3 years ago

Tourism governance in protected areas: investigating the application of the adaptive co-management approach

Md. Wasiul Islam, Lisa Ruhanen, Brent W. Ritchie
Protected areas have become popular tourism destinations; yet these areas are often plagued by poor governance systems, particularly in developing countries. Adaptive co-management (ACM) has been advocated as one approach to improve the governance of protected areas, yet empirical evidence from developing countries is lacking. This study investigates the application of the ACM approach in two protected areas in Bangladesh which are also important nature-based tourism destinations. Using Lawachara National Park and Sundarbans East Wildlife Sanctuary as cases, this qualitative study explored the extent to which an ACM approach was able to support the achievement of key governance principles such as participation, accountability, transparency, power, rule of law, and social learning. It was found that the approach was successful in facilitating the increased participation of a broader range of stakeholder groups, and the collaboration between them. Importantly though, it was the adaptive element of ACM which was found to have made the greatest contribution to improved governance with the approach providing new opportunities for stakeholders to engage in iterative learning. This aspect was found to be of particular importance for the sustainability of the protected areas with stakeholders reporting changes attitudes and behaviour towards protected area conservation.

Publisher URL: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/09669582.2018.1526291

DOI: 10.1080/09669582.2018.1526291

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