Reaching common ground: The potential for interagency collaboration in UNESCO biosphere reserves
Ostrem, Julie A.
Hvenegaard, Glen T.
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In an increasingly urbanized and degraded world, protected areas provide opportunities for people to connect with nature. Biosphere reserves strive for coexistence between the conservation of biodiversity and sustainable development practices through people and agencies living and working in harmony with nature at a regional scale. This article explores the potential for collaboration among stakeholders in biosphere reserves. The diverse range of social actors involved in biosphere reserves provides a good environment for implementing collective impact theory and trust theory. These theoretical frameworks allow for deeper understanding of how stakeholders connect through a more holistic and cohesive decision-making process. Envisioned to facilitate social innovation, these theories have emerged in a variety of settings across the globe to enable collaboration. However, little is known about the implementation and success of these theories in biosphere reserves. This article evaluates the feasibility of the practical implementation of these theories through the lens of environmental education and heritage interpretation in the Beaver Hills Biosphere in central Alberta, Canada.