Title: Local people and protected areas: identifying problems, potential solutions and further research questions

Authors: Simo Sarkki; Lauri Rantala; Timo P. Karjalainen

Addresses: Thule Institute, University of Oulu, P.O. Box 7300, 90014, Finland ' Thule Institute, University of Oulu, P.O. Box 7300, 90014, Finland ' Thule Institute, University of Oulu, P.O. Box 7300, 90014, Finland

Abstract: There are often contradictions between environmental and social sustainability. This friction is clearly manifested in protected areas, which are increasing throughout the world. This article examines the relationships between protected areas and local people in order to map problems, to identify possible solutions and related challenges, and to make suggestions for further research. This paper examines two kinds of solutions to protected area - local community confrontations: 1) co-management arrangements, which promise increased possibilities for participation for local people; 2) tourism-protected area partnerships, which promise more income to the local level. However, our work illustrates that finding synergies between environmental and social objectives requires conscious effort, because promises to find such synergies often fail to deliver the intended objectives in practice. We identify a set of research questions for tackling these problems in protected areas, which is relevant for combining social and environmental sustainability even in other contexts.

Keywords: parks; local people; co-management; confrontation; benefits; burdens; participation; tourism-protected area partnerships; social sustainability; environmental sustainability; sustainable development; protected areas; tourism; indigenous peoples; national parks; nature reserves.

DOI: 10.1504/IJESD.2015.070137

International Journal of Environment and Sustainable Development, 2015 Vol.14 No.3, pp.299 - 314

Received: 18 Feb 2014
Accepted: 29 Oct 2014

Published online: 11 May 2015 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article