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Multi-criteria assessment of integrated land-use/cover management on the provision of ecosystem services in protected area of Lakes Prespa


Abstract


There is a growing need of integrating ecosystem services into management strategies of protected areas. The objective of this study was to develop a framework for assessment of the effects of integrated land-use/cover management on the provision of ecosystem services in a protected area. The framework was tested in Prespa Park, a watershed with fragile environments. Within this framework, first to provide ecosystem services was used a modified approach compared to the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. Then was employed a "benefit transfer" and "expert-based assessment" approach to assess contribution of the land cover classes in case study region to the provision of ecosystem services. In a subsequent step, the services were combined to ecosystem services groups that were designed together with regional stakeholders, considering their ideas, concerns and experiences in regional decision making. The latter was analyzed in a weighting experiment, in which different weighting approaches were tested. For the case study, were identified 16 CORINE land cover classes, 13 ecosystem services and related ecosystem services indicators. Based upon this, was analyzed the performance of the case study region to provide ecosystem services. It was concluded that land-use/cover management was found to affect ecosystem services directly. Results showed that the different data gathering methods: "benefit transfer" and "expert-based assessment" have a considerable impact on the evaluation outcomes, and that the combination of selected services and land cover data can contribute to regional planning by communicating the effect of land cover change on ecosystem services groups. Finally, the results revealed that the proposed framework can be used to determine qualitative estimation of regional potentials to provide ecosystem services as a prerequisite to support regional development planning.

DOI Code: 10.1285/i15910725v40sup2p55

Keywords: Multi-criteria assessment; benefit transfer method; expert-based assessment; stakeholder weighting; ecosystem services; landscape planning

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