Beyond landscape designation: innovative funding, delivery and governance and the UK protected area system

Clarke, R. 2015. Beyond landscape designation: innovative funding, delivery and governance and the UK protected area system . Management of Environmental Quality. 26 (2), pp. 172-194.

TitleBeyond landscape designation: innovative funding, delivery and governance and the UK protected area system
AuthorsClarke, R.
Abstract

In Europe, as in other developed regions of the world, statutory protected areas are islands of conservation endeavour within a wider landscape of intensive farming, towns, industry and transport links. They have generally failed to halt biodiversity decline within their boundaries, let alone in the wider landscape. Wider understanding of ecological processes has led to an awareness that protected areas need to be ‘more, bigger, better and joined’ and part of a wider landscape of integrated rural management. This implies the need for innovative funding and delivery mechanisms and for new forms of rural governance involving partnership working and community engagement.
In the UK the move to integrated landscape-scale conservation has been led by the third sector. The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds ‘Futurescapes’ and the Wildlife Trusts ‘Living Landscapes’ are examples of a ‘reterritorialisation’ of conservation by non-governmental voluntary organisations. Recently these approaches have been supplemented by the government’s Nature Improvement Area programme. In parallel, the Heritage Lottery Fund’s Landscape Partnership programme contributes significantly to landscape-scale working across the public/private interface, linking heritage and people inside and outside protected areas.
A strength of the Landscape Partnership approach is that it is ‘bottom up’ and in some ways opportunistic. The key criterion for funding – and success – is not the ‘quality’ of the landscape but, rather, the degree of engagement, commitment and initiative of local residents and businesses, NGOs and statutory bodies, working in partnership to deliver conservation of the natural and cultural heritage, emphasising public access, education, training and community involvement.
These schemes have their contradictions – not least that they fit a neo-liberal agenda in which non-market activities (many previously seen as the responsibility of the state) are relegated to the ‘third sector’, dependent ultimately on voluntary input. However within the existing economic and political structures of the European Union they represent individually imaginative and in aggregate vital adjuncts to areas protected by formal (statutory) designation.

Keywords'Protected areas', 'Landscape Partnerships', reterritorialisation, governance, neo-liberalism
JournalManagement of Environmental Quality
Journal citation26 (2), pp. 172-194
ISSN1477-7835
Year2015
PublisherEmerald
Accepted author manuscriptClarke_2015_AAM.pdf
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1108/MEQ-07-2014-0106
Web address (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/MEQ-07-2014-0106
Publication dates
PublishedMar 2015

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