The latest issue of eco.mont – Journal of Protected Mountain Areas Research and Management – explores the variety of challenges faced by managers of protected areas, and reflects a diversity of approaches depending on countries and type of protected area.

The July issue of eco.mont explores the challenges associated with managing protected areas (PA) across the globe, kicking off with a paper about red deer management and how national parks and adjacent areas could benefit through joint deer management. As Herbert Wölger, Managing Director of the Gesäuse National Park, writes in his editorial in this issue of eco.mont:  "The borders of strictly protected national parks usually constitute a sharp administrative limit, which is often reflected in equally strictly differentiated attitudes on both sides of the boundaries. Joint management plans are therefore difficult to find in practice, but still represent a goal to aim for."

Several articles in this issue focus on biosphere reserves. One such article explores the possibility of improving the management of biosphere reserves in Chile through the inclusion of popular religion. "By interlinking sustainable production and nature protection, these reserves are still gaining ground in many countries. MAB-management plans form a framework for municipalities and landowners, who retain direct control of their land. This makes management complex and demanding, and requires very close cooperation with local people," writes Wölger.

Touching on similar challenges, an article on bird conservation measures in a French Natural Park describes the need to convince landowners to adapt their land management practices is also explored. "Their specificities aside, all types of PA have one challenge in common: for long-term success, long-term funding is necessary. European instruments like LIFE enable PAs to get started but do not provide the means to make projects last, a fact that constitutes a major unsolved problem that confronts both nature conservation and the management of protected areas," concludes Wölger.

You can read the full, open-access issue of this edition of eco.mont on the journal website. 

The journal eco.mont – Journal of Protected Mountain Areas Research and Management – was published for the first time in June 2009. The journal was founded as a joint initiative of the Alpine Network of Protected Areas (ALPARC), the International Scientific Committee on Research in the Alps (ISCAR), the Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW) and the University of Innsbruck. The journal aims to highlight research on and management issues in protected areas in the Alps without excluding other protected mountain areas in Europe or overseas. 

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