Protected landscape and local communities

Protected landscapes are some of the most unique protected areas in the world. Unlike other protected categories, where the aim is to reduce the impact of man or reduce and regulate the changes on nature resulting from human activities, protected landscapes exist in order to preserve the link between man and nature. Yet this does not mean unsustainable use, massive infrastructural development or industrialization, but conservation of the sustainable, traditional way of life, determined with sustainable farming practices, sustainable use of forests and development of local tourism.

To protect and properly manage protected landscapes means to appreciate the values which are a product of the interaction between people and nature in an area that has developed for a longer period of time and are now part of the local tradition. One of the main characteristics of protected landscapes is to preserve the integrity of the link between people, their needs and nature, and if this link exists in some areas, but its balance is disturbed, it should be rebuilt and strengthened with activities that involve return to traditional sustainable practices in agriculture, livestock breeding and forestry, this time supported with scientifically correct and determined processes. The goal is for these areas to continue developing without disturbing the established natural balance and, most importantly, the development of the community should have a minimum impact on the natural landscape that is the main feature of the protected area. 

 Protection of species and biodiversity are of course one of the goals of managing this type of area, but this does not only mean programmes for conservation of wildlife, but also protection of local, often autochthonous agrobiodiversity.

Life in a protected area always has huge advantages. The fact that life is built on a territory of high natural values contributes a lot for physical and mental health. Life in a protected and managed area offers opportunities for economic and social development through the numerous projects and activities for protection and maintenance of the area. All farming produce which come from this area have a head start compared to its competition as produce from ecologically important area.

The development of tourism leads to strong economic support for local communities, which additionally stimulates the desire to remain in the rural area and build a life there that would continue the tradition, not only for the community and the family, but the entire area. Life in a protect area is a good quality life, with healthy food and clean water as well as possibilities for economic and social stability. These are key factors for a good life in the 21st century.

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