Governance of protected areas: an institutional analysis of conservation, community livelihood, and tourism outcomes

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23 Scopus citations


Protected areas are managed for multiple, often competing, goals including biodiversity conservation, community livelihoods, and tourism. However, there is a lack of clear evidence on which governance approaches are more effective in governing protected areas to achieve these goals. This paper sheds light on the effectiveness of different protected area governance approaches using Ostrom’s Institutional Analysis and Development (IAD) framework. The research was conducted in three protected areas of Nepal: Chitwan National Park, the Annapurna Conservation Area, and the Kanchenjunga Conservation Area, which represent state-community, NGO, and community-managed protected areas, respectively. Data were collected through interviews, supplemented by published and unpublished documents, and field observations. Results revealed that the outcomes vary across the protected areas primarily because of their governance approaches and local contexts. Due to rigid monocentric and simple polycentric approaches, the PAs failed to adapt to the changing social-ecological systems. Based on the findings, a multi-layered polycentric adaptive co-management approach has been proposed. The study also developed a multi-goal IAD model to assess PA governance. Additional theoretical, methodological, and managerial implications with respect to protected areas governance are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2686-2705
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Sustainable Tourism
Issue number11
StatePublished - 2022


  • Protected areas
  • common-pool resources
  • evaluation
  • governance
  • institutional analysis
  • polycentric

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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