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Enabling multi-faceted measures of success for protected area management in Trinidad and Tobago

By Ainka A. Granderson


A key challenge has been to define and measure "success" in managing protected areas. A case study was conducted of efforts to evaluate the new protected area management system in Trinidad and Tobago using a participatory approach. The aim of the case study was to (1) examine whether stakeholder involvement better captures the multi-faceted nature of success and (2) identify the role and influence of various stakeholder groups in this process. An holistic and systematic framework was developed with stakeholder input that facilitated the integration of expert and lay knowledge, a broad emphasis on ecological, socio-economic, and institutional aspects, and the use of both quantitative and qualitative data allowing the evaluation to capture the multi-faceted nature and impacts of protected area management. Input from primary stakeholders, such as local communities, was critical as they have a high stake in protected area outcomes. Secondary and external stakeholders, including government agencies, non-governmental organizations, academia and the private sector, were also important in providing valuable technical assistance and serving as mediators. However, a lack of consensus over priorities, politics, and limited stakeholder capacity and data access pose significant barriers to engaging stakeholders to effectively measure the management success of protected areas.Stakeholder participation Evaluation Success Protected area Conservation Sustainable development Trinidad and Tobago Caribbean

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