Case 10 - Ecosystem Services in Multifunctional Mediterranean Landscapes: Sierra Nevada protected area case, southeast Spain
|Please read the OpenNESS case study booklet 'Ecosystem services in operation' for the final outcomes of the cases. More detailed information about the cases and the tools and methods used can be found on Oppla: www.oppla.eu|
Sierra Nevada is the highest mountain massif of the Iberian Peninsula, situated at the south-east of Spain. The social-ecological system of Sierra Nevada has an extension of 3655 km2, and an altitude range between 180-3482 m.o.s.l. It covers different ecosystems, including high summits to semi-arid environments, supporting the most important area for vegetation diversity and endemism in the western Mediterranean region. For this reason, it was declared as National Park in 1999 and as a Natural Park in 1989.
Aim of the case
The aim of this case is to explore the ways in which ecosystem services can be taken explicitly into account in the management of protected areas, as well as the tools and strategies used. OpenNESS researchers will work together with the Protected Areas staff, with the aim to identify and assess the delivery of ecosystem services as well as to explore their importance to local stakeholders’ wellbeing in terms of non-monetary and monetary values. Analysing how conservation strategies can promote the delivery of those ecosystem services that contribute to local stakeholders’ wellbeing will be object of special focus. In fact, we aim to explore whether the ecosystem service approach is incorporated in the conservation strategies of the protected area, as well as whether it is used as a tool for facing the protected area problems: i.e. rural abandonment, urbanization, and social conflicts.
The final paper of this case study - Biophysical and sociocultural factors underlying spatial trade-offs of ecosystem services in semiarid watersheds - has been published in Ecology and Society, a journal of integrative science for resilience and sustainability.
The case study leaders are Dr. Berta Martín-López from the Autonomous University of Madrid, who will closely work with the management team of the Sierra Nevada National Park, particularly with Javier Sánchez, the head of the team. Other local stakeholders will be considered in the process, such as irrigation communities, cultural associations and nature tourism enterprises.