Endangered settlements and protected areas in Estonia: the challenge of maintaining cultural landscapes

Jaak Kliimask, Priit-Kalev Parts, Henri Jarv, Kalev Sepp, Raymond Ward

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article discusses the conservation of protected areas of Estonia and rural cultural landscapes, in order to provide baseline information for key institutions in protected areas to develop more efficient management policies for cultural landscapes. Based on demographic and settlement analysis of protected areas, we found that present conservation management practices in limited management zones do not guarantee the sustainability of cultural landscapes, as human activity there is practically vanishing. We found that ensuring sustainable human activity, which is the key factor to preservation of cultural landscapes, benefits from the reduction of legal and practical restrictions on human activity in limited management zones. We propose a methodology which can be used to assess the viability of settlements located in protected areas and select endangered settlements (~20% of settlements located in protected areas), where relieving restrictions of nature conservation would be beneficial. Additionally we propose four possible policies for reducing such restrictions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)346-368
Number of pages23
JournalInternational Journal of Agricultural Resources, Governance and Ecology
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015

Bibliographical note

© 2015 Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.


  • protected area management
  • nature conservation
  • cultural landscapes
  • natural heritage
  • cultural heritage
  • rural development
  • rural depopulation
  • settlement viability
  • community development
  • endangered settlements
  • protected areas
  • Estonia
  • culture
  • demographics
  • settlement analysis
  • sustainability


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