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Citation Information

Type Thesis or Dissertation - Master of Science
Title Local people and national parks: Sumava and Pelister in comparative perspective
Author(s)
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2010
URL https://dspace.cuni.cz/bitstream/handle/20.500.11956/33271/IPTX_2007_1__0_238975_0_83748.pdf?sequenc​e=1&isAllowed=y
Abstract
People‟s views towards national parks have been reshaped since the designation of
Yellowstone, the first national park in the world. Faced with the necessity to protect
nature, on the one hand, and the lack of financial and human resources, on the other,
national park administrations are forced to find creative ways to improve local
resident participation in park management. Thus, determining the factors responsible
for the changes in people‟s perceptions and attitudes has become one of the priority
activities in the creation and implementation of the management strategies in national
parks.
This research investigates the local residents‟ perception of, and attitudes towards,
nature protection and local development in two national parks: Pelister National Park
in Macedonia and Šumava National Park in the Czech Republic. It analyses the
significance of the residents„ place attacment as a factor in creation of their attitudes
and perceptions. The study supplements previous similar research carried on in these
two parks and as such explores potential trends and changes in their management
practices, especially the issues related to residents„ involvement. Data are collected
with the aid of a standardised questionnaire undertaken in two years in each park.
The strength of people‟s connections to, or sensitivity about, a particular area might
influence their way of behaviour in and attitudes towards it. The relationships
between humans and space is defined in many ways, including „place attachment‟,
„place sensitivity‟, and „topophilia‟. In this study, I use the term place attachment.
The overall results from the statistical analysis of data have indicated that, despite
socio-demographic differences, respondents have a significant place attachment to
both national parks Šumava and Pelister. This is evidenced by the high number of
respondents who state that they feel at home in Šumava and Pelister and by their wish
not to move somewhere else. Moreover, it has transpired that ancestral links to the
area have a significant influence on the intensity of place attachment, as well as on the
evaluation of the management of both national parks.
4
The other overarching finding emerging from my two case studies is that local
residents maintain a strong place attachment to the protected areas in which they live,
regardless of the strictness and quality of the environmental management regime in
them.

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