Perspectives in Ecology and Conservation Perspectives in Ecology and Conservation
Nat Con 2016;14:120-7 DOI: 10.1016/j.ncon.2016.09.004
Research Letters
Participative mapping of cultural ecosystem services in Pedra Branca State Park, Brazil
Fernando P. Ribeiroa,, , Katia T. Ribeirob
a Conservação Internacional Brasil, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil
b Coordenação Geral de Pesquisa e Monitoramento, Instituto Chico Mendes de Conservação da Biodiversidade, Brasília, DF, Brazil
Received 09 July 2015, Accepted 21 September 2016
Abstract

Many studies have identified the benefits conferred to urban citizens by the relationship with protected natural areas, but in Brazil, with many important urban green areas, studies about how these benefits are perceived and managed are still quite rare. This study aimed to evaluate the immaterial benefits of Pedra Branca State Park, the largest urban park in Brazil, located in Rio de Janeiro, the second most populous Brazilian city. Using participative GIS procedures, we mapped and assessed the perception of 68 users, among visitors, residents and park staff, about seven cultural ecosystem services: aesthetic values, social relations, recreation & ecotourism, knowledge systems & educational values, cultural heritage, cultural diversity, spiritual & religious values. Results indicated that the park offers significant immaterial benefits to respondents, with aesthetic values and recreation & ecotourism being the most frequently perceived. Differences in perceptions between the three groups of users were found. Possible implications of these results for park management, mainly visitation and conflicts with residents and neighbors, are discussed.

Keywords
Cultural ecosystems services, Geographic information system, Immaterial benefits, Protected areas management, Public participation