Expanding Staff Voice in Protected Area Management Effectiveness Assessments within Kenya’s Maasai Mara National Reserve
- 50 Downloads
The concept of protected areas (PA) is one of the most widely used policy tools for biodiversity conservation including habitat and wildlife protection. Despite the importance and emphasis placed on protected area management, biodiversity is still in decline and more species are in danger of extinction. Some analyses have indicated that more than 40% of protected areas are poorly managed. To improve management effectiveness, the inclusion of diverse stakeholder information in articulating management strategies has been strongly encouraged; however, stakeholder involvement is often poorly integrated, and an opportunity granted only to select stakeholder groups, with PA staff, especially at lower organizational levels, minimally involved. Further, protected area management effectiveness (PAME) assessments are most frequently used as an aggregated outcome measure of effectiveness but these data should also inform management practice. Thus, for PA managers to obtain a greater understanding of issues impacting their effectiveness, they would benefit from including the voices of staff at all working levels. Therefore, the purpose of this investigation was to survey 135 wardens and rangers at all organizational levels from the two administrative sectors of Maasai Mara National Reserve to determine their perceptions of management effectiveness and to determine if significant differences existed across staff levels and administrative sectors. Significant differences were found to exist across staff levels and administrative authorities supporting the need for expanded staff voice in establishing effective PA management plans.
KeywordsProtected area management effectiveness Stakeholder participation RAPPAM Maasai Mara National Reserve Adaptive management
We would like to thank the Narok County Government, Kenya for its financial support and technical assistance in making this project possible. We also want to thank Clemson University Institute for Parks for its financial support and the International Conservation Caucus Foundation for its assistance in organizing this project. Further, we want to thank the Chief Warden, Narok sector of the Maasai Mara National Reserve and the Chief Executive for the Mara Conservancy, for their support in conducting the surveys of the rangers and officers in their respective sectors of the Maasai Mara National Reserve. Finally, we also want to acknowledge that a Kenyan Government research permit was obtained from the National Commission for Science, Technology, and Innovation (NACOSTI). We thank NACOSTI for its assistance and support.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.
- Anthony, B (2014) Review of international protected area management effectiveness (PAME) experience. Association for Water and Rural Development, Budapest, Hungary. (USAID/RESLIM/ AID-674-A-13-00008)Google Scholar
- Coad L, Leverington F, Knights K, Geldmann J, Eassom A, Kapos V, Kingston N, de Lima M, Zamora C, Curadros I, Nolte C, Burgess ND, Hockings M (2015) Measuring impact of protected area management interventions: Current and future use of the global database of protected area management effectiveness. Philos Trans R Soc B 370:20140281CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Erwin J (2003) WWF: Rapid assessment and prioritization of protected areas management (RAPPAM) methodology. WWF, Gland, SwitzerlandGoogle Scholar
- Gitau JW (ed.) (2012) Payment for wildlife conservation in the Maasai Mara Ecosystem. ABCD Series Policy Brief 2. Association for the Strengthening of Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa, Entebbe, UgandaGoogle Scholar
- International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN (n.d.)) Protected area categories. http://www.iucn.org/theme/protected-areas/about/protected-area-categories
- International Union for Conservation of Nature and United Nations Environment Program - World Conservation Monitoring Centre (IUCN & UNEP-WCMC (2015). The World Database on Protected Areas. UNEP-WCMC, November 2015. http://www.protectedplanet.net
- Leverington F, Hockings M, Pavese H, Lemos Costa K, Courrau J (2008) Management effectiveness evaluation in protected areas—a global study. Supplementary report No. 1: Overview of approaches and methodologies. The University of Queensland, Gatton, TNC, WWF, IUCN-WCPA, AustrailaGoogle Scholar
- Stringer L, Dougill A, Fraser E, Hubacek K, Prell C, Reed MS (2006) Unpacking “participation” in the adaptive management of social–ecological systems: a critical review. Ecol Soc 11(2):39, http://www.ecologyandsoceity.org/vol11/iss2/art39/ CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- UNESCO. (2010) The African Great Rift Valley - The Maasai Mara. http://whc.unesco.org/en/tentativelists/5512/
- Watson D (2014) Masai Mara: The Mara Triangle official guide. Photoprint, ScotlandGoogle Scholar