Social Impact Assessment in Black Forest National Park
The Black Forest National Park is one of 16 designated National Parks in Germany. The National Park covers an area of just over 10,000 hectares and is situated in Southwest Germany. It was established in 2014. The park is a very popular tourist destination with many recreational activities taking place within its boundaries. It is estimated that annually over 800 000 people visit the park to engage with activities such as cycling and walking. A pilot version of SOCIAT was distributed to local residents in 2021 and 559 responses were received.
Attitudes, Engagement and Behaviour
- 98.6% of respondents are aware that the area is a national park
- 19.8% stated that they have a more positive perception of the park
- 60.6% stated that their perception had remained the same and 19.2% stated that their perception is worse compared to 2014.
- 71.4% of respondents rated the existence of park as ‘good’ or ‘very good’. However 9.8% of respondents did state that they rated it as ‘very bad’.
- 72.2% of respondents think that most or all local people follow the rules and regulations for the protection of biodiversity in the Black Forest National Park.
- 58.9% of the respondents stated that ‘most of the times’ they stay on paths when in the Black Forest National Park
- Living inside or near the National Park has had a positive impact for local communities in the past 5 years.
- The most positive impacts reported were related to ‘the reputation of the region', 'tourism' and 'quality of life'
- A neutral impact was recorded on 'personal income' and 'keeping local traditions'
- 55% of respondents felt that the advantages of the national park are shared equally between visitors and locals
- Only 9% of respondents felt that the disadvantages of the national park are shared equally between visitors and locals
- 54% felt that the disadvantages are shared mainly between locals
Social values and Trust in institution
- Highest level of trust was expressed for the Black Forest National Park Authority.
- The state government and the federal government were not trusted as much by respondents.
- Approximately 47% of the sample also mentioned that the area of the national park means a lot to them (place attachment).
- Approximately 80% of the sample stated strong biospheric values