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Jelena TOMIĆEVIĆ , Margaret A. SHANNON, Dijana VULETIĆ

SUMMARY: In this study the focus is on the role of local communities in
the management of protected areas with the expectation that without the cooperation
and assistance of local communities achieving biodiversity conservation
in places where the land and resources are fundamental to supporting
people’s livelihoods will be less successful than if the local people actively
support this goal.

Management capacity in protected areas depends upon the system of governance,
the level of resources and local community support. The key question
of interest at the global level are whether the responsible authorities
have the capacity to manage their protected areas effectively, and whether desired
outcomes are achieved on the ground. Measuring these dimensions is
contextual; what is effective in one country or locale may be inappropriate in
another. Thus, assessing management capacity is context specific.

The potential declaration of Tara National Park located in Serbia as a
Biosphere Reserve necessitated research to characterize the institutional context,
the social and demographic situation of the communities within the Park
boundaries. There is a growing recognition that the sustainable management
of protected areas ultimately depends on the cooperation and support of the
local people. In order to achieve sustainable conservation, state legislators
and environmental planners should involve local people in the management of
protected areas and need to identify and promote social processes that enable
local communities to conserve and enhance biodiversity as a part of their livelihood

Drawing upon research in Tara National Park, this paper analyzes the potential
capacity of people living within Tara National Park to effectively participate
in the management of the protected area by incorporating activities
that promote biodiversity within their everyday livelihood strategies. The results
demonstrate that sustaining or providing alternative livelihood strategies
is necessary in order to halt the exploitation of protected areas by local
people striving to survive.

Key words:Participatory management; protected areas; local community;
livelihoods; communicative action


Dr. Jelena Tomićević, Serbia, Faculty of Forestry, Department of Landscape Architecture and Horticulture, Kneza
Viseslava 1, 11030 Belgrade, +381 11 30 53 926 (office) and +381 64 11 77 435 (mobile), fax: +381 112 54 54 85,


Prof. Dr. Margaret A. Shannon, USA,The Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources, 333 George

D.Aiken Center, 81 Carrigan Drive, University of Vermont, Burlington,Vermont 05405, +1 802 656 4280 (office)
and +1 716 523 7835 (mobile),


Dr. sc. Dijana Vuletić, Croatia, Croatian Forest Research Institute, Cvjetno naselje 41, 10450 Jastrebarsko,
+385 1 62 73 000 (office) and +385 98 324 226 (mobile), fax: +385 1 62 73 035,

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Experience around the world has demonstrated that

planning for the sustainable conservation of biodiversity

requires the participation of local people living in the
area (Borrini-Feyerabend et al. 2004a, 2004b;
Winterbottom 1992). Local communities need to be
actively involved in conservation planning and management
so that their needs and aspirations are met and biodiversity
is sustained (West 1991; McNeely 1993;
Lewis 1996). Community participation in biodiversity
management and recognition of the role of traditional
knowledge in sustaining the landscape and associated
biodiversity are consistently recognised as fundamental
to the success of development projects (Alexander
2000). In general, research and practice has confirmed
that the attitudes of local people towards the conservation
of resources can be improved by increasing the benefits
these populations receive as a result of supporting
and carrying out protection measures, and by involving
these communities directly in decision-making processes
(Parry andCampbell 1992). It is also useful to
not that participatory process is a key principle of emerging
new modes of environmental governance (Shannon2006).

Participation of local people in environmental assessments,
planning, and management assumes sufficient
social capacity to engage in a communicative relationship
with the diverse array of other actors (Shannon
2002b). In this context, other actors consist of managers,
scientists, government officials, non-governmental organizations,
international experts and so on.These actors
all have in common access to knowledge, theories,
concepts, and vocabulary produced outside of the local
community that affects the programmes and policies
(Shannon 2002a; Kruger and Shannon 2000).
AgrawalandGibson(2001:11) argue that “it is possible
that the existence of communal norms will promote
cooperative decision-making within the
community.” Thus, in a participatory process, it is critical
to develop inclusive communicative relationships
among the network of governance actors that respects
local knowledge and recognizes the importance of local
needs and values.Through the communicative process,
understanding that local natural resource livelihood strategies
are essential to creating and sustaining biodiversity
emerges and the role of local social capacity is
recognized by all actors. It is for this reason that the
principle of participation as an essential element of good
governance (DePoe, Delicath and Elsenbeer

Mr. Pekka Patosaari,Director, UN Forum on Forests
Secretariat, stated at the Sixth Session of the UN

Permanent Forum on Indigenous Peoples during the

‘Dialogue withAgencies’ focused on “Territories, Lands
and Natural Resources” that one of theGlobal Objecti

ves on Forestsis to “enhance forest-based economic,
social and environmental benefits, including by improving
the livelihoods of forest dependent people” (Patosaari,
2007). Emphasis on the importance of local
communities in securing the sustainability of forests and
protection of biodiversity continues to grow among managers
and policy makers, and has become an international
focus of research (c.f.;Agrawal andGibson 2001;
Brosius, Tsing andZerner 2005;DePoe,Delicath
andElsenbeer 2004).While increasing knowledge
about forest dependent people and communities is
a necessary first step, achieving this policy objective of
improved and enhanced benefits depends on their capacity
individually and collectively to participate in the
communicative processes of resource management and
governance (Kruger andShannon,2000).

Furthermore, meeting the needs of local people
should be the principal objective of forest management,
and this should be reflected in control and tenure arrangements
(Peluso & Padoch,1996). Poverty-oriented
forestry is concerned with reducing the vulnerability
of the poor by enabling people to continue to have
access to the resources and product flows needed for
subsistence purposes (Warner, 2003).Adetailed assessment
needs to be prepared by, or at least with the
people concerned, in order to identify the complete
range of relationships between the people and forest that
they use and/or manage, the current limitations to their
livelihoods and the potentials and desire for change
(Byron andArnold,1999). Experiences in community-
based forestry demonstrate that a people- centred
approach is viable and effective (Warner,2003).

Some conservationists recommend participatory forest
management over community or state forest management
because participatory forestry enhances
collaboration and understanding between forest communities
and state authorities (e.g.Murphree 1993;
Pokharel, 2000). However, Poffenberger &
Singh (1998) andCampbell etal. (2001) warned
that implementation of participatory forestry can be
difficult, particularly where securing representation on
joint management committees and reaching consensus
on issues such as distribution of benefits to communities
are concerned. Grumbine (1994) and Jacobson
(1995) suggested that these issues can partly be
overcome if resource users and managers are aware of
the forest management goals and practices, and have
positive attitudes towards conservation.

However, denying local people the right to use natural
resources found within a protected area severely reduces
their inclination to support conservation and

often undermines local livelihood security (Pimbert

andPretty 1997).At the root of the relationship bet

ween local people and management authorities lies a

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combination of historical, cultural and socio-political
factors (Borrini-Feyerabend 2002: 6). The important
issue is “willingness of governments to recognize
that local communities are vital actors in the
delivery of conservation objectives. Governments that
have not already done so need to move from an implicit
assumption that they manage against local communities
to one where they recognize that protected areas
should be managed for, with, and often by local communities”
(Borrini-Feyerabend 2002: 7).

Thus, two distinct challenges face emerging modes
of participatory management. First, the capacity of local
people, especially people who are dependent on natural
resources for subsistence and trade, to participate in processes
designed and managed outside of the community
is critical for participatory management to work. Second,
the lack of coherence in the policy environment,
the fragmentation of authority, and a narrow view of stakeholders
participating in management processes limit
the institutional capacity to create effective management
processes. While the ‘good governance principles’ –
‘participatory processes, intersectoral coordination,
adaptive and iterative policies, accountable expertise,
and collaboration’– give normative guidance to the evolution
of protected area management, actual social capacity
to achieve these lofty goals may be quite limited
(Shannon 2006; 2002a).

HockingsandPhillips(1999) contend that protected
areas can only deliver their environmental, social
and economic benefits if they are effectively managed.

RESEARCHAREATara National Park Tara is situated in the west of Serbia
and extends over an area of 19,175 ha. It contains
most ofTara Mountain and the region bordered by the
elbow-shaped course of the River Drina, betweenVišegrad
and Bajina Bašta, thus belonging to a part of Starovlaške
mountains (Gajić 1989).Tara National Park
incorporates the region belonging to the Bajina Bašta
municipality.Two local communities, namely Jagoštica
and Rastište are situated entirely on the national park
territory with eight further communities partly within
the park’s boundaries (Perućac, Beserovina, Zaovine,
Rača, Mala Reka, Solotuša, Zaugline and Konjska
The biodiversity value of the area is very high, due to
both an abundance of plant and animal species and the
presence of relic species, for example, Panchich’s
spruce (Picea omorika). The vascular flora of Serbia
contains 3662 taxa (Stevanović 1999), of which
1,000 plant species have been identified in this region,
or one third of the total flora of Serbia (Gajić 1989).
Tara National Park was proclaimed a protected natural
resource in 1981 by the First Regulation on the National
Park (Official Gazette of RS no. 41/81). According to

Thus, they proposed an analytical framework based
upon three principal dimensions the ‘capacity to manage’
protected areas – system of governance, level of
resources, and community support. Missing in their
model, however, is the communicative action necessary
for ‘management.’Thus, some form of participatory management
is essential to link resources, people, and governance
into locally effective practices of management
in protected areas. “While understanding that all participatory
processes entail communicative action, it is useful
to recognize that in the situation where problems are
being defined and actors are forming or changing their
roles, the essence of the participatory process is communicative
action.This means that the degree of institutional
or strategic policy development is low since there is
not a clear public problem and no organized social interests.
Indeed, one can expect this part of the policy process
to possibly extend over years as the nature of the
public problem is slowly understood and shared understanding
emerges through dialogue between the actors”
(Shannon 2003:147–148).

In our study, the focus is on the role of local communities
in the management of protected areas with the
expectation that without the cooperation and assistance
of local communities achieving biodiversity conservation
in places where the land and resources are fundamental
to supporting people’s livelihoods will be less
successful than if the local people actively support this
goal (Tomićević 2005).

– Područje istraživanja
the Regulation on the National Parks of Serbia (Official
Gazette of RS no. 39/93), a public enterprise, ‘National
ParkTara’, was founded, with full responsibility for the
management of the park (PE, National ParkTara, 2002).
The unique natural and cultural heritage ofTara National
Park brought this mountain to the attention of
UNESCO and the proposal for inclusion the Man and
the Biosphere Program. In addition, greater attention to
bioregional ecological protection led to concern for the
future “Drina” National Park with Republic Srpska in
Bosnia and Herzegovina (Dimović 2003: 22).Thus,
in 2003 the Serbian Institute for Nature Protection proposed
that National ParkTara be declared a Biosphere
Reserve (Institute for Nature Conservation 2003). A
clear purpose for establishing biosphere reserves is to
involve the local population in order to improve the social
capacity for the sustainable conservation and development
of the biosphere reserves.
The UNESCO-MAB World Network of Biosphere
Reserves is governance framework for involving local
people in biodiversity conservation.The biosphere re

serve approach links ecology with economics, sociology
and politics, and ensures that good policy intentions do

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not yield inappropriate results. Biosphere reserves are
indeed special places for people and nature.They are internationally
recognized, nominated by national governments
and remain under sovereign jurisdiction of the
states where they are located. Biosphere reserves perform
three main roles: conservationin situof natural and
semi-natural ecosystems and landscapes; demonstration
areas for ecologically and socio-culturally sustainable
use; and logistic support for research, monitoring, education,
training and information exchange. Biosphere
reserves are organized into three interrelated zones,
known as the core area, the buffer zone and the transition
area. This zonation is applied in many different
ways in the real world to accommodate geographical
conditions and local constrants.

‘Inherent in biosphere reserve concept are the ideas
of both conservation and change – conservation of biological
diversity as well as traditional ecological knowledge
and resource managment know-how, but also
change in the way that societies use their rural environments
and their natural resources’(UNESCO 2000: 7).
It is important to emphasize that the concept of Biosphere
reserves takes into account human beings as ‘an integral
part of the ecosystem and recognizes the necessity
of involving local inhabitants in conservation activities’

(Kothari etal.1997: 276). It is this full integration of
the human dimension of biosphere reserves that makes
them special, since the management of a biosphere reserve
essentially becomes a ‘pact between the local
community and society as a whole’(UNESCO 2000: 6).

Despite the international principles for participatory
management, and thus the need for local community
participation and cooperation, Serbia has a long history
of centralized planning for and management of protected
areas. In particular, national park planning and
management has been characterized by a top-down approach.
As a result, local people living near and within
the boundaries of the proposed area were marginalized
during the process establishing Tara National Park in
1981. In 2003, the Serbian Institute for Nature Protection
proposed that National Park Tara be declared a
Biosphere Reserve (Institute for Nature Conservation
2003).This proposal was simply handed to the park managers
without consultation with other stakeholders who
found it interesting – but really did not know what it
might mean in practice. Since the concept of a Biosphere
Reserve includes social and cultural benefits along
with nature protection, managers now needed research
on the people living in communities located within National

RESEARCH METHODS – Metode istraživanja

This study was initiated to understand the local population
living withinTara National Park, in particular the
socio-economic conditions of local people, local relationships
with land and natural resources, local participation
in park management, and local attitudes about
National Park conservation goals and management.To
carry out the institutional analysis, experts in the relevant
agencies and management organizations were interviewed.
In addition, plans and other policy documents
were analyzed.

Assessing local capacities for participatory management
is an important first step towards creating effective
institutions and processes for local participatory
management. Our research in National ParkTara was
the first time that researchers focused on the social,
economic, and institutional environments rather than
just on the biophysical environment. Thus, the study
included basic descriptive information as well as questions
and analysis aimed at assessing local capacity to
engage in participatory management within the Park.

This case study focused two villages - Rastište village
has 107 households and 285 inhabitants and Jagoštica
village has 53 households and 163 inhabitants that
are fully-surrounded by the Park and geographically
isolated due to poor transportation infrastructure.
This allowed us to focus on places of high dependency
on local natural resources, high influence of Park management
and policies, and low access to education and
other sources of livelihood.These two communities are
the most isolated rural villages in the national park and
NPTara has never been accepted by these two local
communities therefore we chose villages Jagoštica and
Rastište for this research.The field work was conducted
in 2004 and in Rastište village, sixty-five household
interviews were conducted which represents 60% of
the total number of registered households and in Jagoštica,
there were thirty-seven household interviews,
corresponding to 70% of the total number.

The household interviews included: general demographic
information about the household; their attitudes
towards rural life; perceptions of nature and their landscape;
their relationship withTara National Park authorities;
and questions regarding their livelihood strategies
historically, currently, and their expectations for the future
(Tomićević 2005: 86).The questionnaire included
a mixture of open, fixed response, and multiple
response questions.The household interviews were all
conducted within the homes and fields of the residents,
thus allowing the respondents to often demonstrate to
the interviewer how their work and lives were manifested
within the landscape. This means that they could
also easily explain how institutional changes influenced
their willingness to cooperate with Park managers and
their hopes or dreams for future livelihood strategies.

Household interviews were fully transcribed. The
data acquired from the household interviews were ana

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lyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences
(SPSS)and the collected data were processed using descriptive
statistics. Fortheanalysistodeterminewhich
demographicandsocio-economicvariablescould help
NPTara, thenonparametrictestofrankcorrelationwasappliedtogether
the Spearman rank correlation coefficient. Expert interviews
were also conducted, but these were a problem-
centered interview. By this we mean, the respondent
does not stand as an individual case, but provided expertise
in the context of his/her institutional or organization
context (Meuser andNagel 1991).These expert interviews
were open and semi-structured around key problems
regarding participation of local people in the
management of national parks, including conflicts between
the local people and their utilization of natural resources,
and their opinions regarding the future ofTara
National Park.

In addition to the household and expert interviews,
numerous documents were analyzed. Most importantly,
reports and programs of the Tara National Park
Public Enterprise, a spatial plan ofTara NP, reports by
the Institutes for Nature Protection of Serbia and by the
then Ministry of the Protection of Natural Resources
and Environment, and the population census compiled
the Republic of Serbia’s Institute for Statistics. This
material provided an important background for understanding
the institutional linkages in protected area management
as well as understanding how these linkages
are related to our research sites. In addition, historical
information helped to understand how changes in the
political, social, cultural, and economic context may
have affected people’s livelihoods and the institutions
that can help to sustain them. This analysis provided
part of the framework for developing the household

Using basic methodology of triangulation, these data
were analyzed with respect to one another and together
provided a strong basis for understanding the past, current,
and potential future household livelihood strategies,
relationships between local people and the Park
administration, and the larger geographic and institutional
environment affecting the capacity for nature protection
within Tara National Park. Methodological
triangulation: involves using more than one method to
gather data, such as interviews, observations, questionnaires,
and documents.The purpose of triangulation in
qualitative research is to increase the credibility and validity
of the results.Altrichter et al. (2008) contend that
triangulation ‘gives a more detailed and balanced picture
of the situation’.

RESULTS – Rezultati

Results of Household Interviews –Rezultati intervjua u domaćinstvima

In the period 1948-1981, the population of theTara
region decreased to 5,000 people, of which 900 or 17%,
live within the newly designated national park. The
main occupations of the inhabitants of this region are
agriculture and forestry.Asmall number of inhabitants
of the region are employed outside the household,
mainly in forestry working with National ParkTara Public
Enterprise.The possibility of employment in other
activities is limited, leading to a population drain, which
along with a low birth rate means that the population is
in decline (Gajić 1989).Acharacteristic of both villages
is permanent out-migration (Tomićević 2005).
Furthermore, the population is aging, the number of single
men is increasing, and there is a decreasing number
of educated people.All of these are very important factors
leading to the low levels of human capital (Messer
and Townsley,2003: 9).

Based on the goal of the Biosphere Reserve Programme
of enhancing forest-based economic, social
and environmental benefits, including by improving the
living conditions of forest dependent people, the sustainability
of the livelihoods of people living inTara region
is at risk.The agricultural sector, which has deep cultural
roots in the community, has become inefficient and
ineffective as a result of the low capacity of human resources
(low education and labour capacity as young
people leave due to their lack of positive expectations
for future opportunities). Of special emotional and practical
concern was the loss of access to land, because private
property holdings had been reduced to a maximum
of 10 ha in communist times where wealthy peasants –
especially those considered to be enemies of the nation –
had their land confiscated and placed in a communal
fund or given to a landless poor peasant. Furthermore,
natural resources now controlled by the ParkAdministration
are generally not accessible to local people. But,
perhaps most important for the present and future prospects
of these villages is the limited access to markets
and capital due to poor roads and lack of knowledge.

Even with these limitations, agricultural remains
central to the local economy as a major source of food
and income for the local community and as defining factor
of the regional landscape. However, our survey results
indicated that local people would be willing to
invest in the agricultural sector, if there was the potential
for realizing greater economic benefits (Tomićević
2005).Willingness to invest is a strong indicator for positive
social capacity for participatory management and
governance. Social action theory (Giddens 1979)
conceives of individuals as exercising agency (the ability
to change the rules), voluntarism, giving meaning to
objects and events and acting with intent. However, as

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Max Weber argued, social context and history shape
human action and individuals act within historically
constructed institutional environments (Weber 1978:
4–7 and 22–31;Breiner 1996).Thus, ‘willingness to
invest’indicates recognition by local actors of their ability
to reshape their current context so as to create new
choices by creating new institutions.This is the essential
quality necessary for democratic practices like participatory
management (Shannon 2006).

The livestock sector also plays an important role in
Tara area. Cattle and sheep herding are traditional activities
and play important roles in the daily life of the community.
Today livestock is a major part of the local
production system (e.g. milk, meat, wool). From the survey
results we found that in both villages meat, wool,
and diary products are produced for household purposes
along with brandy, honey and other craftwork. In Jagoštica
village, which is a much more isolated village than
Rastište, local people produce mostly for household purposes
since market access is very restricted. While in
Rastište, there is both subsistence and commercial production
largely due to slightly better access to markets.
However, the continued emigration of younger people
and the reduced numbers of livestock are leading to
more forest cover, less cultivated land, fewer pastures
and meadows, and relatively more orchards in the area.
These landscape changes affect not only the resources
available for human sustenance, but also the nature and
quality of the biodiversity in the Park. It is within this
context of subsistence as well as limited commercial
production and landscape changes that a participatory
process with National Park authorities would be initiated.
Participatory management would link local social
issues of „expanding market opportunities” with ‘biodiversity
protection’, thereby opening opportunities for
improved local livelihoods and biodiversity conservation
through participatory processes.

The goal of local community empowerment in relation
to sustainable development requires that the local
communities are ready to participate in development as
well in conservation processes. Tomićević (2005)
learned that the people of theTara region are willing to
cooperate in implementing any idea of environmental
improvements that also provides them with economic
and educational benefits. Their collective memory
maintains customs aimed toward maintaining good relations
between human beings and their environment,
even though economic development is needed for continued
survival.Assessing readiness and capacity to participate
in management draws from these expressed
intentions, both individual and collective, framing desired
outcomes and strategies.

At noted above, part of the historical context of the
region, and still an important factor in the memory and
attitudes of the local people, is that after the Second
World War,the land belonging to the ‘enemies of the nation’(
individuals who profited during war time) was
confiscated by the State (Ignjić 1986). Confiscated
land was placed in a communal fund or was given to
poor peasants for cultivation (in 1945, 303 ha of cultivated
land were confiscated and in 1954, 852 ha of land
were taken from 272 wealthy peasants). At the time,
there were proposals to establish cattle breeding farms
on the confiscated lands’ (Ignjić 1986: 250). Surprisingly,
given this historical context, we learned through
the interviews that only 13.8 percent (Tab. 1) of the local
population in Rastište expressed a lack of willingness to
cooperate with the National Park managers. From what
people told us in the interviews, these attitudes toward
the Park were related to the confiscation of private lands
during post-war and communist times and the continuing
lack of clear ownership structure between the
state and local people. However, these negative attitudes
regarding the Park characterized older people who had
directly experienced the war and its aftermath.

Table 1.
Distribution of answers on question:Are you in
conflict with the NP? in villages Rastište (n=65)
and Jagoštica (n=37)

Tablica 1 Raspodjela odgovora na pitanje: Da li imate

konflikt sa NP Tara?u selu Rastište(n=65) i

Jagoštica (n=37)

Village – Selo
Answers –Odgovori Frequency
no –ne 56 86.2
yes –da 9 13.8
Total number of respondents
Ukupan broj ispitanika 65 100.0
Village – Selo
no –ne 37 100
yes –da 0 0.0
Total number of respondents
Ukupan broj ispitanika 37 100.0

Nonetheless, in general, the National Park is perceived
positively by most people in both villages. Naturally,
it is very important as one of the few sources of
local job opportunities. Even more interesting, among
younger people there is a recognition of the importance
of nature protection and how it can benefit them.The
collection of medicinal plants is a major source of current
household cash incomes. With technical assistance,
some of the valuable medicinal plants could be
cultivated by the farmers in their own fields and in this
way the local knowledge of how to maintain and sustain
these plants could be of significant assistance to
the Park in conserving them and protecting biodiversity
(Tomićević 2010: 161). In summary, although

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the local people were marginalized when Tara National in general and the visible loss of young people. In order
Park was formed in 1981, today they are willing and in-to meet the challenge of strengthening the local ecoterested
in working with the Park administration in the

nomy so as to achieve sustainable development inTara
conservation and management of the region.Thus, the

and maintaining the biodiversity that givesTara its spe-
National ParkTara Public Enterprise is well-situated to

cial ecological value, local people and managers will
serve as the convener of participatory management.

need to build greater communicative and participatory
Sadly, the local people of Tara share a generally ne-

capacity in order to better understand one another and
gative expectation about the future for their lives in the work together in a community-based participatory ma-
Tara area. These views reflect their economic hardship nagement processes.

Attitudes towards conservation in NPTara

Stav lokalnog stanovništva premazaštiti NP Tara

While summarising the results from the household graphic and socio-economic variables could help to ex-
questionnaire, it became clear that the demographic plain why some respondents hold more positive attituand
socio-economic conditions, which have changed in des towards conservation the nonparametric test of
Tara National Park in recent years, have influenced rank correlation was applied together with the Spearpeople’s
attitudes towards conservation in Tara Natio-man rank correlation coefficient (Table 2).
nal Park. For the analysis to determine which demo-

Table 2 Correlations between socioeconomic variables1 in Rastište and Jagoštica villages

Tablica2.Korelacija između socioekonomskih varijabli1 u selima Rastište iJagoštica

Village – Selo Rastište Jagoštica
Variables –Varijable 2 3 4 5 2 3 4 5
1. gender/spol ns ns ns -.251 * ns ns ns ns
2. age/dob ns -.364 ** -.353 ** ns ns -.429 **
3. education/obrazovanje ns .348 ** ns ns
4. work for NP/rad za NP .841 ** .507 **
5. relationship with NP/ attitudes
towards conservation /
odnosi sa NP/ stav o NP

** Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed) –Značajnost korelacije za razinu pouzdanosti 0.01 (2-strano)

* Correlation is significant at the 0.05 level (2-tailed) –Značajnost korelacije za razinu pouzdanosti 0.05 (2-strano
ns – not significant –nije značajno

Spearman’s coefficient between gender of respondents
in Rastište and relationship with NP is: -.251*
(df=65, p< .05), what shows that women have bad relationship
with NP, or otherwise negative attitude toward
conservation, or that male have more positive attitudes
toward conservation than women.Age of respondents in
Rastište and variable relationship with NP correlates
with: -.353** (df=65, p< .01), what shows that older
people have less or bad relationship with NP, or more negative
attitude toward conservation.Variable education
and relationship with NPcorrelates with: .348** (df=65,
p< .01), and clearly showed that education significantly
has influence on positive attitudes toward conservation.
The respondents in Rastište who work for NP have a
good relationship with NPor positive attitudes toward
conservation, correlation are: .841** (df=65, p< .01).

The correlation between the work for NPvariable
andrelationshipwithNPvariable in Jagošticais: .507**
(df=37, p<.01) showing that almost only interviewees
whoworkforNPhavea goodrelationshipwithNational

correlation between the age of respondents in Jagoštica
and the relationship with NPis: -.429** (df=37, p<.01).
The negative correlation means that the correlation is
contrarytothe setvaluesofthevariables,whichina
concretesituationmeansthatyoungpeople havemore

Positive attitudes towards Tara National Park and
conservation in both villages were significantly influenced
by the age of the respondents and whether or not
they worked for the national park (Table 2). The employment
in the National Park variable was found to
have a significant influence on attitudes towards conservation,
possibly the result of benefits received from the
Tara National Park enterprise. The findings suggest that
benefits are an incentive for people to perceive conservation
positively.Acorrelation between benefits and positive
attitudes has been confirmed in many cases
(Gillingham & Lee, 1999; Mehta & Heinen,
2001).Furthermore,some differences were evident
in the results obtained from the two villages. In the case
of the Rastište community, a greater number of variables

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were found to influence people’s attitudes on conservation.
Both gender and the education also exhibited an
influence on the attitude to conservation. Males had a
more positive perception of the national park than females
(seeTab. 2). Sah &Heinen(2001) showed that in
Nepal, the variable gender has a significant influence on
attitudes towards conservation. Also, education had a

Results of Expert Interviews –

Resource managers were selected to interview as
experts in charge of Tara National Park (five experts
were selected: manager of the national park, head of
department for national parks, forestry authorities and
environment ministry and a nature conservationist
from the Institute for Nature Conservation of Serbia).
The designation ofTara as a biosphere reserve can have
a great influence on socio-economic issues, and therefore
play an important role in relation to poverty reduction.
In many cases, biosphere reserves are ‘source of
hope for local communities and indigenous peoples
that perceive them as a viable option for enhancing
their livelihoods’ (Marton-Lefevre 2007: 12).

The concepts of the Biosphere Reserves and national
park management were explored during interviews
with ‘experts’regarding the participation of local people
in the management of the National Park, the conflicts
between the local people and the utilization of
natural resources, and the future ofTara National Park.
The purpose for expert interviews was not only to understand
their personal attitudes towardsTara National
Park, but also to explore the institutional environment
linking stakeholders.

The major challenge facing protected areas in Serbia
is to develop management systems that deliver both environmental
sustainability and tangible long-term benefits
for the local people. In general, experts identifiedTara
National Park as a very valuable asset to the area, mainly
in terms of biological and geological diversity. More precisely,
the report ‘Proposal to support the Tara Mountain
Biosphere Reserve nomination’ (Institute for Nature
Conservation2003)focused on “the features of theTara
ecosystems, primarily their conserved conditions and
their high diversity in terms of landscape, ecosystem characteristics,
species and consequently, genetic attributes,
that make this part of Serbia a region of in ternational importance
for conservation of biodiversity.” (Institute for
Nature Conservation of Serbia 2003: 1).The results of
the interviews showed that only people from environmental
authoritiesand experts from the nature conservation
agency were aware of the of Biosphere Reserve
concept.The National Park managers and other government
authorities were not aware of this international concept.
Due to their lack of familiarity with the Biosphere
Reserve concept, and because the management option
was imposed by the State (already a good indication of
positive influence on the attitudes towards conservation.

Education has also been cited elsewhere as a main rea

son for positive attitudes towards protected areas. Edu

cation is just one variable, but can have a powerful effect

on attitudes towards conservation (Fiallo &Jacob


Rezultati intervjua sa ekspertima

barriers within the institutional context of governance),
the interviewees were not asked to compare the pros and
cons of Biosphere Reserve designation forTara, but were
simply asked whether in their opinionTara National Park
should be proclaimed a Biosphere Reserve.

Despite their unfamiliarity with the Biosphere Reserve
concept, all of the experts answered affirmatively.
Most of the experts agree – once they understood
the idea of a Biosphere Reserve program – that the nomination
of theTara area as a Biosphere Reserve could
be a means for integration of local people in management
of natural resources. In particular, they expressed
positive expectations were for improvement of the livelihoods
of the local people in theTara area. The experts
from the nature conservation agency emphasised that
in the local context, “the re-designation ofTara National
Park as a Biosphere Reserve can represent for managers
of protected areas and local communities the
easiest way to succeed in their projects, which are in
harmony with the strategy of sustainable development”
(Director of Nature Conservation Institute).Additionally,
the Director of the Nature Conservation Agency
added, “if local people have a better economic status
then they will have a more positive attitude towards
protected areas” (Tomićević 2005: 138).

From the perspective of the environmental authorities,
the concept of Biosphere Reserve is viewed positively,
and “a particularly important reason to support the
concept from a Serbian perspective is the interaction
between protection and development” (Head of Department
for National Parks in the Ministry for Protection of
Natural Resources and Environment). Forest ecosystems
represent a high percentage of the area ofTara National
Park, and the environmental authoritiescomplain
to the forestry lobby about their attitudes towards management
in protected areas and especially in their attitudes
towards the concept of sustainability (Head of
Department for National Parks in the Ministry for Protection
of Natural Resources and Environment).As foresters
value the natural resources in terms of income from
the forest, we found similar complains towards foresters
in expert interviews with managers fromTara National
Park. Director of the Public Enterprise National Park
Tara emphasized: “If we want to establish National
Parks and achieve the concept of Biosphere Reserve,
which will have an international significance, then it

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will be necessary to reorganise the enterprise – to work
in an old fashioned way, and to think modern is not possible
–therefore, we need a new organisational setting,
which should be more effective and sustainable’’.

As is common, the Serbian institutional framework is
currently in a state of flux as a result of the ongoing economic
transition process, including changes in government
ministries and theTara National Park management
authorities related to the democratisation process.This
lack of institutional clarity is having negative consequences.
In an expert interview with the Director of the
Institute for Nature Protection of Serbia, he emphasized
that “many responsibilities overlap.”

“A lack of institutional dialogue and insufficient
collaboration exist and the fact is that the state should
view protected areas more seriously, especially areas
with international significance, because there is still no
clear political attitude in relation to the functions and
significance of protected areas.”Additionally, “the Republic
of Serbia needs a new Law on Nature Protection.
The old act does not provide for the sustainable
development of Serbia” (Director of Nature Conservation
Institute). “A strategy for the protection of biodiversity
does not exist,” according to Director of Nature
Conservation Institute and the director of the Forest Directorate.
Data obtained from different sources (expert
interviews, written reports and literature), shows that
there are no overall strategic documents on biodiversity
management and nature conservation policy.

Thus, the findings of the study show that attitudes
towards the nature conservation policy are not clear
and vary with the interests of the different stakeholders.
From a local perspective, the expert interviews with the
Director of the Public EnterprisesTara National Park,
an adviser for private forest, and the mayor of the municipality
of Bajina Bašta (also the headquarters of the
ParkAdministration in the Park) revealed, “the Biosphere
Reserve nomination is an additional challenge for
us.” The mayor emphasised that such concept would
“activate a new decision making procedure and foster
inter-institutional dialogue.” The director’s attitudes
towards projects based on the concept of sustainable
development are very positive, and he hoped that “the
flexible planning of the Biosphere Reserve model will
allow us to negotiate new and more sustainable forms
of implementing traditional activities.” He also added
that such a model could be positive for local people
who “wereleft on themargin of events.” He claimed,
“the state does not ensure the sustainable development
of these communities. The consequence of such policies
is migration away from the region, and the mountain is
lost to its own inhabitants.”

The findings of this study indicate that all experts
possessed positive expectations in relation to the future
for life inTara National Park, but that the level of communication
and collaboration between stakeholders was
poor. Participatory management can only be successful
if there is strong institutional support from both government
and the community. Both, however, need sufficient
institutional and communicative capacity to succeed.

CONCLUSION – Zaključak

The involvement of people in protected area management
developed from the realization that traditional
top-down management systems were not solving the
problems of over-exploitation of natural resources and
environmental degradation. The most important findings
in our study relevant to participatory management
are that demographic and socio-economic variables help
us to explain why some respondents hold more positive
attitudes towards conservation and the future for life in
Tara National Park. For example, our findings confirm
that level of education influences the attitudes of the
local people with respect to the future life in theTara
area. Positive attitudes towardsTara National Park and
conservation in both villages were significantly influenced
by the age of the respondents and whether or not
they worked for the national park.These findings suggest
that when people are engaged in communicative action
within their social and institutional context, the
capacity for participation is increased.Thus, there is a
positive relationship between education and employment
with a willingness to work toward a better future
through collaboration with management organizations.
As has been found elsewhere, participatory approaches
have proved to be more successful in situations where
the goals of the process are clear and there are positive
attitudes towards conservation (Grumbine 1994; Jacobson1995).

From the perspective of the local people, we learned
that while they are generally willing and interested in engaging
in participatory management, there are currently
no opportunities for the kinds of deliberative discussions
regarding management priorities or implementation strategies.
The only clear relationship between the local people
and the park administration is through direct
employment. It appears that some new discussions are
emerging regarding how the local people can be more involved
in the development of improved roads and market
for local produce. Only if these new discussions
move toward issues regarding the management of the resources
of the protected area and how the livelihoods of
the people can be sustained will increased participatory
capacity emerge.

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From the perspective of the Park administration, engaging
in collaborative planning with the local people
requires support from the State. Regardless of the personal
interest of a park manager or the willingness of
local people to work with the park managers, without
adequate resources and commitment, participatory management
will not move forward.

Participatory management is a form of facilitation
rather than control.Thus, new institutional forms of administration
with greater capacity to engage local people
in the everyday work of park management are
necessary to realize the promise of participatory management
in terms of improved nature protection.

Tosummarize, the findings of this study indicate the
need to strengthen the clarity of nature conservation policy
and the missions of the responsible authorities. In
addition, in order to promote the involvement of local
people and empower the national park management to
work with them collaboratively, it is necessary to promote
communication among all stakeholders. If the key
to biodiversity protection is held by local people, who
have so far been ignored but who are increasingly being
recognised as key stakeholders, then environmental governance
needs to draw upon social science research and
theory in understanding and assessing social capacity
for participatory management.

Dr.Tomićević would like to thank to the people she for kindly sharing their knowledge on theTara area. Fimet
during her field-work period inTara National Park. nally, she would like to thank the DAAD (German Aca-
In particular, she would like to thank her colleagues and demic Exchange Service) for providing funding for her
managers from public enterprises NPTara, for helping PhD research study at the Faculty of Forest and Environher
in establishing contacts with her interviewees and mental Science of the University of Freiburg.

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SAŽETAK: Ovdje predstavljeno istraživanje usmjereno je na ulogu lokalne
zajednice u upravljanju zaštićenim područjima, s osnovnom pretpostavkom da
će bez suradnje i sudjelovanja lokalne zajednice u očuvanju biološke raznolikosti
na području gdje su zemlja i resursi temeljni oslonci za život ljudi, biti manje
uspješno ako lokalno stanovništvo aktivno ne podupire zadane ciljeve očuvanja.

Upravljački kapaciteti zaštićenih područja ovise o općem sustavu upravljanja,
stanju samog resursa i podršci lokalne zajednice. Stoga se postavlja
ključno pitanje od općeg interesa: imaju li odgovorne strukture kapaciteta za
učinkovito upravljanje zaštićenim područjima, te da li se željeni rezultati postižu
na terenu. Mjerenje navedenih dimenzija upravljanja kontekstualnog je
karaktera, jer ono što je učinkovito u jednoj zemlji ili lokalno, može biti sasvim
neprihvatljivo u drugoj. Zbog toga se procjena upravljačkih kapaciteta
po svome karakteru smatra kontekstualnom, odnosno bavi se prvo objašnjavanjem
odnosa, a onda institucionalnih i strukturnih okvira.

Prijedlog proglašenja Nacionalnog parka Tara Rezervatom Biosfere ukazao
je na važnost istraživanja koje bi opisalo institucionalni okvir, socio-demografsku
situaciju u naseljima unutar granica Parka. Jasno je raspoznata
ovisnost potrajnog gospodarenja zaštićenim prostorima o podršci lokalnog
stanovništva. U cilju postizanja očuvanja biološke raznolikosti nacionalni zakonodavac
i okolišni planeri trebaju uključiti lokalno stanovništvo u upravljanje
zaštićenim prostorima, te utvrditi i razvijati socijalne procese kako bi
omogućili lokalnim zajednicama očuvanje i unapređenje biološke raznolikosti
kao dio njihovog životnog okruženja.

Metoda istraživanja je kvalitativna, što proizlazi iz prirode prikupljenih podataka
i primijenjenih metoda analize i interpretacije. Primijenjena je studija
slučaja (Case study) u sklopu koje su podaci prikupljeni tijekom 2004. godine,
kada su obavljena 102 intervijua s lokalnim stanovništvom. Istraživanjem su
obuhvaćena dva sela smještena na području Nacionalnog parka Tara: Rastište
(67 intervjua) i Jagoštica (37). Oba sela su zbog slabe razvijenosti mreže puto va
prometno izolirana, te stoga izrazito ovisna o lokalnim prirodnim resursima

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kao i gospodarskim i upravljačkim aktivnostima samoga Parka. Intervjui s lokalnim
stanovništvom obuhvaćali su: demografske informacije o kućanstvu;
stavove prema životu na selu; percepciju prirode i krajobraza; odnos sa Upravom
Parka; i pitanja vezana uz strategije kućanstva kroz povijest, sadašnje i
njihova očekivanja za budućnost (Tomićević 2005). Sama pitanja bila su otvorena,
s ponuđenim odgovorima te mogućnošću davanja više odgovora. Svi intervjui
obavljeni su u samim kućanstvima, što je omogućavalo ispitanicima da i
primjerom objasne kako žive i rade te na koje načine utječu na krajobraz. Također
su mogli lako objasniti kako institucionalne promjene utječu na njihovu
volju za suradnjom s Upravom Parka, kao i njihova očekivanja u budućnosti.
Intervjui su u potpunosti prepisani, što je omogućilo njihovu obradu i analizu
korištenjem SPSS (Statističkog probrama za socijalna istraživanja) programa.

Dodatno su obavljeni i problemski orijentirani intervjui sa stručnjacima i
donositeljima odluka u Parku, nadležnim institucijama i znanstvenim organiza
cijama (obavljeno je 5 intervjua) kako bi se dobio uvid u način sagledavanja
problema s razine donositelja odluka. To znači da ispitanici nisu predstavljali
sebe kao osobu, već su pružali stručno mišljenje u svom institucionalnom i/ili
organizacijskom kontekstu (Meuser i Nagel 1991). Korištena pitanja bila su
otvorena i polu strukturirana, koncentrirajući se na ključne probleme vezane
uz sudjelovanje lokalnog stanovništva u upravaljanju Parkom, uključujući
konflikte između lokalnog stanovništva i korištenja prirodnih resursa. Prikup ljena
su i razmišljanja stručnjaka o budućnosti Parka.

Svi prikupljeni podaci uneseni su u bazu te analizirani korištenjem SPSS
programa, posebno namijenjenom za analizu kvalitativnih podataka. Tijekom
analize i interpretacije dobivenih rezultata korištena je metoda triangulacije
(unakrsnog potvrđivanja) gdje se jedna grupa podataka analizira u odnosu na
drugu grupu, čime se omogućava razumijevanje prošlih, postojećih i budućih
postupaka. Ova metoda posebno se pokazala korisnom u razumijevanju strategija
primijenjenih u lokalnim kućanstvima. Također je analizom drugih prikupljenih
dokumenata i pravnih akata, dobiven uvid u odnose između lokalnog
stanovništva i uprave Parka te karakteristike šireg zemljopisnog i institucionalnog
okruženja koje utječu na kapacitete zaštite prirode unutar Nacionalnog
parka Tara.

Ovim istraživanjem analizirani su mogućnosti razvoja kapaciteta stanovništva,
koje živi u granicama samog Parka, te učinkovitog sudjelovanja u
upravljanju zaštićenim područjem, kroz uključivanje u aktivnosti unapređenja
biološke raznolikosti u svoje svakodnevne životne odluke. Polučeni rezultati
ukazuju na neophodnost očuvanja i osiguravanja alternativnih životnih strate
gija, s ciljem zaustavljanja iskorištavanja zaštićenih područja od strane lokalnog
stanovništva, koje se istovremeno bori za očuvanje i unapređenje
vla stitih životnih uvjeta.

Analiza stručnih intervjua ukazala je na nedostatak općih strateških dokumenata,
koji bi regulirali zaštitu biološke raznolikosti i upravljanje zaštićenim
prostorima u Srbiji, posebice onim od međunarodnog značenja.

Ključne riječi:sudjelovanje u upravljanju; zaštićena područja, lokalna
zajednica, komunikacijske aktivnosti