GEOG3070 Environment And Society II: Governing Human Uses of Protected Areas

Academic Year

Dr Peter Jones with contributions from Dr Sam Randalls

Unit Value

Programme Year Running

Programme Term Running

Available to Affiliate Students

Available to External Students

Brief Course Description
Protected areas are increasingly recognised by many scientific, advocate and policy actors as being needed to counteract the increasingly evident threats of declining biodiversity and related declines in the flow of ecosystem services. The emphasis is both on increasing protected area coverage (number and size) and on increasing protected area effectiveness (actually conserving habitats and species). GEOG 3070 will raise several questions related to protected areas, including: Why is it considered that we need protected areas? What do we mean by ‘effective governance’? How can different governance approaches be combined to provide steer towards effectiveness? How can we reconcile effectiveness and equity issues? Who should be empowered to govern and whose interests will be heard / silenced? How can different knowledges be drawn on to inform governance decisions?

GEOG3070 is a lecture-based course integrating theories and practices of environment and society as reflected in contemporary governance debates. The course explores the science and politics of environmental governance, examining the historical and contemporary practices by which human uses of natural resources have been governed. It analyses the knowledges, models and theories that make up scientific understandings of biodiversity conservation, particularly participative and economic concepts and rationales. Through these areas, and drawing upon debates from various literatures, the course will critically interrogate the ways in which human uses of natural resources in protected areas are considered as governable.

Course Aims
By the end of the course students should be able to: critically evaluate the current practices and discourses of environmental governance in the context of protected areas, including shifts towards co-management and economic approaches, and to have an ‘informed opinion’ on these debates.

Course Content
The course will draw attention to the multifaceted, historically and geographically situated, and complex nature of debates surrounding environmental governance, drawing upon contemporary research in geography, anthropology and life science studies. The course material will draw on case studies of protected areas from around the world, and students are encouraged to undertake further reading on these and other related case studies

Method of Teaching
Lectures (10) and seminars (3)

Form of Assessment
100% Coursework: Report on a protected area case study selected by the student. The report is based on the rationale and empirical framework derived from Jones (2014, see reading list)

Brockington, D. et al.(2008) Nature Unbound: conservation, capitalism and the future of protected areas, London: Earthscan.

Daily, G. and Ellison, D. (2002) The New Economy of Nature: the quest to make conservation profitable, Washington: Island Press.

Jones, P.J.S. (2014) Governing Marine Protected Areas: resilience through diversity, London: Earthscan, 240p (Chapter 4 being a key focus for discussions on different theories of natural resource governance. This book also sets out the empirical framework that the coursework is based on).

Suich et al. (eds) (2009) Evolution & Innovation in wildlife conservation, London: Earthscan.

Watson J.E.M. et al. (2014) ‘The performance and potential of protected areas’, Nature, 515, 67-73.

Students will find it useful to have taken GEOG2009 – Environment and Society I, but there is no formal pre-requisite.

Last Updated: Wed 29 Mar 2017