Governance in transboundary conservation: How institutional structure and path dependence matter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations

Abstract

Transboundary protected areas (TBPAs) have gained currency over the past decade because of their perceived (and highly disputed) effectiveness at achieving a wide array of goals ranging from improved biodiversity conservation to regional economic development to the promotion of peace between countries. However, few studies have analysed how institutional structures influence cross-border coordination across a range of issues in a transboundary park. This study uses two TBPAs in southern Africa-the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park and the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park-to look at issues of international governance in transboundary conservation. The bottom-up institutional development in the Kgalagadi has allowed ground-level officials to learn how to work together to adapt and respond to the day-to-day challenges they confront. By contrast, local-level collaboration in the Great Limpopo has emerged slowly due to the top-down imposition of the park on local-level communities and officials. The central premise is that the institutional beginnings to the two TBPAs result in differing capacities for effective collaboration. Initial institutional design also creates path dependencies, which may be difficult to overcome later. These findings can help practitioners in designing more robust, long-enduring institutions to better achieve their goals in future transboundary conservation projects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)420-428
Number of pages9
JournalConservation and Society
Volume11
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2013

Keywords

  • Great Limpopo
  • Kgalagadi
  • collaboration
  • governance
  • institutional development
  • institutions
  • path dependency
  • transboundary conservation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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