MANAGEMENT ASSESSMENT IN KARST AREAS
Elery Hamilton-Smith - (31/1,2002)
The key management responsibility in World Heritage Areas is a two-fold one of preserving environmental integrity and quality while at the same time providing for broad-scale public access. Although there is some ambiguity in this mandate, there is no question that these two elements of management are complementary, and that one cannot fully assess one without consideration of the other. This leads to the key question of how management is able to meet the responsibility of this mandate. This paper reviews and assesses various conceptual approaches that have been or might be utilised. These include various visitor impact control schemes generally of U.S. origin, the three faceted (environmental /social /economic) sustainability approach and risk management strategies. This paper concludes that each karst area management agency must develop an on-going assessment plan that both deals with broad-scale issues while also meeting the distinctive challenges which are endemic to their own situation. Any of the approaches discussed may make a contribution to any one such plan.