Biodiv Sci ›› 2004, Vol. 12 ›› Issue (5): 546-552.DOI: 10.17520/biods.2004069

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Protected area management based on game theory

LU Yi-He*, CHEN Li-Ding, FU Bo-Jie, XU Jian-Ying   

  1. Key Laboratory of Systems Ecology, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100085
  • Received:2004-04-02 Revised:2004-06-27 Online:2004-09-20 Published:2004-09-20
  • Contact: LU Yi-He

Abstract: Protected areas (PAs) are the cornerstones of ecological conservation globally. Therefore, the effectiveness and sustainability of PA management has always been the focus of concern. PA management, involving physical environmental systems and socioeconomic systems, is full of complexity. In order to probe into this complexity, PA management can be considered as a game. Accordingly, game theory can be used as a powerful tool in resolving conflicts and harmonizing the relationships among various interest groups to improve the effectiveness and sustainability of PA management. Generally, PA management can be represented as n-person cooperative games with several resolution methods including Nash equilibrium, Shapley value and Nucleolus. Typical cases in PA management in China, namely natural forest protection, the switching from fuelwood to electricity, and moderate development (such as ecotourism) are analyzed under game theoretic framework. Based on these cases, a general operational framework of PA management based on game theory is established. It is suggested that the integration of fairness, efficiency and sustainability in PA management can only be realized through the innovation of policies, institutions and mechanisms to foster a wide participation and close cooperation of stakeholders.

Key words: Tibetan fox (Vulpes ferrilata), resource selection functions (RSFs), principal components analysis (PCA), den habitat

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