Enhanced Shared Governance Improves the Collaborative Management of Protected Areas in Zimbabwe

  • Geoffreys Matipano Zimbabwe Open University
  • Reinford Khumalo, PhD Zimbabwe Open University
Keywords: Shared Governance, Collaboration Management, Protected Area, Critical Success Factors
Share Article:


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


Download data is not yet available.


African Parks. (2011). Our parks: A business approach to the management of protected areas. http://www.african-parks.org/ downloaded 13 March 2012.

African Wildlife Foundation (AWF). (2012). Unleashing the potential of indigenized wildlife conservancies in Zimbabwe through community empowerment; Save Valley Conservancy pilot, September 2012. Pp 42.

Andrade, G. S., & Rhodes, J. R. (2012). Protected areas and local communities: an inevitable partnership toward successful conservation strategies? Ecology and Society, 17(4).

Asian Development Bank. (2008). Public-Private Partnership Handbook. Asian Development Bank. http://www.apec.org.au/docs/adb%20public%20private%20partnership%20handbook.pdf

Baghai, M., Miller, J. R., Blanken, L. J., Dublin, H. T., Fitzgerald, K. H., Gandiwa, P., ... & Lindsey, P. (2018). Models for the collaborative management of Africa’s protected areas. Biological Conservation, 218, 73-82.

Bauman, T., & Smyth, D. (2007). Indigenous partnerships in protected area management in Australia: three case studies (pp. 95-114). Canberra: Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies.

Becker, M. (2016). Expanding the use of partnership for national parks conservation. The Conservation Finance Network. https://www.conservationfinancenetwork.org/2016/04/12/expanding-the-use-of-partnerships-for-national-parks-conservation

Borrini-Feyerabend, G., Dudley, N., Jaeger, T., Lassen, B., Neema, P., Phillips, A., & Sandwith, T. (2013). Governance of protected areas: from understanding to action. Best practice protected area guidelines series, (20).

Breul, J. D., & Moravitz, C. (Eds.). (2007). Integrating performance and budgets: The budget office of tomorrow. Rowman & Littlefield.

Carnwell, R., & Carson, A. (2005). Understanding partnerships and collaboration. Effective practice in health and social care, 4-20.

Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). (2010). A quick guide to the Aichi Biodiversity Targets-Target 11: Protected areas increased and improved. Montreal, Canada. CBD.

Corrigan, B. M., Hambene, J., Hudnut III, W., Levitt, L. R., Stainback, J., Ward, R. & Witenstein, N. (2005). Ten Elements of principles for Successful Public/Private Partnerships. Urban Land Institute, Washington DC, pp 42.

De la Torre, A., & Rudolph, H. (2014). The Seven Sins of Flawed Public-Private Partnerships. The World Bank. http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/191831468186273847/The-seven-sins-of-flawed-public-private-partnerships.

Emerton, L., & Mfunda, I. (1999). Making wildlife economically viable for communities living around the Western Serengeti, Tanzania. International Institute for Environment and Development, Biodiversity and Livelihoods Group.

Franks, P., Booker, F., & Roe, D. (2018). Understanding and assessing equity in protected area conservation: a matter of governance, rights, social impacts and human wellbeing. International Institute for Environment and Development.

Government of Ireland. (2003). Policy Framework for Public-private Partnership (PPP) in Ireland. Project Implementation in the Local Government Sector, November 2003, pp 55.

Government of Ireland. (2004). Public-private Partnerships in the Local government sector: Guidance on PPP Joint Venture Companies: Guidance on the adoption of a Joint Venture Company approach for a Public-private Partnership in Ireland: Technical Note: 4 Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government: pp 81Government of Zimbabwe. (1996). The Parks and Wildlife Act. Chapter 20:14. Government Printers.

Graham, J., Amos, B., & Plumptre, T. W. (2003). Governance principles for protected areas in the 21st century (pp. 1-2). Ottawa: Institute on Governance, Governance Principles for Protected Areas.

Hatchwell, M. (2014). Public–private partnerships as a management option for protected areas. Animal Conservation, 17(1), 3-4.

Klijn, E. H., & Teisman, G. R. (2003). Institutional and strategic barriers to public-private partnership: An analysis of Dutch cases. Public money and management, 23(3), 137-146.

LaFond, A., & Brown, L. (2003). A guide to monitoring and evaluation of capacity building interventions in the health sector in developing countries.

Lavrakas, P. J. (2008). Encyclopaedia of survey research methods. Sage publications.

Lienert, I. (2009). Where does the public sector end and the private sector begin?.

McCann, S., Aranda-Mena, G., & Edwards, P. J. (2014). Managing partnership relations and contractual performance in the operating phase of public private partnership: Interview findings. International Public Management Review, 15(2), 111-132.

McNeely, J. A. (1988). Economics and biological diversity: developing and using economic incentives to conserve biological resources. IUCN.

Miles, M. B., & Huberman, A. M. (1994). Qualitative data analysis: An expanded sourcebook. Sage.

Muboko, N. (2011). Conflict and sustainable development: the case of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park (GLTP); Southern Africa (Doctoral dissertation, D. Phil. thesis. Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Port Elizabeth).

Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). (2012). Recommendations of the Council on Elements of principles for public governance of public-private partnerships. Pp. 28.

Pascual, U., Phelps, J., Garmendia, E., Brown, K., Corbera, E., Martin, A., ... & Muradian, R. (2014). Social equity matters in payments for ecosystem services. Bioscience, 64(11), 1027-1036.

Reid, H., Fig, D., Magome, H., & Leader-Williams, N. (2004). Co-management of contractual national parks in South Africa: Lessons from Australia. Conservation and Society, 377-409.

Saunders, M. (2014). Research Methods for Business Students, 6th ed.Saunders, M., Lewis, P. & Thornhill, A. (2012). Research Methods for Business Students, 6th Edition. McGraw, London, Britain.

Stolton, S., & Dudley, N. (2014). Partnerships for protection: new strategies for planning and management for protected areas. Routledge.

Tie, C. Y.; Birks, M. & Francis, K. (2019). Grounded theory research: A design framework for novice researchers. SAGE Open Medicine, 7, 1-8.

Yang, Q. (2011). Partnership for facilitating sustainable protected area management: a case study of Jiuzhaigou National Park in south-western China. Master’s Thesis. Massey University.

Wolmer, W., Chaumba, J., & Scoones, I. (2004). Wildlife management and land reform in south-eastern Zimbabwe: a compatible pairing or a contradiction in terms?, Geoforum, 35(1), 87-98.

Worboys, G. L., Lockwood, M., Kothari, A., Feary, S., & Pulsford, I. (Eds.). (2015). Protected area governance and management. Anu Press.

Zafra-Calvo, N., Garmendia, E., Pascual, U., Palomo, I., Gross-Camp, N., Brockington, D., ... & Burgess, N. D. (2019). Progress toward equitably managed protected areas in Aichi target 11: a global survey. BioScience, 69(3), 191-197.

5 August, 2021
How to Cite
Matipano, G., & Khumalo, R. (2021). Enhanced Shared Governance Improves the Collaborative Management of Protected Areas in Zimbabwe. East African Journal of Environment and Natural Resources, 3(1), 91-107. https://doi.org/10.37284/eajenr.3.1.378