A Multi-Institutional Partnership to Build Capacity for Effective Protected Area Management in India

Authors

  • Tara L. Teel
  • Andrew W. Don Carlos
  • Michael J. Manfredo
  • Vinod B. Mathur

Keywords:

Capacity building, conservation social science, human dimensions, human-wildlife conflict, protected area management, India, partnerships

Abstract

Protected area managers around the world are increasingly faced with complex challenges that demand a sound understanding of both social and ecological factors. The need for improved interdisciplinary approaches to build management capacity for protected areas has long been discussed in the literature and at global conservation forums including the IUCN World Parks Congress. Responding to this need can be enhanced through international partnerships that foster the sharing of institutional knowledge and experience. This paper presents a case example of a multi-institutional collaboration led by Colorado State University and the Wildlife Institute of India to enhance the technical competencies and leadership skills of protected area managers across the Indian subcontinent. A key initiative carried out under this partnership was the development and implementation of a Mid-Career Training Program for 87 Indian Forest Service officers between 2010 and 2012. An overview of protected area management challenges and capacity building needs in India is followed by a description of program elements including administrative structure and leadership, design and content, instructional methods, evaluation, and future directions.