Inderscience Publishers

Boundary organisations between conservation and development: insights from Oulanka National Park, Finland


Integrated conservation and development objectives are increasingly sought with protected area - sustainable tourism partnerships, and related certifications are promising to deliver integrated targets. However, in this article we show that European wide PAN Parks certification seems not to be supporting integrated objectives from the point of view of traditional nature users in Oulanka National Park, Finland. We compared the actions and responses of the certification, park management and traditional nature users in relation to mutually recognised issues: reindeer herding, hunting and predator management. Park management worked in many respects as a successful boundary organisation maintaining traditional rights against threats posed by standardisation practises of the certification, which emphasises conservation of wilderness with 'sell nature in order to save it' - logic. While successful in maintaining traditional rights, problems in boundary work existed in relation to the use of concepts that see traditional nature uses as a threat by default, communication and transparency, and distribution of benefits and burdens. Through examining existing and potential positive roles that park managements can have as boundary organisations, we argue that state–based park managements can mediate neoliberal standardisation efforts and harness their benefits while decreasing potential negative development outcomes in protected area governance.

Keywords: national parks, certification, standardisation, traditional nature users, conservation, economic development, Finland, neoliberalism, sustainable tourism, boundary organisations, sustainability, protected areas, park management, reindeer herding, hunting, predator management, governance

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