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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Parks Stewardship Forum

UC Berkeley

Harnessing a multifaceted stewardship framework: A bare necessity for parks and protected areas


In parks and protected area conservation, research is underway to understand the elements and mechanisms of environmental stewardship and to evaluate its effectiveness as a management tool for conservation. Across the country, protected area managers, scientists, concerned citizens and communities are trying to harness stewardship actions to mitigate systemic threats to parks and other protected areas. Through developing and engaging with a stewardship framework approach (i.e., an organized, collaboratively supported, and enduring system of stewardship actions), protected area managers can engage a variety of motivated people to collaboratively care for a protected area, creating a win–win solution for park resource users and managers. Recent advances in sustainability science and environmental stewardship address the development of stewardship mechanisms through novel analytical frameworks. Collectively, the framework approach can help protected area managers make actions and initiatives more effective and meaningful to the individuals or communities involved by helping to unravel the multifaceted nature of environmental stewardship. Specifically, we seek to advance the understanding, relevance, and utility of the Bennett et al. (2018) and Enqvist et al. (2018) stewardship frameworks for park and protected area management and conservation efforts. In doing so, we also offer potentially new, interdisciplinary perspectives and management considerations for leveraging actions that serve to bolster environmental stewardship as a concept, practice, and research focus for parks and protected areas. [This is a paper from “Systemic Threats to Parks & Protected Areas,” the 2020 George Wright Society Student Summit.]

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