Protected Areas in the 21st Century: Their Value and Benefits for the Global Ecosystem


  • Mihăiță Cristinel Triboi PhD student, Doctoral School of the University of European Studies in Moldova, Chisinau, Republic of Moldova



protected areas, ecosystem, right to a healthy environment, socio-ecological cohesion


The message of this article is that nothing is certain and, at the same time, we can observe a flow of events from one cause to another that form our interest in protected areas, their use as conservation tools and their threats. If we want conservation methods to be effective and protected areas to be a cornerstone of the strategy, it will continually require both understanding and influencing human values, prioritising and making appropriate decisions about their expansion. It is possible that some trends we know will continue, while other changes in values, economy, politics, demography and climate will shape the future of protected areas. Ignoring the elements of the economy is unlikely to benefit protected areas, so protected areas can be seen as a humanitarian way to economically exploit the environment.


Alphandery, P., & Fortier, A. (2001). Can territorial policy be based on science alone: The system for creating the Natura 2000 network in France. Sociologia Ruralis, 41(3), 311–328.

Bagader, A. A. (Ed.). (1994). Environmental protection in Islam.

Balmford, A., & Whitten, T. (2003). Who should pay for tropical conservation, and how could the costs be met? Oryx, 37, 238-250.

Balmford, A., Bruner, A., Cooper, P., Costanza, R., Farber, S., Green, R. E., Jenkins, M., Jefferiss, P., Jessamy, V., Madden, J., Munro, K., Myers, N., Naeem, S., Paavola, J., Rayment, M., Rosendo, S., Roughgarden, J., Trumper, K., & Turner, R. K. (2002). Economic Reasons for conserving wild nature. Science, 297(5583), 950-953.

Bălteanu, D., Dumitraşcu, M., Ciupitu, D., & Geacu, S. (2006). Ariile natural protejate [Protected natural areas]. In D. Bălteanu, L. Badea & M. Buza (Eds.), Romania: spațiu, societate, mediu [Romania: Space, society, environment]. Romanian Academy Publishing House.

Barile, S., & Saviano, M. (2015). From the management of cultural heritage to the governance of the cultural heritage system. In G. M. Golinelli (Ed.), Cultural heritage and value creation. Towards new pathways. Springer International Publishing.

Barnaud , C., d’Aquino, P., Daré, W., Fourage, C., Mathevet, R., & Trébuil, G. (2011). Power asymmetries in companion modelling processes. In M. Etienne (Ed.), Companion modelling. A participatory approach to support sustainable development (pp. 117 – 140). Quae.

Barnosky, A. D., Hadly, E. A., Bascompte, J., Berlow, E. L., Brown, J. H., Fortelius, M., Getz, W. M., Harte, J., Hastings, A., Marquet, P. A., Martinez, N. D., Mooers, A., Roopnarine, P., Vermeij, G., Williams, J. W., Gillespie, R., Kitzes, J., Marshall, C., Matzke, N., Mindell, D. P., Revilla, E., & Smith, A. B. (2012). Approaching a state shift in Earth’s biosphere. Nature, 486, 52–58.

Borrini-Feyerabend, G., Dudley, N., Jaeger, T., Lassen, B., Pathak Broome, N., Phillips, A., & Sandwith, T. (2013). Governance of protected areas: From understanding to action. Best practice protected areas. International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Bousquet, F., & Le Page, C. (2004). Multi- agent simulations and ecosystem management: A review. Ecological Modelling, 176(3-4), 313-332.

Brosius, J. P. (2004). Indigenous peoples and protected areas at the World Parks Congress. Conservation Biology, 18(3), 609–612.

Butchart, S., Scharlemann, J. P. W., Evans, M. I., Quader, S., Aricò, S., Arinaitwe, J., Balman, M., Bennun, L. A., Bertzky, B., Besançon, C., Boucher, T. M., Brooks, T. M., Burfield, I. J., Burgess, N. D., Chan, S., Clay, R. P., Crosby, M. J., Davidson, N. C., De Silva, N., Devenish, C., Dutson, G. C. L., Día z Fernández, D. F., Fishpool, L. D. C., Fitzgerald, C., Foster, M., Heath, M. F., Hockings, M., Hoffmann, M., Knox, D., Larsen, F. W., Lamoreux, J. F., Loucks, C., May, I., Millett, J., Molloy, D., Morling, P., Parr, M., Ricketts, T. H., Seddon, N., Skolnik, B., Stuart, S. N., Upgren, A., & Woodley, S. (2012). Protecting important sites for biodiversity contributes to meeting global conservation targets. PLoS One, 7(3), e32529. 10.1371/journal.pone.0032529

Chape, S., Spalding, M., & Jenkins, M. (Eds.). (2008). The world’s protected areas. University of California Press.

Cliquet, A. C., W. Backes, J. H., & Howsam, P. (2009). Adaptation to climate change: Legal challenges for protected areas. Utrecht Law Review, 5, 158-175. ulr.100

Convention Relative to the Preservation of Fauna and Flora in Their Natural State. (1933).

Cook, C. N., Mascia, M. B., Schwartz, M. W., Possingham, H. P., & Fuller, R. A. (2013). Achieving conservation science that bridges the knowledge-action boundary. Conservation Biology, 27(4), 669-678.

Cumming , G. S., Allen, C. R., Ban, N. C., Biggs, D., Biggs, H. C., Cumming, D. H. M., De Vos, A., Epstein, G., Etienne, M., Maciejewski, K., Mathevet, R., Moore, C., Nenadovic, M., & Schoon, M. (2015). Understanding protected area resilience: A multi-scale, social-ecological framework. Ecological Applications, 25(2), 299-319.

Curran, M., Hellweg, S., & Beck, J. (2014). Is there any empirical support for biodiversity offset policy? Ecological Applications, 24, 617-632.

Deguignet, M., Juffe-Bignoli, D., Harrison, J., MacSharry, B., Burgess, N. D., & Kingston, N. (2014). 2014 United Nations list of protected areas.

European Commission (EC). (2000). Managing Natura 2000-sites: The provisions of article 6 of the ‘habitats’ directive 92/43/EEC.

Foley, J. A., DeFries, R., Asner, G. P., Barford, C., Bonan, G., Carpenter, S. R., Chapin, F. S., Coe, M. T., Daily, G. C., Gibbs, H. K., Helkowski, J. H., Holloway, T., Howard, E. A., Kucharik, C. J., Monfreda, C., Patz, J. A., Prentice, I. C., Ramankutty, N., & Snyder, P. K. (2005). Global consequences of land use. Science, 309(5734), 570-574.

Foucault, M. (2004). Sécurité, territoire, population. Cours au Collège de France (1977–1978) [Security, territory, population. Lectures at the Collège de France (1977-1978)]. Seuil.

Ghimire, K. B., Ghimire, K. & Pimbert, M. P. (1997). Social change and conservation: Environmental politics and impacts of national parks and protected areas. Earthscan.

Grimm, V., & Railsback, S. F. (2005). Individual-based modeling and ecology. Princeton University Press.

Grumbine, R. E. (1994). What is ecosystem management? Conservation Biology, 8(1), 27-38.

Grumbine, R. E. (1997). Refl ections on “What is ecosystem management”? Conservation Biology, 11(1), 41-47.

Hockings, M., Stolton, S., Leverington, F., Dudley, N., & Courrau, J. (2006). Evaluating effectiveness: A framework for assessing the management of protected areas (2nd ed.).,+M.&author=Stolton,+S.&author=Leverington,+F.&author=Dudley,+N.&author=Courrau,+J.&publication_year=2006

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPPC). (2014). Climate change: Synthesis report.

International Union for Conservation of Nature. (2012). A review of the impact of IUCN resolutions on international conservation efforts.

Jenkins , C. N., & Joppa, L. (2009). Expansion of the global terrestrial protected area system. Biological Conservation, 142(10), 2166-2174.

Klein, C., McKinnon, M. C., Wright, B. T., Possingham H. P., & Halpern, B. S. (2015). Social equity and the probability of success of biodiversity conservation. Global Environmental Change, 35, 299-306.

Kumazaki, M. (Ed.) (1991). Green forever: Forests and people in Japan. The National Land Afforestation Promotion Organisation.

Lausche, B., & Burhenne, F. (2009). Guidelines for protected areas legislation.,+B.&author=Burhenne,+F.&publication_year=2009

Locke, H., & Dearden, P. (2010). Rethinking protected area categories and the new paradigm.

Lockwood, M., Worboys, G., & Kothari, A. (Eds.) Managing protected areas: A global guide. Routledge.

Mallarach, J. M. (Ed.). (2008). Protected landscapes and cultural and spiritual values. Values of protected landscapes and seascapes. Kasparek Verlag.

Mallarach, J. M. (Ed.). (2012). Spiritual values of protected areas of Europe: Workshop proceedings: Workshop held from 2–6 November 2011 at the International Academy for Nature Conservation on the Isle of Vilm, Bonn, Germany. Bundesamt für Naturschutz (BfN).

Margoluis, R., & Salafsky, N. (1998). Measures of success: Designing, managing, and monitoring conservation and development projects. Island Press.

Mitchell, N. (2013). Study on the application of criterion (VII): Considering superlative natural phenomena and exceptional natural beauty within the World Heritage Convention.

Montesino Pouzols, F., Toivonen, T., Di Minin, E., Kukkala, A. S., Kullberg, P., Kuusterä J., Lehtomäki, J., Tenkanen, H., Verburg, P. H., & Moilanen, A. (2014). Global protected area expansion is compromised by projected land-use and parochialism. Nature, 516(7531), 383–386.

Ostrom, E. (2005). Understanding institutional diversity. Princeton University Press.

Posey, D. A. (Ed.). (1999). Cultural and spiritual values of biodiversity. Intermediate Technology.

Pretty, J. (2011). Interdisciplinary progress in approaches to addressing social-ecological and eco-cultural systems. Environmental Conservation, 38(2), 127–139.

Quintero, J. D. (2007). Mainstreaming conservation in infrastructure projects. Case studies from Latin America. World Bank.

Reed, M. (2008). Stakeholder participation for environmental management: A literature review. Biological Conservation, 141(10), 2417–243.

Rössler, M. (2005). World heritage cultural landscapes: A global perspective. In J. Brown, N. Mitchell & M. Beresford (Eds.), The protected landscape approach: Linking nature, culture and community (pp. 37–46). International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Scalia, M., Barile, S., Saviano, M., & Farioli, F. (2018). An integrated model of governance for sustainability. In S. Barile, R. Espejo, I. Perko & M. Saviano (Eds.), Cybernetics and systems. Social and business decisions. Giappichelli-Routledge.

Stolton , S., Hockings, M., Dudley, N., Mackinnon, K., & Whitten, T. (2003). Reporting progress at protected area sites. A site-level management effectiveness tracking tool. World Bank/WWF Alliance for Forest Conservation and Sustainable Use.

Szaro, R. C., Sexton, W. T., & Malone, C. R. (1998). The emergence of ecosystem management as a tool for meeting people’s needs and sustaining ecosystems. Landscape and Urban Planning, 40(1-3), 1-7.

Tracewski, Ł., Butchart, S. H. M., Donald, P. F., Evans, M., Fishpool, L. D. C., & Buchanan, G. M. (2016). Patterns of twenty-first century forest loss across a global network of important sites for biodiversity. Remote Sensing in Ecology and Conservation, 2(1), 37-44.

Training on the "triple bottom line" valuation of protected areas. (2014, February 05).

United Nations (UN). (2011). Convention on Biological Diversity.

United Nations (UN). (n.d.). Aichi Target 11.

United Nations Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). (1974). International Coordinating Council of the MAB Programme, third session, Washington, DC, 17–29 September 1974. Basis for a plan to implement MAB Project 8.

Venter, O., Sanderson, E. W., Magrach, A., Allan, J. R., Beher, J., Jones, K. R., Possingham, H. P., Laurance, W. F., Wood, P., Fekete, B. M., Levy, M. A., & Watson, J. E. M. (2016). Sixteen years of change in the global terrestrial human footprint and implications for biodiversity conservation. Nature Communications, 7(1).

Verschuuren, B., Wild, R., McNeeley, J. A., & Oviedo, G. (2010). Sacred natural sites: Conserving nature and culture. Earthscan.

Wild, R., & McLeod, C. (Eds.). (2008). Sacred natural sites: Guidelines for protected area managers.




How to Cite

Triboi, M. C. (2021). Protected Areas in the 21st Century: Their Value and Benefits for the Global Ecosystem. Postmodern Openings, 12(2), 410-432.



Theoretical articles

Publish your work at the Scientific Publishing House LUMEN

It easy with us: publish now your work, novel, research, proceeding at Lumen Scientific Publishing House

Send your manuscript right now