Conceptualizing Youth Involvement in Biosphere Reserve Management
: A Case Study of Biosphere Reserves in Vietnam

Scriptie/Masterproef: Master's Thesis


This study focusses on the symbiotic nature of youth involvement and biosphere reserve management. Although UNESCO biosphere reserves highlight the importance of stakeholder participation within the paradigm of conservation for development - development for conservation, younger generations remain underrepresented. A pragmatist philosophical perspective and abductive reasoning approach allowed an initial conceptual framework to be created based on the taxonomy of fundamental criteria of stakeholder participation. The initial framework provided a focus to commence inquiry. As different research methods allow to explore different aspects of reality; primary empirical data is explored through the use of mixed-method research in order to find patterns and ground the plausible hypothesis with testable conclusions. The initial conceptual framework is complemented and amplified based on a national survey with 20 managers from all nine biosphere reserves in Vietnam, a local survey in Dong Nai province with 27 youth participants and an explorational, qualitative case study of the Dong Nai Biosphere Reserve. Quantitative data provided insights into the participation, management satisfaction, legitimacy, youth competence and interest in youth involvement. In turn, the qualitative data explored the processes that lie behind these statistics. Finally, four clusters were identified within the context of youth involvement: (1) Attitudes, (2) Perceptions, (3) Interactions and (4) Regulations. This study concludes with a novel conceptual framework of youth involvement in biosphere reserve management. It is designed to tease out the complexity of youth involvement and visualize the fundamental concepts and their intertwined nature. It deliberately shifts underlying theories in order to provoke the movement of concepts into the development of a novel conceptual framework which might lead to the empowerment of youth stakeholders and more useful decision making.
Datum prijs2020
Originele taalEnglish
SponsorenVLIR - UOS
BegeleiderPieter Meurs (Advisor), Tri Nguyen Hoang (Advisor), Bieke Abelshausen (Promotor) & Tom Vanwing (Jury)

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