Managing multiple pressures on national parks: conservation, recreation, and local community wellbeing
Proposals are invited to examine how and why administrators of national parks based at individual park and other administrative levels attempt to manage multiple pressures imposed by different stakeholder groups, including the country’s national government. Significant considerations include the impact of specific contextual factors on the management strategies adopted, how the strategies operate in practice, and how particular stakeholder groups do or do not benefit. This area of enquiry is under-researched, but of increasing economic and social importance. National governments of almost a hundred industrialised and developing countries have now designated diverse tracts of land or marine areas as ‘national parks’.
Most designations combine two core purposes that often coexist in some tension: conservation of the natural environment where human impact has been relatively limited (plants, wildlife, and the consequent landscape or seascape), or of the cultural heritage that people have left (artifacts, rural landscape, biological diversity, language and traditions); and recreation, enabling public enjoyment of the natural environment or cultural heritage through visitation and outdoor activities (sightseeing, walking, hunting) and their promotion (international or local tourism, including ecotourism). Such designations frequently have economic and social implications for local community wellbeing – for people who live or seek employment in the designated area, or for indigenous groups inhabiting the area before its designation as a national park, and maybe their descendants. Recreation may undermine conservation and both purposes may conflict with the interests of local communities, together imposing multiple pressures for national park administrators to manage.
Consequently, there is wide scope for proposals employing qualitative methods to investigate, in the context of one or more national parks within a particular country, how such pressures are manifested, what tensions they may generate, how and why national park administrators attempt to manage them, and to what effect for different stakeholder groups.
- Previous experience with and/or willingness to carry out Qualitative Research
Applications are invited from exceptional candidates with a first class or strong upper second class honours degree, or appropriate Master’s degree. The University values diversity and equality at all levels and we encourage applications from all sections of the community, irrespective of age, disability, sex, gender identity, marital or civil partnership status, pregnancy or maternity, race, religion or belief and sexual orientation. In line with our commitment to supporting and promoting equality, diversity and inclusion, and to increase recruitment of currently underrepresented groups, applications from Black British, Asian British, minority ethnicity British and mixed race British candidates are particularly encouraged and welcomed. Study is available as either ‘1+3’ (i.e. one full time year of research training Masters followed by three years of full-time Doctoral study), or ‘+3’ (i.e. three years of full-time doctoral study), depending on the needs of the applicant.
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