Compliance dynamics in transboundary governance of natural resources
The extent to which resource users abide by rules is a fundamental question in the governance of conservation efforts, such as national parks, often challenged by poaching. While a large literature studies the factors fostering regulatory compliance in national settings, we know less about these processes in transboundary conservation areas, an increasingly common type of park that straddles the borders of several countries. This study aims to explore how the previously identified dynamics associated with achieving compliance play out in transboundary settings. Focusing on the world’s largest transboundary conservation area – the Kavango Zambezi Tranfrontier Conservation Area – the study uses interviews with elite actors involved in the management of the area to provide in-sights in the process of fostering compliance in transboundary conservation areas. As in nationally governed parks, it appears crucial that efforts in sharing the benefits from conservation and involv-ing stakeholders in management are successful. Yet, the empirical analysis reveals that transnational settings provide even further challenges: the governance of such parks depends critically on trust-building efforts among a larger number of actors positioned at different levels. It also involves the need for harmonizing policy between the involved states, both in terms of the design of regulations and as regards the sanctions imposed on rule violators.
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