Evaluating Governance and Participatory Processes in Natura 2000: Lessons Learned and Guidance for Future Prospects
In recent years, participatory approaches have been incorporated in decision-making processes as a way to strengthen the bonds between diverse areas of knowledge and social actors in natural resources management and environmental governance. Despite the favourable context, this paradigm shift is still in an early stage within the development of the Natura 2000 in the European Union, the largest network of protected areas in the world. To enhance the full scope of participatory approaches in this context, this article: (i) briefly reviews the role of participatory approaches in environmental governance, (ii) develops a common framework to evaluate such participatory processes in protected area management, (iii) applies this framework to a real case study, and (iv) based on the lessons learned, provides guidance to improve the future governance of Natura 2000 sites.
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