Protected Areas Policy
National parks and other protected areas form the cornerstone of global biodiversity policy. Despite tremendous popularity and importance, these bastions of biodiversity face conflicting mandates and escalating threats. This course examines protected area policies in an international context, emphasizing key policy issues that transcend national borders. We will analyze several case studies from Asia, Africa, Latin America, and North America, seeking to isolate factors of apparent success, failure, and institutional learning. Key questions include: How have protected area paradigms changed over time? Can parks be financially self‐sustaining? How can protected areas balance conservation with local economic development? What role can and should local and indigenous communities play in protected areas? What is an appropriate role for the private sector in establishing and operating parks? How can we evaluate the effectiveness of protected areas? To what extent can transboundary protected areas (aka “peace parks”) foster international peace, security, and conservation? The course includes field trips to local protected areas representing different management regimes and challenges. It also includes an overview of career opportunities with a wide variety of international conservation organizations such as The Nature Conservancy, Conservation International, World Wildlife Fund, The World Conservation Union (IUCN), the U.S. Agency for International Development, and The World Bank.