Challenges Facing National Parks’ Management




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Challenges Facing National Parks’ Management

Management of national parks and the areas related to them provide not only opportunities but also challenges. The opportunities that it presents are protecting the values of the national parks and provision of people’s enjoyment and appreciation. Challenges include ensuring these places are well protected and that the activities going on in the national parks benefit them and balancing them. National parks’ management also deals with controlling the capacity of visitors visiting the parks in a given time and the population of the wildlife in that given park (Manning, p1).Effective management of national parks is important for preservation and conservation of the wildlife. This essay will look at the various challenges facing the management of national parks and the approaches addressing the challenges.

National parks are tourist attraction sites. Tourists can’t be attracted by the national parks if there are no features of interest. It becomes a challenge to the management of the national parks to ensure the national parks have the necessary resources that would invite tourists to the park. The challenge is when it comes to making the decision on what to put up and what to improve in the national parks. The management is required to ensure that the improvements that they make are unique to the features of other tourist attraction sites. Approaches addressing this challenge have been raised such as providing luxury equipment and hotels within the parks. The approach ensures that tourists stay in the park and enjoy their stay as long as they would wish (Davis et al., p12)

The management looks forward to expanding the national parks to increase the volume of visitation as already discussed. The will to expand the national parks is met by one challenge that has troubled the management so much. People living around the national parks tend to encroach on the land holding the national park (James et al., p 162). Cultivation is the main purpose of this behavior of the people. Land encroachment makes it difficult for the management to expand the parks. It instead reduces the size of the land occupied by the park hence reducing the natural habitat. Appropriate measures have been taken to solve this problem. The management has pushed for fencing the area that should be occupied by the national park to avoid invasion by the residents.

National parks’ management aims at protecting the wildlife in the national parks. Protecting wildlife ensures that the national parks stay for as long as possible, and the benefits accrued to the existence of national parks are long term. Poaching has become a threat to this goal of the management. Wild animals such as elephants, leopards, buffaloes and many others are a main area of tourists’ attraction. Residents have made poaching an option to their living (James et al., p163). Elephants in national parks have become extinct due to their valuable tasks. Extinction of elephants and other animals would slowly fade the national parks. Approaches have been raised to address this matter. The wild services have increased the number of trained security to protect the wildlife. There are laws that have been passed to protect the wildlife. It means that if one is accused of poaching can face imprisonment or other charges. Villagers around the parks have also been offered well-defined hunting quotas. These quotas have reduced poaching since the villagers sell the quotas to companies or organizations (James et al., p168).

Training and education are an important aspect in that they install skills and knowledge to individuals. Lack or minimal skills in the management board of national parks has become a challenge lately (Decker et al., p13).Without the required training, it becomes difficult for one to determine certain variables in the national parks. A good example would be determining the wildlife population or evaluate the situation of a habitat (Decker et al., p13).Possession of skills, also helps the management board in making decisions on what should be done. Mostly, when a problem arises the level of skills possessed by the management determines how fast the situation will be handled. The government has offered training facilities and organized training programs to the management. The untrained personnel are taken through training to improve the level of skills in them.

Political pressure is another challenge that faces the management of national parks. As much as the management would like to expand the parks, there exists scarcity in development funds (James et al., p172).This problem is usually as a result of arguments in the political systems on the amount of money to be issued for the national park development. With this, the management and control functions of the park management cannot be met. It happens that the national income earned from tourism activities goes easily to the government. It becomes hard for the funds to be allocated back to the national parks for expansion, hence, delaying the expansion projects that the management has suggested. Pressure is mounted on the management sector instead. The solution to this problem is being worked on where the funding for the parks will be done in a way that it won’t be affected by politics. Through external fund and whenever the park’s wildlife capital has been restored. Park management activities would be financed by tourists and fees from safari hunting (James et al., 173).

Expansion of national parks has led to relocation of many people. It turns the population against the management of the parks. At times, there is a very high population living below living standards. These conditions and the anger in people about the relocation encourage people to practice poaching and at times attack the management directly. The people may also set up forest fires as a revenge mechanism. These extensive forest fires have led to environmental destruction (James et al., p174).Wildlife is destroyed where animals die, and vegetation burn down. Whenever it happens, the management tries as much as it can to put off these fires. It becomes a threat to the management. Extra cost that had not been budgeted for is required to finance for the extinguishing .The management has started an initiative where people are compensated after relocation to avoid this scenario (James et al., 174).

Wildlife damage has become a threat not only to the people around the national parks but also to the management. Wildlife damage is any act by the animals in the park that causes destruction to the property of the households living around the parks (Conover, p7).It happens due to poor protective boundaries between the national parks and the society living near the parks. When the animals break the walls, they cause damages to the crops, cause injuries to the people and some extent deaths. The management is hence faced with the challenge of compensating for the damages. Finances that had not been budgeted for are used. The management is also faced by the challenge of tracing the animals and taking them back to the parks. The activity of tracing the animals back to the park becomes very tiresome and sometimes dangerous. In order to avoid this, construction of strong electric fence round the national parks has been implemented.

In conclusion, the challenges facing the management of national parks are the same from one national park to the other. The management personnel across the national parks should hence, be skilled and with the ability to withstand the challenges. They should also have the ability to bring forward measurements that can address the challenges. Poaching has become the biggest threat to national parks’ management as discussed. It is facilitated by many factors, among them being poor management. In general, the management should enhance its relationship with those that border the parks. A good relationship between them improves the understanding between them, which would reduce such activities. For better handling of challenges to the management, the government considers employing skilled personnel. The management should also be corruption free to enable good utilization of the funds allocated to the national parks.

Works Cited

Manning, Robert. Parks and People: Managing Outdoor Recreation at Acadia National Park: University of Vermont Press, 2009.Print.

Davis E. Davis., Halvorson, Willian. Science and Ecosystem Management in the National Parks: University of Arizona Press, 1996.Print.

Anderson, Terry. James, Alexander. The Politics and Economics of Park Management: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, USA, 2001.Print.

Decker, Daniel. Riley, Shawn. Siemer, William. Human Dimension of Wildlife Management: JHU Press, 2012.Print.

Conover, Michael. The Science of Wildlife Damage Management: CRC Press LLC, USA, 2002.Print.