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ŠUMARSKI LIST 9-10/2010 str. 67     <-- 67 -->        PDF

J. Tomićević, M. A. Shannon, D. Vuletić: DEVELOPING LOCAL CAPACITY FOR PARTICIPATORY ... Šumarski list br. 9–10, CXXXIV (2010), 503-515

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