Life in a protected area means living in a settlement whose boundaries are in or very close to a natural area under legal, official protection. Almost all protected areas, in all categories, all over the world have smaller or bigger human settlements, some even small towns, within their boundaries. Due to the expansion of human population, it is very difficult to find a protected area with no human presence or human settlements in the surrounding areas.
The local population has a key role in the maintenance of the protected area and the implementation of the plans for development and promotion of natural values in the area, while at the same time, the lives of the local population are undoubtedly of better quality compared to other regions. Life in a protected area has many benefits, which lead to a better, more stable, healthier and peaceful life.
People living within the boundaries of a protected area live in an environment of exceptional natural values: clean air and water, good quality food, space for recreation and development. Far from urban jungles, noise and pollution – people in these areas are generally healthier, more energetic and have greater longevity.
Better living conditions
Sometimes protected areas, because of their importance, are locations that develop fast, the infrastructure, roads and traffic improve, new businesses and services are established and conditions are improved for energy supply and utilities. All of this leads to a stable and good quality life.
Better socio-economic status
Tourism is directly linked to protected areas because of their appeal for tourists, particularly for alternative types of tourism. When an area is put under protection, it very often leads to more visitors, which means direct investments in the local community, which in turn improves the economic status. Tourism also increases the demand for traditional local products. And most importantly, the protection status is a strong brand which indicates that the products come from a certified clean environment, which greatly influences the products’ competitiveness.