UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Promoting Inclusive Outdoor Recreation in National Park Governance: A Comparative Perspective from Canada and Spain Aguilar-Carrasco, Maria José; Gielen, Eric; Vallés-Planells, Maria; Galiana, Francisco; Almenar-Muñoz, Mercedes; Konijnendijk, C. C. (Cecil C.)


While national parks (NPs) have for a long time made substantial contributions to visitor well-being, many spaces remain out of reach of people with disabilities (PwDs). This is partly due to a lack of policies that take accessibility for broader intersectional audiences into consideration. This paper evaluates governance and legal frameworks in NPs in both Canada and Spain. A decision-making framework based on intersectionality realities is proposed to assess current conditions of environmental good governance using a set of descriptors created to scrutinize laws and technical documents that can promote equitable access to NPs. To validate results derived from the regulatory evaluation, semistructured interviews with park managers were carried out. Results revealed the importance of incorporating equity discourses into policies that regulate NP networks to guarantee that all the intersectional realities for park uses are considered in their management. Furthermore, when a country develops a well-structured federal framework under which the rights of PwDs are ensured, it transcends other fields of law. Differences between the Canadian and the Spanish situation are highlighted, as well as the need for links between higher-level policies and laws and on-the-ground implementation, with NP management plans playing an important role.

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CC BY 4.0