Alparc - Le réseau alpin des espaces protégés
Human-Nature Conflicts and how to overcome them
19/09/2017, Alparc - Le réseau alpin des espaces protégés
ALPBIONET2030 proposes a first overview of mediation and mitigation strategies for mountain areas As a first result of the ALPBIONET2030 project, a report on the state of the art of current mitigation and mediation strategies in mountain areas is available. The study, led by Eurac Research, presents a collection of human-nature conflict case studies and mitigation strategies used in the Alps and in other mountain areas with indications on the transferability of results. Human-wildlife interactions have always been a significant feature of mountain areas. In the last decades, conservation policies, demographic tendencies, ecological and topographic factors have together resulted in an intensification of this phenomenon in the Alps. These interactions of various kinds can have several negative impacts, both on human activities and on biodiversity conservation. Therefore, there is an absolute need to manage them efficiently from a social and ecological point of view in order to enhance cohabitation in a necessarily shared space. Wildlife management has traditionally focused on reducing damages caused by animals on human activities, and vice versa. However, there is increasing acknowledgment among specialists that the social dimension of human-wildlife conflicts should constantly be taken into account to manage conflicts. This work presents a sample of existing mitigation and conflict resolution approaches in mountain areas. It intends to emphasize the necessity to combine multi- and inter-disciplinary methods in order to reach a qualitative and stable level of human-nature coexistence that would enter into the scheme of a well-established ecological connectivity management throughout Alpine areas. Public response to wildlife presence is namely considered as a prominent factor in the intensity of a conflict and an important area of work that is to be addressed through mediation approaches. The present report also suggests that this social and recently considered component of the conflict could be the cornerstone for making the so-called conflict an opportunity to stimulate regional development in the Alps. Turning intense human reactions to wildlife presence into positive actions such as ecotourism development based on wildlife presence would be an example of this. For this reason, it would be necessary to first revise our ambition of “conflict resolution” and focus efforts on optimizing the management of human-wildlife interaction. ALPBIONET2030 runs from November 2016 to December 2019 and is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund through the Interreg Alpine Space programme (Total budget: 2,637,285 € - 2,241,693 € ERDF grant). ALPARC is lead partner in this project.