, Volume 52, Issue 2, pp 514-530
Date: 12 May 2013

Assessment of the Effectiveness of Protected Areas Management in Iran: Case Study in Khojir National Park

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The requirement to assess the management effectiveness (ME) in protected areas (PAs) is increasing around the world to help improve management and accountability. An evaluation of ME for Khojir National Park (KNP), one of the Iran’s oldest PAs, was conducted using a multi-method approach that consisted of structured interviews, open interviews, and site visits. This was the first ME evaluation in Iran. The structured interview was based on the management effectiveness tracking tool methodology. KNP received an average score of 43 %, which is lower than the global average, illustrating that its general management was in the low-intermediate level. The indices of legal status, resource inventory, planning for land and water use, regulations, and objectives received the highest average scores, whereas education and awareness, community co-management, regular work plan, boundary demarcation, visitor facilities, budget sources, staff training, protection systems, and management plan received the lowest ones. The management system of KNP was generally established, but many problems of the management still need to be resolved. To improve ME, some countermeasures should be taken, such as increasing funding, strengthening capacity building, planning, and adaptive management, and implementing community participation.