|dc.description.abstract||The early concept of buffer zones was focused on the protection of protected areas from external pressures, particularly human created pressures. The main emphasis was to establish restrictions on the utilisation of park resources. This system did not become very successful. Thus, this dissertation proposes a dynamic definition of buffer zones in that it incorporates the welfare of local people and the preservation of biodiversity in perpetuity thereby eliminating gaps between development and conservation. This dissertation also includes a working model of a buffer zone, in particular, for countries like Nepal.
This thesis examines park-people relationships with special reference to Nepal. For this, it identifies use patterns and resource needs which are essential for the livelihoods of park neighbours who are dependent on national park and reserve resources. The needs of local people for natural resources such as firewood, animal fodder and land for agriculture have increased and the present status of resources is not enough to meet the requirements of growing populations. The establishment of protected areas has shown positive results in conserving biological diversity within them. However, problems are present with the growing populations within and in the immediate vicinity of the protected areas in Nepal and degraded resources in public and private lands which are considered the root causes of illicit harvesting of park properties. To overcome this situation, buffer zone management is suggested.
This dissertation also identifies some of the constraints which can arise with the process of buffer zone development and management. His Majesty's Government of Nepal made a fourth amendment to the National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act of Nepal in 1993 for the creation of buffer zones around the boundaries of protected areas. It is obvious that the management of buffer zones in Nepal's national parks and reserves will lessen the conflict between local residents and park authorities. In addition, local people will be benefitted through participatory management. The sustainable use of resources maintains healthy ecosystems which will ensure the conservation of plant and animal species. Protected areas will safeguard their assets which have national and international importance. This dissertation examines the problems that the Park Manager may have to resolve in buffer zone establishment and management. To clarify this, issues of actual users, funds and technical expertise and land use are included.
General recommendations are presented which can be implemented in order to maintain sustainable use in the buffer zones and protected areas. This dissertation is a review of the buffer zone literature supported by the author's experience of forestry and national parks systems.||en