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FIDELIO (Forecasting Social Impacts of Biodiversity Conservation Policies in Europe) is a 5 year research project funded by the European Research Council (2019-2024, 1.5m euros)

Protected Areas are one of the key conservation tools and in Europe we have over 100,000 designated areas. Despite this large number, several of these Protected Areas are ineffective or exist only on paper. The FIDELIO project aims to explore why some Protected Areas are more effective than others setting at its core the unravelling of complexities in socio-ecological systems of Protected Areas and the important role of social impacts of these conservation policies.

The project is grounded on key theories of environmental sociology and environmental psychology capturing the interactions of society with the natural environment taking also into consideration more recent debates such as the 'nature contributions to people' argument.

During the project a large amount of qualitative and quantitative social data will be collected in 20 European Protected Areas aiming to:

  • understand the complexities of socio-ecological systems in Protected Areas across space and time
  • explore the key obstacles (from a socio-economic perspective) in achieving biodiversity conservation targets and
  • develop a guide on social impact assessment for European Protected Areas


This project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (contract no. 802605)


Latest news

Governance and social equity in Protected Areas

20 January 2020

Dr Nikoleta Jones and Dr James McGinlay participated in a workshop led by IIED and hosted at the University of East Anglia, 14th-16th January 2020. The workshop brought together practitioners and scientists working in the field of conservation. The focus was on social equity and governance of protected areas, a topic very...

Workshop on social equity and governance

10 January 2020

Today we are organising a workshop at the National Park of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace. 12 participants are involved in the workshop from different stakeholder groups in the area. The workshop is faciliated by Ioli Christopoulou ( the Green Tank ) and Vassilis Gkoumas (University of Cambridge) and it is run in...