An evaluation of local, national and international perceptions of benefits and threats to nature in Tierra del Fuego National Park (Patagonia, Argentina)

Aaron Mrotek, Christopher B. Anderson, Alejandro E.J. Valenzuela, Leah Manak, Alana Weber, Peter Van Aert, Mariano Malizia, Erik A. Nielsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

SummaryEnvironmental scientists and managers increasingly recognize that socio-cultural evaluations expand the understanding of human-nature relationships. Here, user groups' perceptions of the benefits from and threats to nature were analysed in Tierra del Fuego National Park, Argentina. We hypothesized that the different relationships of users to this place would lead to significantly different valuations among local Ushuaia residents (n = 122), Argentine nationals (n = 147) and international tourists (n = 294). All users perceived a broad spectrum of benefits. The three groups assessed intrinsic and relational values more highly than instrumental benefits, and significant differences included a higher mean valuation of benefits by Argentine visitors. Overall, threats were less perceived than benefits, and significant differences included a higher mean threat assessment by Ushuaia residents. To explain these relationships, we found that mean valuations of benefits and threats were weakly related to increased biodiversity knowledge for residents and international tourists, but not for Argentine visitors. These findings can orient environmental management in Patagonia and elsewhere by identifying areas where information can improve user experiences and by contributing a more pluralistic understanding of nature from multiple stakeholders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalEnvironmental Conservation
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019

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Keywords

  • coupled human-nature systems
  • ecosystem services
  • nature's contributions to people
  • protected area management
  • social imaginary
  • tourism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Pollution
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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