1. Protected areas (PAs) face challenges such as human encroachment, poaching, and inadequate resources for management.
2. Governance is fundamental to setting priorities and obtaining public and political support for protection, development, and survival of PA systems.
3. Polycentric governance can fall short without clear mechanisms for adaptive management, and community-based and non-government approaches are inadequate to address all three goals of biodiversity conservation, sustainable tourism, and community livelihoods.
The article provides a comprehensive analysis of the governance of protected areas (PAs) and its impact on conservation, community livelihoods, and tourism outcomes. The authors use an Institutional Analysis and Development (IAD) framework approach to evaluate the biophysical, socioeconomic, and institutional context of three PAs in Nepal. They explore the role of institutions, particularly the nature of polycentric governance structures including co-management by the government and local communities, management by a non-governmental organization with community input, and local community management.
The article highlights the challenges faced by PAs around the world, such as human encroachment, poaching, land development, inadequate resources for management, and institutional problems including inappropriate policies, ownership, and governance. The authors argue that governance is fundamental to setting priorities and obtaining public and political support for protection, development, and survival of PA systems.
However, there are some potential biases in the article. For example, it focuses primarily on Nepal's PAs without considering other countries' experiences. Additionally, while it acknowledges that PA goals may be incompatible with each other leading managers to balance human and economic development with conservation priorities; it does not provide enough evidence to support this claim.
Furthermore, while the authors acknowledge that PAs are simultaneously used by various stakeholder groups with different interests; they do not explore how these groups can work together effectively or address power imbalances between them. Additionally, they do not consider how climate change may affect PA governance or how indigenous knowledge could inform PA management.
Overall, while the article provides valuable insights into PA governance in Nepal using an IAD framework approach; it could benefit from exploring more diverse perspectives on PA governance globally. It should also consider addressing power imbalances between stakeholders within PAs more explicitly.