Protected Area Management

Concept and implementation

Biodiversity conservation and protected areas management is a complex mission, requiring a multitude of skills, such as ecology, socio-economics, financial management, organisational and capacity development, public relations and media management, stakeholder management and conflict mediation. The multidisciplinary dimension of protected areas management requires an integrated approach, based on adaptive participatory and strategic management to cope with socially and ecologically complex systems, frequently with scarce financial resources.

The common conservation paradigm of the past focused on relatively narrow and short term targets, often focusing on the protection of certain species only. Today biodiversity conservation follows a more holistic approach, targeting the conservation of ecological processes on an ecosystem level. Protected areas are not just conservation islands, separated from people and wider landscapes but are subject to constant human interaction and human pressures on biodiversity in various forms and levels of intensities. Most protected areas are part of the socio-economic production system of people residing in or close to protected areas. It is crucial to understand local livelihood strategies and their dependency on and interaction with natural resources. Modern protected area management integrates biodiversity conservation in its wider socio-economic context and environment.

It is my aim to achieve effective biodiversity conservation by developing suitable organisational and management systems, balancing sustainable natural resource utilisation and the interests of stakeholders and affected land users to match desired conservation objectives:

I support and follow an adaptive management approach that recognizes the unpredictability and complexity of biological, social and economic environments in a changing world. Strategic adaptive management is a way to manage complex systems, applying tools such as interactive strategic modelling, allowing decision makers and managers to apply their necessary strategies and development programs flexibly and robustly. This is particularly important when the cause of a particular problem or pressure on a specific area seems detached from its symptom. Adaptive management should be an iterative process, constantly referring to the overall long term vision and guiding objectives.

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