Thursday, August 20, 2015

Important Considerations in Protected Area Management Planning

by Anton Antonio
August 20, 2015

Protected area management planning is not as simple as most think.  Ask you friendly environment and natural resources management practitioner and you will most likely gather a headache with the web of confusing aspects and considerations that he will lay on the table.  Management, in the context of environment and natural resources management, is not as simple as managing a manufacturing company.  Although the basics of management apply to both (company and environment and natural resources), natural resources becomes a notch harder because of the many “actors” or stakeholders involved.  Throw-in the many needs and wants of these “actors” against the conservation imperatives of environmentalism, it does become a little bit messy.

Narrowing these aspects and considerations to the most basic and more important ones is the logical way to move forward in understanding protected area management planning.  Aspects and considerations such as:
  1. Economic – Projects and programs in protected areas are often viewed as an income-generating opportunity.  There really is nothing wrong with this.  This is a lesser concern for thinly populated protected areas where resources could provide for everyone.  However, as the population increases, more pressure is put on these resources to provide livelihood opportunities for all the stakeholders… the dynamics between conservation and utilization kicks in at this point.  This is one of the challenges facing management planners to design courses of action to run parallel with the needs of the stakeholders in the protected area by way of balancing costs and benefits.
  2. Social – Protected areas are normally occupied by indigenous communities with a set of values, a cultural identity, a traditional religious belief and a subsistence practice.  There will be a natural resistance by these indigenous communities to changes from their indigenous knowledge to new management technologies.  These (indigenous knowledge and new management technology) have to be harmonized.  Consultation and participatory management can be used by protected area planners with the community elders and leaders.  It is a way of respecting existing and traditional social structures in the area.
  3. Political – Indigenous communities living within a protected area have existing political structures.  Oftentimes, different communities in a protected area have their own political set up unique and/or different from the others.  This diversity sometimes results to political conflicts.  The protected area planners must be aware of these political nuances and craft plans to approach such possible problems.  Political conflicts can only be resolved through a process of negotiation.
  4. Environmental – Balancing environmental preservation and development with resource utilization is the most challenging aspect of protected area management.  There will be a need to identify thresholds… the points where human intervention becomes a threat to biodiversity and ecological processes.  Failure on the part of protected area planners will have dire environmental consequences.

Simplified, these are the important considerations in protected area management planning.

Thoughts to promote positive action…

(Please visit, like and share Pro EARTH Crusaders on Facebook or follow me at and

1 comment:

  1. Are you in need of a loan? Do you want to pay off your bills? Do you want to be financially stable? All you have to do is to contact us for more information on how to get started and get the loan you desire. This offer is open to all that will be able to repay back in due time. Note-that repayment time frame is negotiable and at interest rate of 3% just email us (