Participatory protected area management - A case study from rodna mountains national park, Romania

Eva Alina Szabo, Anna Lawrence, Claudiu Iusan, Susan Canney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Romania, in line with other former communist countries, does not have a tradition of participation in decision making with respect to natural resources. Since the collapse of the communist regime, participation has been encouraged, especially through national legislation and to fulfil commitments under international treaties. However, little knowledge and even fewer models of participation exist in the country. This paper presents an example of participatory conservation in the Rodna Mountains National Park, in which student clubs established in schools from local communities are involved in park management planning and implementation. This innovative model combines participatory biodiversity monitoring and environmental education in a way that responds to local needs. As a result of implementing this model, valuable data that contribute to decisions influencing the conservation of biodiversity in the park have been collected, and local institutional frameworks have been strengthened through the creation of an NGO. The model has received national recognition and four other Romanian protected areas are interested in implementing it. We conclude with an analysis of model strengths and weaknesses and recommendations for replicating it in other similar circumstances.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187-199
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Biodiversity Science and Management
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2008


  • Participatory biodiversity monitoring
  • Participatory management
  • Protected areas
  • Rodna mountains national park
  • Romania


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