Figueroa, E. & J. Aronson 2006.
Journal for Nature Conservation 14: 225-232.
In an increasingly human-dominated world, more realistic, holistic and durable linkages need to be created for protected areas (PAs), for the sake of long-term conservation of species and habitats, and of ecosystem goods and services for serving the local people, as well as societies at large. In conjunction, geographical, physical and biological concepts of linkages need to be extended to embrace socio-economic factors. This paper develops a conceptual approach to this task, employing the nascent notions of ‘emerging ecosystems’, restoring natural capital and ‘socio-ecological systems’. We employ the value notion generally used by economic science, i.e. monetary value, as a conceptual tool in the unavoidable assessment process that modern societies must undertake to decide about conserving or restoring PAs, and ecosystems in general. We also draw attention to the importance of ecological and socio-economic thresholds of irreversibility in the evaluation and decision-making process concerning PAs and their linkages with other PAs, and especially with the unprotected world beyond their boundaries.
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