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Conservation and Society
An interdisciplinary journal exploring linkages between society, environment and development
Conservation and Society
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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 87-99

Collaborative Governance of Protected Areas: Success Factors and Prospects for Hin Nam No National Protected Area, Central Laos

1 Executive Director, Prespa Ohrid Nature Trust, Frankfurt, Germany
2 Deputy Chief Technical Advisor, AHT Consultant Office, Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park Region Project (KfW component), Vietnam
3 Associate Professor of Environmental Planning and Management, Geography & Spatial Sciences, School of Land and Food, University of Tasmania, Australia
4 Deputy Director, Office of Natural Resources and Environment, Khammouane Province, Laos
5 Director, Agro-Forestry and Development Consultant Co.Ltd, Vientiane, Laos

Correspondence Address:
Mirjam de Koning
Executive Director, Prespa Ohrid Nature Trust, Frankfurt
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0972-4923.201396

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Collaborative governance of protected areas has emerged as a response to failures of, and ethical concerns about, centralised environmental governance. This paper assesses the governance of the Hin Nam No National Protected Area in central Laos to identify the conditions that support successful collaborative governance. Our analysis is based on the argument that collaborative governance is more likely to be successful under conditions that provide incentives for community engagement, formal mechanisms for power sharing, local ownership of resources, downward accountability, mechanisms for building trust, and an adaptive approach to performance assessment and improvement. We show that collaborative governance in Hin Nam No demonstrates the potential for a more decentralised and democratic system of governance based on customary rights, but requires ongoing political will to consolidate and sustain these arrangements. The findings of this study contribute to the growing literature on collaborative governance of protected areas in Asia and elsewhere.

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