Due to their geographical framing as well as their morphological and ecological characteristics, small islands are more vulnerable to certain threats and phenomena, making their planning and management a true challenge, especially in what concerns environment conservation and sustainability. SMARTPARKS Project aims to develop of a conceptual planning and management system for protected areas that takes into consideration all specificities of these insular ecosystems, correcting the insufficiencies or flaws already pointed out to traditional planning systems of protected areas. Obviously, the integration and promotion of public engagement in all stages of the planning and management system is one of the strategic axes of this project. This paper analyses the state of the art concerning public participation in protected areas planning and management and its main constrains, particularly in Portugal, in order to propose a methodological approach for SMARTPARKS Project. The proposed methodological approach had in consideration not only the challenges presented by national usual levels of public participation but also the project's limitations of time, financial and human resources. The methodological approach is mainly composed by: 1) stakeholders identification; 2) meetings with main stakeholders; 3) public presentation of the project; 4) creation of a consultative committee; 5) interviews and thematic workshops, and; 6) general workshop for results presentation. This methodology is expected to inform and raise awareness of the role of nature conservation in the island's sustainability but also to raise the community response level to these issues.
ADDITIONAL INDEX WORDS: Protected areas management, Public Participation, Involve
|Journal||Journal Of Coastal Research|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 2011|