What strategies make compatible the stakes of nature conservation and the stakes of economic growth in protected area? Example of El Kala National Park, Algeria
Keywords: conservation, tourism, protected areas, local development
Abstract. Public policies to protect natural environments are initiated by international organizations and are increasingly integrated in many countries. At the country level and at local government level, there is a regulation for the protection of species and the development of protected areas.However,in some countries, nature management policies do not pay much attention to issues raised by local populations, especially development issues. These seem often incompatible with the logic of protection of nature defended by the national administrations.There is a frequent contradiction between development issues based on the growth of usual economic activities and nature conservation issues. Recent studies show that there are ways to make these issues compatible. It is not a question of giving priority to one or the other but of bringing the two together while moving towards an integrated management of the protected territories. If the knowledge on this subject progresses for the countries of Europe, the knowledge is weaker for the southern shore of the Mediterranean region. The question of erosion of biodiversity is well understood by most countries bordering the southern Mediterranean countries. But it faces other priorities.Our study focuses on the case of a natural park located in the northeast of Algeria: the sector of the El Kala National Park, also known as EKNP. This territory faces a double strategic ambition: to strengthen the protection of nature but also to develop the agricultural economy and tourism. The question at stake is that of compatibility: how are the two issues compatible? What elements make it possible to measure the efforts undertaken? What innovative solutions can be suggested based on experiences from other nearby or similar territories? Our method relies on the analysis of 3 types of data: national statistics of Algeria according to its National Office of Statistics (NOS), conservation and development strategy documents and satellite data. Satellite data is used to measure the evolution of natural environments to measure the effectiveness of management measures. Then the results are confronted with the international scientific literature.Our study, resulting from the processing of LANDSAT images, shows an increase in the area of PNEK vegetation between 1995 and 2005. However, the study reflects the important contradiction between tourism potential and investment capacity. Public policies aim at the creation of large seaside resorts. On the other hand, no strategy is developed towards sustainable tourism in relation to the potential of the protected area.