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Enhancing the role of host communities in the management of protected areas through effective two-way communications : a case study
journal contributionposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by Julie CarmodyJulie Carmody, Bruce PrideauxBruce Prideaux
The use of protected areas by the tourism industry and the subsequent impacts on host communities have been well documented. Less is known about the levels of knowledge that communities have about protected areas and how the members of host communities learn about these areas. If information search patterns used by local residents are not understood or, at worst, ignored, protected area managers may find difficulty gaining support from local communities. The research reported in this study investigates the relationship between local communities and management authorities using a case study approach based on the Wet Tropics of Queensland World Heritage Area (WTQWHA). The paper examines how residents of the communities that surround the WTQWHA seek out information on the nearby protected rainforest area and identifies the information delivery methods preferred by the community. Data used in the study were collected via a community survey (n = 853) conducted in 2007. Findings indicated that the involvement of the local community in a genuine two-way communications process about conservation strategies and the development of recreation opportunities increase the level of support for the management agency as well as the retention of the protected area.