Conservation and Sustainable Use of the Biosphere - WBGU

Conservation and Sustainable Use of the Biosphere - WBGU

140 E Diversity of landscapes and ecosystems

trates the conflicts, because agriculture and forestry

may be compliant with statutory provisions and yet

often in considerable conflict with the conservation



General conclusions with regard to applicability of

the strategy

Within the issue at the heart of this section – the

extent to which the biosphere can be protected

through use – type ‘M’ (‘mean intensity of use’) is the

category most relevant to the theme (cf Section

E 3.3.1 for the landscape-use types). Whereas with

type ‘N’ (‘nature conservation’) and type ‘E’ (‘economic

use’) the prime political goal to be pursued is

relatively clearly stated in the typological characteristics

– protection objectives with type ‘N’ and economic

development goals with type ‘E’ – type ‘M’

offers the greatest potential for application of the

strategy of ‘conservation through use’. Here, protection

reduces private use only slightly, due to lower

productivity (in comparison to type ‘E’), and, in turn,

private use impairs the quality of protected environmental

resources only to a very slight extent. However,

the other two types also contain considerable

potential that will first be addressed.

Landscapes where the protection objective

is dominant (type ‘N’)

The dominant position of a political objective when

dealing with a landscape of type ‘N’ or type ‘E’ – protection

goal or economic use – does not automatically

mean that only a certain instrument can or

should be used. This has already been demonstrated

with reference to type ‘N’. As already argued in the

introduction, a government ban on the use of a landscape

can prove to be ineffective when the prohibition

is to be implemented by a central government

body against the interests of the local population

(McNeely, 1988). In many cases such measures only

lead to poaching and illegal cultivation of the land.

For this reason, use can be permitted here to a very

limited extent in order to maintain the local protection

interests (Section E 3.3.2).

In this context, McNeely points out that many conflicts

which arise during the designation of protected

areas can be avoided if the local population is viewed

as a partner instead of an opponent. The importance

of this circumstance is obvious when we consider that

for thousands of years the indigenous population

may well have been a harmonious component of the

ecosystem from which they are now to be excluded

(McNeely 1990, cited after Lerch, 1996, Section

E 3.5).

Landscapes where the use objective is

dominant (type ‘E’)

In type ‘E’ landscapes, too, measures can also be

taken for biosphere conservation. On the one hand,

this is shown by experience in the field of urban ecology

(Section E 3.8; Ritter, 1995;Weigmann, 1995). On

the other hand, not every anthropogenic intervention

into the natural environment is a threat to diversity

per se. Thus Central Europe has been ecologically

enriched by the thousands of years of human influence

(Section E 2.1). As the forest was forced back

and a diverse spectrum of open landscape and successional

habitat types was created, in combination

with large-scale soil nutrient depletion, the conditions

were put in place for the spread of plant species

which required light or were uncompetitive in other

circumstances (Hampicke, 1991).

The greatest reservations with respect to the

opportunities for biosphere conservation of type ‘E’

certainly concern intensive agriculture. Although in

principle it is possible to argue that every environmental

policy measure in intensive agriculture is an

attempt to harmonize the targets of protection of use,

economic use dominates so much that this issue is

treated separately elsewhere in the report (Section

E 3.3.4), and the same applies to intensive aquaculture

(Section E 3.4).

Landscapes with mean protection

requirements (type ‘M’)

Without a doubt, type ‘M’, ie the landscape with

mean protection requirement, is the category that is

most relevant to the subject of this section because

here the scope for achieving the protection and the

use objectives is the greatest. Both the other types

are characterized by a broad conflict between conservation

and use.This conflict corresponds to typical

trade-off problems, such as those that are frequently

encountered in economic theory, ie the achievement

of one objective (protection goal) is often at the

expense of the other objective (use goal). However,

in addition there are also large portions of the biosphere

in which the two goals are not in major conflict,

but protection goals can be achieved more easily

by permitting (limited) use. The strategy of ‘conservation

through use’ will be presented below using

case studies – mainly concerning type ‘M’.


Conservation through use’: Case studies

Game management in the Selous Reserve in


The Selous National Park is in the south-east of Tanzania

and at 50,000km 2 is the largest nature conser-

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