Role of protected areas in environmental protection

Protected areas are possibly the best way to preserve important natural values. Protected areas are needed for two main reasons: nature conservation and protection of the values and benefits that we derive from them. Thus, areas that deserve protection can be divided into two groups: areas that are formed only to protect the living world in them and areas that are formed to conserve the link between man and the living world. That is the essence of protected landscapes.

Protected landscape is a type of protected area. It falls under category V according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature. This categorization is implemented in the Law on Nature Conservation in North Macedonia. Protected landscape is a place where the link between man and nature has created an area of rare features and high environmental, biological, cultural and landscape values. The most important thing in protected landscapes is to preserve the connection between man and nature, because it is key and of utmost importance for protection and management of the protected area.

The main feature of protected landscapes is that they have a mosaic-like structure, in other words they comprise different habitats and ecosystems that are a mix of natural and human parts. So protected landscapes often serve as a buffer between areas under stricter protection and human ecosystems or are used as islands or bridges to connect two protected areas of greater importance or size.

The purpose of this category is not only to conserve the space and the landscape, but also a large number of living organisms and ecosystems that were formed and exist precisely because of the maintained connection between man and nature.

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