Identifying joint transboundary management objectives
The first step is to identify stakeholder groups that should be considered when addressing the transboundary management question, including but not limited to the protected area staffs themselves. Six stakeholder groups were identified: nature conservation, agriculture, forestry, tourism, research, and local communities and municipalities. The core team then identifies up to 8 stakeholder representatives to include in the decision-analytic process. Each participating park authority then independently identifies 2-5 concerns and/or wishes from the perspective of each stakeholder group. Next, each core team converts the wishes and concerns into statements of objectives, and ultimate objectives are then distinguished from intermediate objectives that are only means to achieve ultimate objectives. A reduced set of three ultimate, quantifiable objectives are then identified to represent the main trade-offs and concerns across stakeholder groups while serving as measures of success for the focal transboundary conservation efforts. Focusing on a smaller number of ultimate objectives ensures feasibility and understandability for conducting the participatory decision analysis.
To avoid the objectives and stakeholders being driven by one of the two participating parks, initial lists of stakeholder groups and objectives should be based on independent input from park authorities of the two respective parks in each pilot region. A group of >8 stakeholder representatives (including the park authorities) would likely require a professional facilitator, and the process described here would need to be considerably modified to address issues related to participatory decision
Park authorities found it useful to organize an original set of 18 objectives into a hierarchy to recognize interrelationships among objectives and “Maintain coexistence of bears and humans” as an ultimate objective. For the decision analysis, the team selected the following ultimate objectives: 1) maintain bear population carrying capacity in the transboundary area and beyond, 2) maintain sustainable agriculture in the transboundary area, and 3) minimize stakeholder conflicts regarding bear management. Half the respondents to the stakeholder workshop survey indicated the ultimate objectives were clearly understood and representative of their concerns. Some stakeholders indicated the following issues were not addressed sufficiently: actual numbers of bears, ecotourism, positive impacts of bears, relationship between bear management and local communities, ecological requirements of bears, relevant regulations (national and regional), and practical day-to-day problems.