"We Want Our Children to Grow Up to See These Animals:" Values and Protected Areas Governance in Canada, Ghana and Tanzania

Journal Article

Environmental governance research has paid insufficient attention to scholarship on values even though environmental values is a well-studied field. This paper begins to unpack the relationship between values and governance with a particular focus on protected areas governance and in light of ideas such as the distinction between held values and assigned values. We report on research from four case studies in Canada, Ghana and Tanzania, each of which investigated the values, interests and objectives of people in a rural community and ways in which these are reflected, or not, in governance arrangements for an adjacent protected area. Despite very diverse contexts, two held values that were encountered in each of the four case studies could be described as responsibility toward future generations and respect for and appreciation of nature. The existence of what may be universal values does not negate the importance of culture and place: similar held values are translated, through the particular circumstances of different individuals, communities and cultures, into a diversity of assigned values, interests and positions. The attention that governance processes have given to local people's fundamental held values in three of the cases, and the ignoring of such values in the fourth, have had important implications for the relationship between community members and the adjacent protected area. We argue that systems for governance would do well to explicitly engage with values by supporting local articulation of values and by facilitating dialogue and deliberation amongst diverse stakeholders around their values. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Robinson, LW; Bennett, N; King, LA; Murray, G

Published Date

  • 2012

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 40 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 571 - 581

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0300-7839

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1007/s10745-012-9502-7