Enhanced Shared Governance Improves the Collaborative Management of Protected Areas in Zimbabwe
A majority of protected areas are not being managed effectively enough to ensure the perpetuity of biological resources they contain due to impediments such as poor governance. This study focused on the experiences in the shared governance of people involved in partnership-managed protected areas and also on developing critical success factors in implementing such partnerships. The interpretivism approach was appropriate for this qualitative, inductive, descriptive, and exploratory three-case study that used in-depth interviews and open-ended quester-views with a purposive sample to generate data. In the early stages of the projects, the protected area shared governance was not stable and was characterized by many pitfalls because the concept of partnerships was new in Zimbabwe. It is important to develop guiding frameworks and build capacity that eliminates governance vacuum, ambiguity, deficiencies, overcrowding, redundancies, bureaucracy, and politics from the early stages of the partnerships. Community participation is crucial in the management and long-term sustainability of protected areas in developing countries. Further, governance reforms for the protected areas needed to recognize traditional and cultural sites in the project areas and develop governance types of the sacred sites formally attributed to the local ethnic indigenous people nested within project shared governance. Some critical success factors of well-shared governance of protected areas are in the text. However, all the principles of good governance may not be usable in one case study
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