Abstract: Beliefs and attitudes of local people toward protected areas are increasingly being considered in conservation planning. Although park-people studies abound, relatively little is known about these relationships in Central and Eastern Europe. Romania’s protected area management system currently involves considering aspirations of local communities. A questionnaire administered to 374 households was the main tool for assessing knowledge about, and attitudes towards Macin Mountains National Park (MMNP). Only 20.1% of respondents had knowledge of MMNP activities, and 95.2% were unacquainted with the Consultative Council, which purportedly represents community interests in park affairs. A community attitude index (CAI) was constructed, aggregating responses to seven attitude-related questions. CAI values ranged from −7 to 7 with a mean of −0.50. Attitudes were primarily influenced by education level and whether households had members who fish. Most attitudes were neutral, largely due to lack of interaction with MMNP. Positive attitudes were mostly related to the intrinsic value of nature and its services. Negative attitudes were chiefly determined by perceived fuelwood shortages and/or higher prices, or introductions of potentially dangerous animals. These results have particular implications for involving local communities in MMNP management, and may be relevant for similar protected areas in Romania and elsewhere.
Anthony, Brandon and Moldovan, Dragos. 2008. Poised for engagement: local communities and the Măcin Mountains National Park, Romania. The International Journal of Biodiversity Science & Management 4(4):230-241.
Anthony, Brandon and Moldovan, Dragos. 2008. Poised for engagement: local communities and the Măcin Mountains National Park, Romania. ‘Participating in Nature: Communities and Protected Areas in Central and Eastern Europe’ Symposium, 10-13 March 2008, Bistrita, Romania.
Anthony, B. and Moldovan, D. 2008. Strengthening Romania’s Protected Area System by Demonstrating Best Practices for Management of Small Protected Areas in Macin Mountains National Park (Project no: #47111): Conservation attitudes in the communities neighbouring the Măcin Mountains National Park (Mission 1: May-July 2007). Report for the Măcin Mountains National Park Administration, Romania.