"KNOWLEDGE, PARKS AND CULTURES - A NEW PUBLICATION GIVES INSIGHT INTO THE PROCESS OF TRANSFERRING KNOWLEDGE BETWEEN DIFFERENT CULTURES
During the last decades, the number of protected areas has been constantly rising around the world; this trend is still continuing. As a consequence, the international exchange and the transfer of knowledge beyond cultural boundaries gained increasingly in importance.
A research project, financed by the Austrian proVision Programme, investigated which knowledge is relevant for the management of protected areas regardless of the respective cultural context. Furthermore, it identified the most appropriate ways of exchanging this knowledge between different cultures. With it, amongst others, it was assessed if the concept of the international master course “Management of Protected Areas” at the University of Klagenfurt would be applicable even outside Europe.
In the framework of the project, Hohe Tauern and Donau-Auen National Parks in Austria, and Chitwan National Park and the Annapurna Conservation Area in Nepal have been selected as case study sites. A detailed analysis of the four parks provided a glimpse into the similarities and differences of the management approaches in Austria (Europe) and Nepal (Asia). “The superior concepts and goals of the park management are quite similar in both countries. There seems to be a common language and understanding of park managers around the world”, explains project manager Michael Huber. “This indicates that the fields of activities, as defined in the Klagenfurter study course, are also applicable in Nepal. Only the emphases and concrete contents have to be adapted to the respective cultural context”, adds Michael Jungmeier. During the project, a 7-step-model has been developed, which allows for adapting the contents and training methods for the needs of the respective target group and the cultural context. Besides, in cooperation with several international experts and students from the master course, the “Charta of Klagenfurt” has been formulated. It provides some basic principles and prerequisites for a successful knowledge transfer.
The results of the project have been published under the title “Knowledge, parks and cultures. Transcultural exchange of knowledge in protected areas: Case studies from Austria and Nepal”. Series “Proceedings in the Management of Protected Areas“, Volume 5. Printed copies can be ordered from the Heyn publishing company, prize 20 Euro.