Collaborative Measurement of Performance of Jointly Managed Protected Areas in Northern Australia

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    Abstract

    Responsibility for the management of many protected areas in the Northern Territory, Australia, is shared between the management agency and the aboriginal owners of that land. We describe (1) the creation and types of indicators developed by partners in a participatory process to measure management effectiveness, (2) the assessment method used to monitor progress, and (3) the results of the first cycle of evaluations in four jointly managed parks. Although each pilot park area has distinctive features, we were able to identify a set of twelve common indicators that were applied across the four park areas. The agreed indicators, which were scored using a color scale to indicate level of achievement, were primarily concerned with process rather than outcome, with particular emphasis on the strength of social relationships. Thus, there were indicators that assessed performance in governance and decision making, application and interpretation of cultural heritage and traditional ecological knowledge, expansion of social capital, human and financial resources, and visitors, with little emphasis on the biophysical outcomes of the management. The emphasis on the quality of the process of joint management was thought to indicate that the relationship between the joint management partners was relatively new, with trust only starting to develop. We discuss opportunities and difficulties for replication and adaptation of indicators to all jointly managed parks in the Northern Territory. � 2013 by the author(s).
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-19
    Number of pages19
    JournalEcology and Society
    Volume18
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2013

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