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ŠUMARSKI LIST 9-10/2010 str. 69     <-- 69 -->        PDF

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

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