Journal of the Bulgarian Geographical Society 45: 61-66, doi: 10.3897/jbgs.e72766
Role of the cultural ecosystem services provided by natural heritage in forest territories for sustainable regional development
expand article infoMiglena Kircheva Zhiyanski, Maria Glushkova, Yonko Dodev, Mariam Bozhilova, Rositsa Yaneva, Desislava Hristova§, Lidiya Semerdzhieva|
‡ Forest Research Institute - Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Sofia, Bulgaria§ National Institute of Geophysics, Geodesy and Geography - Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Sofia, Bulgaria| Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski", Sofia, Bulgaria
Open Access
The paper focuses on the role of the Natural Heritage in Forest Areas (NHFA) as a resource that can generate economic, social and environmental benefits for society through the provision of a wide range of cultural ecosystem services. In the assessment of the role of NHFA, the approach for assessment and mapping of ES in a given territorial scope was applied in a pilot region of Velingrad Municipality, focusing on the capacity of the forest ecosystems to provide cultural ecosystem benefits and services to the people. The study confirms that the identification of NHFA could be a powerful driver for regional development by creating significant positive effects such as improving sustainable cultural tourism in forests, diversifying forestry and supporting sustainable development and management of forest areas. The integration of the cultural services of NHFA into forest-related legislation can encourage job creation in different sectors and for different levels of employment, education and cultural training. Evaluation and mapping of ecosystem services is an appropriate tool to support the development of a concept and methods for assessing and mapping the general knowledge framework for NHFA policy in Bulgaria by applying an interdisciplinary approach.
benefits, cultural ecosystem services, forest areas, natural heritage