Authors: Falk F. Borsdorf; Jerôme Pelenc; Birgit Reutz-Hornsteiner; Francois-Michel Le Tourneau; Sebastien Velut; Martin Coy
Addresses: Institute of Mountain Research: Man & Environment Austrian Academy of Sciences, Technikerstraße 21a, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria ' Institut des hautes études d'Amérique latine, Université de Paris 3 Sorbonne Nouvelle, 28 rue Saint Guillaume, Paris 75007, France ' Institute of Geography, University of Innsbruck, Innrain 52, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria ' Centre for Documentation and Research on the Americas, National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), Sorbonne Nouvelle University, 28 rue Saint Guillaume, 75007 Paris, France ' Institut des hautes études d'Amérique latine, Université de Paris 3 Sorbonne Nouvelle, 28 rue Saint Guillaume, Paris 75007, France ' Institute of Geography, University of Innsbruck, Innrain 52, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria
Abstract: This paper suggests that the institutional theory gives us a comprehensive view of basic institutional obstacles that influence the contribution Biosphere Reserves (BR) deliver to regional sustainability. Using the four aspects of path dependence, fit, scale and interplay outlined by institutional theory as analytical axes for the analysis, the implementation and institutionalisation of six different BRs is analysed by this article. Institutional theory shows that BR models offer a way to fit in with regional characteristics while providing a cooperative tool for regional sustainability. Nevertheless, the ideas of implementing a BR not only follow bottom-up approaches with the broad involvement of local stakeholders, but also have often started from the top. The manner of their implementation has different effects on the acceptance and perception of the BR as an institution.
Keywords: biosphere reserves; conservation management; sustainable development; institutional theory; integrative approach; paradigm change; protected areas; rural areas; peri-urban areas; developed countries; emerging countries; regional sustainability; environmental protection.
International Journal of Sustainable Society, 2014 Vol.6 No.1/2, pp.60 - 81
Published online: 25 Oct 2014 *Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article