Protected Area Outreach programmes : a case study and critical evaluation.
Venter, Andrew Karl.
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Sub-Saharan African conservation authorities are progressively shifting their emphasis away from law enforcement based management strategies, towards management strategies aimed at facilitating local community participation in the management of natural resources. These strategies include Community Based Natural Resource Management programmes, Collaborative Management programmes and Protected Area Outreach programmes. This thesis presents a conceptual framework, the Partnership Forum Framework, for the planning, implementation and evaluation of programmes aimed at integrating protected areas into their surrounding landscapes. The framework is structured around the progressive establishment and development of a co-management institution (Partnership Forum) responsible for the integration of a protected area into the surrounding landscape. The framework proposes that the establishment and initial development of such an institution can be characterised into three phases, namely, a forming, storming and norming phase. During these phases the preliminary institutional membership and working rules are defined through a progressive objective driven management process. These phases lay a foundation for a long-term (permanent) institutional performing phase during which the institution's members manage the integration of the protected area into the surrounding landscape, and progressively improve the membership and working rules through an ongoing monitoring and review process. The framework is structured around the following design principles, which need to be explicitly considered during the process of establishing and developing a Partnership Forum, namely: i. That the forum's membership must include the range of individuals, communities and organisations that either affect or are affected by the interface between the protected area and the surrounding landscape, and that the forum's membership boundaries must be clearly defined and not open-ended, ii. That these members must actively participate in defining and, where relevant, implementing the working rules which represent the institutional core of the forum's activities, iii. That the forum's activities should be supported by an ongoing monitoring and evaluation process which can progressively inform the revision of the forum's membership and working rules. Four case study descriptions and evaluations of the use of the framework are presented, based on the use of the framework for the development of four Partnership Fora along the western boundary of the Kruger National Park. The case studies are drawn from file notes and minutes which were kept of all public meetings, forum meetings and workshops arranged within the context of the fora between September 1993 and July 1996. The case study material is used to develop a revised process model for the development of Partnership Forum based programmes, and to develop a list of key questions which should be considered during the process of establishing and developing these institutions. Three key conclusions are drawn from the case studies, namely: i. The establishment of such programmes need to be supported by enabling legislation which gives these institutions appropriate authority over the management and use of the natural resources represented in the relevant protected area and its surrounding landscape. Within this context, the legislation currently being implemented within KwaZulu-Natal (South Africa) is cited as a useful reference for the development of enabling legislation throughout the rest of the region. ii. The institutional development of protected area outreach programmes must address the core property rights issues which are characteristic of the interface between most protected areas and the surrounding landscapes in which they are situated. These issues will include access to and ownership of the natural resources that occur both within and around the protected area. iii. In the short term, the effective establishment of these programmes will rely heavily on collaborative support from southern African non-government agencies to provide the financial and logistical resources required to build the capacity of the forum members to actively participate in the development of a programme.