Protected areas governance and justice: Theory and the European Union’s Habitats Directive

This article investigates protected areas governance and the role of justice in it. The article argues that protected areas governance is needed because resources such as biodiversity and heritage create conflicts over their use and preservation. The resolutions of these conflicts need to be justified for the involved and affected interest groups in order to guarantee their legitimacy and effectiveness. The legitimacy of governance solutions is argued to rest on both distributive and procedural justice. On one hand, the distribution of beneficial and adverse consequences of protected areas governance must be justifiable and justified. On the other hand, decision making regarding protected areas has to satisfy expectations regarding procedural justice. The article exemplifies these arguments by analysing the European Union’s Habitats Directive and experiences in implementing it. The article demonstrates how the lack of attention to distributive and procedural justice has resulted in conflicts which have delayed the implementation of the directive and have undermined its effectiveness.

Paavola J (2004) , Environmental Sciences, 1, pp.59-77.