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Developing conservation governance strategies: holistic management of protected areas in Nepal

Developing conservation governance strategies: holistic management of protected areas in Nepal

Budhathoki, Prabhu (2012) Developing conservation governance strategies: holistic management of protected areas in Nepal. PhD thesis, University of Greenwich.

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The Buffer Zone (BZ) concept has been introduced in Nepal as a key component of the national biodiversity conservation strategy to mitigate the impacts of protected areas on local communities, and thereby reduce adverse impacts of local people on protected areas. Unlike traditional Buffer Zone programmes which are mostly limited to creating a protective layer and/or distributing economic benefits to local people, the Buffer Zone management approach in Nepal integrates livelihoods and conservation issues and their linkages in a more holistic and balanced manner. The programme has been successful in establishing a network of community institutions and in mobilising large numbers of local communities in conservation and community development. The research findings clearly indicate that the current Buffer Zone management approach based on park revenue sharing for community development has been successful in developing positive attitudes among local people towards protected areas. There is also evidence of improvement in the condition of forests and biodiversity in the Buffer Zone and a decrease in pressure inside the protected areas for basic forestry resources. The BZ communities also feel empowered by the Buffer Zone management programme. These outputs suggest that if properly designed, the Buffer Zone management programme can achieve both conservation and development objectives ensuring the long-term integrity of the protected areas.

At the same time, however, the research has also revealed that the existing incentives and institutional arrangements adopted in the Buffer Zone management programme were necessary but not sufficient to address present and potential challenges in Chitwan National Park. There is a need to use additional instruments to demonstrate Buffer Zone management as a viable conservation governance strategy to expand conservation into the areas beyond park boundaries ensuring greater stability of the Park. Any park management strategy seeking to make tangible impacts on conservation, livelihood and governance should have five elements, namely; incentive, empowerment, education, enforcement and integration (IEEEI); and appropriate policy and institutional frameworks to implement them in an integrated way. If issues such as inclusion, equity, empowerment and integration are properly incorporated into the policies and programmes of the Buffer Zone management, the Buffer Zone management strategy adopted in Chitwan could be promoted as a viable model for the sustainable management of protected areas situated in a human dominated landscape.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information:
Uncontrolled Keywords: buffer zone management, biodiversity, conservation, Chitwan National Park, Nepal, community development,
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history
Pre-2014 Departments: School of Science
School of Science > Department of Pharmaceutical, Chemical & Environmental Sciences
Last Modified: 17 Mar 2017 16:18

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