UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Successful cooperative arrangements for environmental stewardship : a study of BC parks and environmental nongovernment organisations Tamm, Sabine Susan


These are challenging times for parks and protected areas in British Columbia as these areas have increased in size and use, while resources for managing them have shrunk considerably. Environmental nongovernment organisations (ENGOs) have recognized these threats and as a result are becoming increasingly involved in the stewardship of parks and protected areas. As the provincial government authority responsible for their management, BC Parks acknowledges that the needs and aspirations of people living in and around these areas must somehow be integrated in their management in order to ensure their long-term viability, and that ENGOs have valuable knowledge and skills to offer in this regard. As a result, cooperative arrangements, or partnerships, are being increasingly explored as a mutually beneficial means of forwarding BC Parks' mandate of conservation and recreation, and the mandate of similarly-minded ENGOs. The central purpose of this thesis is to identify essential criteria that must be met for cooperative arrangements between ENGOs and BC Parks to be successful. The study focusses on four current, successful partnerships. Research methods included a literature review and interviews with representatives from each of the participating BC Parks districts and ENGOs. The thesis presents a number of key findings that have significant import to the successful planning, implementation and management of cooperative arrangements for parks and protected areas. In addition to the criteria identified as central to their success, certain process-based actions have relevance to fulfilling the criteria. The level of trust between partners also has an impact on relations, which is enhanced when the criteria are met and over the course of time. The expectations of parties with regard to the extent of power-sharing and how this is exhibited in the cooperative arrangement also affects the perceived level of success of partners and therefore their commitment to the partnership.

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