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IGSD thematic priorities

IGSD thematic priorities

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New member of the IGSD team - Dr Hita Unnikrishnan - starting soon!

Especially delighted to announce this news: IGSD is very happy to announce that Dr Hita Unnikrishnan will be joining IGSD on 3 June 2024 as our new Assistant Professor. Presently Hita is Newton International Fellow at the University of Sheffield, and prior that she worked as Assistant Professor at the Trans-Disciplinary University, and as a post-doctoral research associate at Azim Premji University, both based in Bengaluru, India. She obtained her Ph.D from Manipal University, India; ATREE, Bengaluru. Hita was also a recipient of the Prof. Elinor Ostrom Fellowship on Practice and Policy on the Commons in 2013.


New publication from the FIDELIO project on the relationship between social impacts and public support in the Eifel National Park, Germany

The FIDELIO team in IGSD have published a new journal article on the relationship between nature conservation in the Eifel National Park, Germany and the social impacts of, social equity in, and public support for the park as a biodiversity conservation policy. The findings are based on hundreds of responses from local residents living in and around the national park to an online public survey as part of the wider FIDELIO project. The article is fully open access and may be downloaded here:

McGinlay, J.; Holtvoeth, J.; Begley, A.; Dörstel, J.; Kockelmann, A.; Lammertz, M.; Malesios, C.; Jones, N. Perceived Social Impacts of Protected Areas, Their Influence on Local Public Support and Their Distribution across Social Groups: Evidence from the Eifel National Park, Germany, during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Sustainability 2023, 15, 10848. .

New publications from the FIDELIO project on public support for nature protected areas in Europe

Nature protected areas are a key policy tool for biodiversity protection, and public support for protected areas is a key element for their success. Now in its final year, the FIDELIO project team have published two articles on their research into the social factors affecting public support for protected areas based on their statistical modelling work on thousands of public survey responses from across Europe. Both articles are fully open access and may be downloaded here:

‘Exploring local public support for protected areas: What social factors influence stated and active support among local people?’ Environmental Science and Policy, 145, 250-261. . 

‘Using perceived impacts, governance and social indicators to explain support for protected areas.’ Environmental Research Letters 18(5). .

Workshop on social impact assessments in Protected Areas

A two day workshop was organised 13-14 June by Nikoleta Jones, James McGinlay and Alfie Begley from IGSD bringing together practitioners and researchers across Europe who have been involved in social impact assessments of protected areas. The workshop follows the work conducted under the FIDELIO project during which over 15 assessments have been conducted across several countries. The FIDELIO project has explored why some Protected Areas are more effective than others setting at its core the unravelling of complexities in social-ecological systems and the important role of social outcomes of these conservation policies. During the workshop the main outcomes of the project were discussed including the level of public support for protected areas, their social impacts and also the spatial distribution of social impacts in the local communities. We were very excited to discuss new ways of improving social value and impact assessments for Protected Areas and explored pathways that will facilitate countries across Europe to meet the targets outlined in the new Global Biodiversity Framework including the potential expansion and increase of protected areas across the world.