Conservation and tourism: the importance of local communities in the governance of protected areas

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    Abstract

    This study examines the intricate relationship between conservation and tourism in protected areas, with a specific focus on achieving sustainable coexistence. Using the Wulingyuan World Heritage Site as a case study, it dissects this complex interplay across three key dimensions: governance, socio-cultural factors, and political-economic dynamics. The research reveals that governance at Wulingyuan is fragmented, leading to coordination challenges, and highlights the diverse and evolving sense of place among local residents impacted by tourism-related changes. Furthermore, it delves into tourism-induced green land acquisition, which has significant economic implications. To strike a balance between conservation and tourism interests, the study advocates for a balanced governance paradigm that involves systematically integrating local stakeholders' perspectives, engaging local communities' sense of place, empowering vulnerable groups, and implementing innovative funding mechanisms dedicated to conservation. This approach has the potential to generate socio-economic benefits while preserving environmental integrity and community well-being in protected areas.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Awarding Institution
    • University of Groningen
    Supervisors/Advisors
    • Vanclay, Frank, Supervisor
    • Stoffelen, Arie, Supervisor
    Award date23-Nov-2023
    Place of Publication[Groningen]
    Publisher
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2023

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