Balancing Local Interests and National Conservation Obligations in Nature Protection. The Case of Local Management Boards in Norway
In 2010 Norway introduc ed local management of national parks and other large protected areas . B oards comprised of local politicians are delegated extended powers in the management of the protected areas. This paper examines how this system of local management deals with the conflicting dimensions of local interests versus national obligations and conservation versus use . The study is based on data from surveys to protected area board members and other actors involved, and on case studies in two protected area. Th e main finding is that the boards, accountable to central government bu t comprised by politicians accountable to the local voters, aim to balance local interests and national obligations, and conservation and use. Popular involvement and anchorage is, however, weak, due to lack of mobilization and transparency. Furthermore, f ormal restrictions hindering the boards to deal with local economic development could make the boards less attractive for the local political leadership.