Date of Award

5-2011

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management (MPRTM)

Legacy Department

Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management

Advisor

Baldwin, Elizabeth

Committee Member

Wright , Brett

Committee Member

Powell , Robert

Committee Member

Baldwin , Robert

Abstract

Parks and Protected Areas (PAs) are an important approach for conservation of cultural and natural diversity worldwide (Bruner 2001; McNeely 1994; Rao & Geisler 1990). Their long term success depends on effective management in relation to the goals set forth for the PA. Measuring this can be complex and challenging and has been done in a variety of ways in order to better get at the answer of how to measure management effectiveness. The purpose of this research was to develop and test qualitative methodology designed to explore management effectiveness using all six elements from the WCPA framework (Hockings et al. 2000), by interviewing experts from a region of interest. Qualitative data has been collected to measure management effectiveness, but not used as an analysis strategy. We were interested in its usefulness for both. Our setting for this research was the Federal PAs of Mexico due to the stated combined goals of managing for conservation of biodiversity and sustainable development. We interviewed a total of eight experts from Mexico whose work is about conservation in Mexico. Experts make decisions based on compiled knowledge (Anderson 1983) and are able to integrate Functional, Structural and Behavioral elements into analyses and representations of complex systems, making the methodology able to assess individual areas as well as systems of PAs. The proposed methodology proves to be useful as a complementary tool to the current management effectiveness systems. It provides an in depth understanding, a larger context, and answers the how and why, other management effectiveness systems have not been able to reach, therefore, helping the discipline of conservation to be more efficient and effective, by providing a better chance for well informed management decision making, and resource allocation.

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