A protected area is a “land and/or water area meant for protection and conservation of biodiversity and natural and other cultural resources, which is managed with legal and other efficient measures” (according to IUCN 1994, International Union for Conservation of Nature). The protected areas in the Bregalnica region with their exceptional natural, cultural and historical values have great potential for sustainable development of the region and are of great importance for the local population. Consequently we have obligation to conserve it for future generations. In contemporary thoughts protected areas do not forbid and do not exclude the use of natural resources, such as gathering forest products, traditional animal husbandry and development of tourism. The protected area only regulates the way in which to use the natural resources that should be available for a longer period of time. They are in favour of the local population which lives and depends on natural resources, so one of the roles of protected areas is the local population’s wellbeing.
The Bregalnica region is a relatively clean environment and conditions for organic production of produce and food typical for the region can be ensured without too much effort. The introduction of a protected area supports the socio-economic development through strengthening the links between man and nature, the promotion of natural and cultural heritage and support of local initiatives (defining of eco zones) with the purpose of better promotion and certification of regional produce. This would contribute to the creation of a recognizable brand for the region, its wider affirmation and economic benefit.
The establishment of a protected area could open jobs for the local population, particularly for young people, and could bring life to the rural areas in the region.