fostering rural areas designing and implementing agro-
environmental pilot schemes. Since the establishment of
Donau-Auen National Park in 1996/97, Carl is serving as
Park Director.
, Michael (Independent consultant, Germany):
From 1995 to 2001, Michael studied Forest Science at the
University of Freiburg/Breisgau, Germany. In addition, he
holds an MSc Degree in “Management of Protected Areas”
from the University of Klagenfurt, Austria. Since 2001, he
works as freelance consultant in the fields of forest and
wildlife management and conservation.
, Michael (Project Manager at ETE, Ecological
Tourism in Europe, Germany): Michael started his career
as a consultant for managing tourism facilities. For about
15 years, he was working on quality assessment and staff
trainings. Then he shifted as free-lancer to Ecological
Tourism in Europe where he specialized in sustainable
tourism development in and around protected areas (with
focus on Central and Eastern Europe). He coaches tourism
planning processes, trains local communities and entrepre-
neurs, and applies international assessment tools.
, Ruth (Director of Großes Walsertal Biosphere
Reserve, Austria): Ruth studied Landscape Planning and
Landscape Architecture at the University of Natural Re-
sources and Applied Life Sciences in Vienna. She also
holds a <