Assessing Good Governance in Protected Areas (PA) Co-management: A Case Study of the Sundarbans Mangrove Forests of Bangladesh
Category:- Journal; Year:- 2021
Discipline:- Agrotechnology Discipline
School:- Life Science School
Co-management has been adopted in the Sundarbans of Bangladesh since 2008 toward biodiversity conservation and livelihood improvement of local communities. However, we have limited research on how good governance was maintained and practiced in co-managed mangrove protected areas (PA). Drawing on a case study, this research assessed stakeholders’ perception on good governance in PA co-management in the Sundarbans of Bangladesh. We adopted a ‘good governance framework’ consisting of six governance principles (stakeholders’ participation, transparency, responsiveness, legitimacy, fairness and organizational capacity) and deployed both qualitative (11 key-informants’ interviews and 4 focus group discussions) and quantitative methods (135 structured interviews) for data collection. Median, frequencies (percent), contingency table chi-square tests were performed for quantitative data. About 30–35% of the respondents perceived neutral in their responses to good governance principles (stakeholders’ participation, transparency, responsiveness, legitimacy, fairness and organizational capacity) indicating moderate level of governance in PA co-management in the Sundarbans. This study has demonstrated a wider implementation gap between the ambitious intent enshrined in the new policy framework and actual rollout of PA governance on the ground. These results would be useful to policy-makers, development agencies and PA managers in formulating and implementing effective policies for PA co-management in Bangladesh and elsewhere.