Benefits of Protected Areas
The Natura 2000 network and other protected areas (e.g. national parks and protected landscape areas) provide the society with a number of benefits significant to the quality of life. Such benefits can be clean water or air, microclimate cooling, or even recreation and spending leisure time in a healthy natural environment. To preserve these benefits, it is also necessary to protect natural biodiversity, rare plant and animal species and whole natural areas.
The evaluation of specific benefits and costs associated with management of these valuable areas is another extensive action of the One Nature Project.
Many of the benefits of the Natura 2000 network and other protected areas are related to current issues of global change, such as biodiversity loss or climate crisis. The conservation of species biodiversity alone is important for the maintenance of life-sustaining natural processes. At the same time, biodiversity benefits farmers and other land users in protected areas and also to the public in general.
With the current long-term drought problems in the Czech Republic, it is important to preserve certain types of species communities in the landscape, such as natural and semi-natural watercourses, peat bogs, floodplain (or generally species-rich) forests and wetlands, helping significantly to fight excess landscape run-off, drought or floods. People can enjoy the varied nature directly, as it offers a plenty of opportunities for recreation and relaxation.
The project uses modern methods of assessing various types of benefits that the nature in Natura 2000 sites provides to people. The methods will be described in user-friendly methodologies, which will allow further evaluation in the future.
Selected examples of benefits provided to people by nature:
- providing food,
- supplying materials (e.g. wood, textile fibres),
- providing energy,
- providing medicinal, biochemical and genetic resources,
- air quality regulation,
- climate regulation,
- regulation of water quantity and outflow (e.g. flood control),
- water quality regulation,
- formation, protection and decontamination of soil and sediments (e.g. erosion control),
- creating and maintaining habitats for animals and plants,
- regulation of risks and natural disasters (e.g. avalanche danger regulation),
- regulation of organisms harmful to humans (e.g. regulation of pests, invasive species or disease carriers),
- learning and inspiration,
- physical and mental experiences (e.g. tourism, recreation, aesthetics),
- support of identity,
- maintaining future opportunities.