Protected area management bodies are increasingly required to address economic development alongside the original goal of conservation. This is especially true for United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) biosphere reserves, which are expected to function as models for sustainable development. Economic development has been achieved in many places through nature-based tourism. Sale of products labeled as coming from protected areas is considered promising in this respect too, especially in Europe, but their economic impact has not been assessed so far. This study estimated the gross added value generated by labeled products from the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Entlebuch—a rural, mountainous region in Switzerland. After a management-guided phase of building up credibility, identity, and innovations, labeled products generated a remarkable gross added value of US$ 5.8 million in 2014, 13 years after the product label was introduced. This corresponds to 4% of the jobs in agriculture and forestry and 1% of all jobs in the region. Given potential synergies with biodiversity, tourism, individual well-being, and other assets, labeled products can be true advantages for protected areas and their managers.
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