Holding the borders of Mount Carmel : A study of management and land issues in a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve

University essay from Stockholms universitet/Kulturgeografiska institutionen


The establishment of a UNESCO Biosphere indicates a shift from traditional conservation of individual areas towards a more regional approach and an inclusive planning and management regime. This study sets out to investigate the effects of the Biosphere Reserve designation in Mount Carmel, Israel, with special regard to settlement development and stakeholder management. The implications of the Biosphere Reserve designation have been explored through GIS analysis, using LANDSAT satellite data, and through interviews, observations and participatory checking. The empirical findings were analysed in relation to the Biosphere Reserve Statutory Framework, and to theories on territorialisation, space production and participatory planning. The findings suggest that the Biosphere Reserve designation have had very limited effects in the case of Mount Carmel. Settlements have continued to expand into protected areas, and there is no organised structure for stakeholder participation. This study underlines the value of considering context and history in the establishment of protected areas, and the importance of establishing the Biosphere Reserve concept among the different stakeholders.

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