Using Enhancing our heritage toolkit for assessing management effectiveness of the Kien Giang Biosphere Reserve
Cuong, Chu Van
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Biosphere reserves operating under the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Programme aim to achieve three mandate management objectives of conservation, sustainable socio-economic development, and logistic support. The apparent mismatch between the biosphere reserve (BR) concept and implementation reality has led to the call for assessment of management effectiveness as part of a system to support management of sites under the Seville Statutory Framework for the Biosphere Reserves Network since 1995. We used the Enhancing our Heritage Toolkit developed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and UNESCO to evaluate the management effectiveness of the Kien Giang Biosphere Reserve (KGBR). A lack of broad understanding for the conceptual model leads to the biosphere reserve concept being essentially an artificially constructed model with little buy-in from agencies of government and limited efforts to pursue an adequate planning and implementation process. The management system established in KGBR lacks operational funding and its staff lacks adequate knowledge of the BR model, but exhibit strong sectoral commitments that cut across the BR approach. Consequently, most of the important values found in the KGBR are ineffectively protected and managed. The case study in Kien Giang suggests that this management effectiveness evaluation tool can be used to assess performance and management outcomes of sites and assist stakeholders in adaptive planning and improving BR performance and effectiveness.