Matching study findings to the conceptual framework facilitated their comparison and interpretation to reveal problems and potential solutions during implementation and instances of both benefit and harm.
The earliest source of tension in the life course of protected areas can be controversy about environmental risks posed by local inhabitants. Studies in Australia , Nepal , Norway , Mexico , Indonesia  and USA  revealed local inhabitants appreciating areas for their aesthetic and spiritual values as well as environmental products and economic and leisure opportunities. Mexican farmers in particular value the land for its provision of food, water, wood and other products, and they have developed farming styles along a spectrum of reciprocal relationships between man and nature between wilderness and urbanisation . Diaw  claims that a resettlement policy to establish a IUCN II category park in Cameroon in 1961 was driven by scientific myths of a pristine forest whose protection was incompatible with indigenous residents despite historical analysis showing that the current forest structure was the result of sustained use over centuries. Economic arguments favouring resettlement were flawed, with excessively strong assumptions about tourism benefits, flood control, forest use, research discoveries, soil fertility and agricultural productivity. Similarly, in Norway residents pointed to a lack of convincing scientific evidence supporting the need for certain protective measures . Residents of Utah claimed the land benefitted from how they had cared for it before it was declared a protected area (Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument, IUCN II ). In Norway, local tourist firms were frustrated by the lack of opportunities to play a part in the protected area management (IUCN II). They claimed that local expertise, based on generations of managing the area prior to its official status, should play an important role in management .
The second source of tension is the lack of clarity in regulations and maps pertaining to protected areas. Mehring et al.  investigated regulatory institutions in two villages in an Indonesian park established in 1982. In one, new regulations about forest land and products drawn up by the mayor and customary organisation were neither written down, nor completely implemented. There was support for state zoning of the Park to allow traditional access to the forest for local people, but disagreement about the zone boundaries. Effective village sanctions were considered important, but confusion about when to apply them appropriately arose from discrepancies between state rules and local institutions. In Cameroon, ‘traditional hunting’ was still allowed in 2001 the territories outside protected areas (IUCN IV) so long as the products were for personal use, and not sold . However, whether ‘traditional’ hunting referred to the people involved, the weapons employed, or some other characteristic was not clear. Only allowing ‘traditional’ weapons, depending on the definition, might outlaw common traditional practices such as the use of snares (metal wire), arrows (steel tipped) or rifles. The ban and uncertainty surrounding poorly defined traditional hunting led to tension and mistrust between locals and conservation agents. In Uganda, the legal agreement protecting the Mount Elgon National Park, established in 1951, was flawed as it failed to refer accurately to maps or related by-laws, statutes or other documents .
Where regulations precluded living within an area, resettlement could be forced or induced. In Cameroon, forced migration and a violent confrontation prompted villagers to accept resettlement outside familiar territories, against the recommendations of earlier research . Enacting laws to drive resettlement resulted in an integrated conservation and development plan that failed, leaving villagers bitter and sceptical. Expulsion to make way for the privately managed Moremi Game Reserve in Botswana included huts being burnt down as residents got loaded into trucks for relocation outside the reserve . Residents were forced to relocate (for a second time) by the suspension of the provision of all social services such as water supply, health facilities, shops, schools and communication services.
Although labelled as ‘voluntary’, because the term ‘involuntary’ is politically problematic nationally and amongst international donors, the resettlement from Limpopo National Park was widely recognised as ‘induced’ by planning blight and economic decline . Although consulted about resettlement, residents’ views were then disregarded.
“Since the park was made we were supposed to leave. Since they said that, people don’t construct houses, we don’t plant trees. This house was built in 2000 but it was never really finished because the park came. There were trees but we stopped planting and the old ones died. [papaya]. No one is investing, not to do things for nothing. Even now that we have accepted to leave, the park does nothing” (p443).
Inadequate or non-existent compensation was a concern expressed in many studies; for loss of property or land in 1960s , for access or use restrictions in India in 2007 , for environmental protection by owners of Swedish forests (IUCN Ib and II) in 2001 , for resettlement in 2001 or for loss of crops or livestock in 2007/8 Mozambique (IUCN II) , for personal injury or property damage from wildlife in South Africa (IUCN II) in 2001 , and in Tanzania (IUCN IV) where there was no compensation policy at the time of the study in 1996 ; or for loss of jobs or land in China (IUCN V established 1986) . For this last case, some compensation had been made in the form of new homes, crop seeds, lump sum payments, and subsidized education, electricity, and water fees, but views differed on its nature and adequacy . Residents of the Sariska Tiger Reserve (India, IUCN IV) were generally discouraged by staff from claiming compensation for restrictions to access or use forest products . Some villagers were never told they had a right to compensation. Another, on asking for compensation, one villager was told by a forest officer:
“If you the villagers insist in living in the forest, then be ready to accept as well all the consequences deriving from your choice. You could live elsewhere”.
Opposition to the Selous Game Reserve in Tanzania grew amongst those losing crops and livestock to wildlife without compensation .
Poor communication between communities and authorities was typical. Residents of the Dja wildlife reserve in Cameroon (IUCN IV, established 1951) reported being “neither informed of nor invited to participate” (p.208) in their village becoming part of a protected area but informed later (without being able to give a precise date) of the existence of a conservation initiative by the authorities .
Such problems are not restricted to developing countries. In Norway, several residents near a IUCN II category area found the process one-sided and undemocratic because national interests took precedence over local knowledge . Petrzelka and Marquart-Pyatt  describe the growing anger of residents and their diminishing trust in agencies to make good decisions about the management of the land after the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument was established in Utah, USA, in 1996 with no prior consultation or publicity. Trust diminished further over the next ten years later as residents saw roads closed and cattlemen’s leases rescinded, despite prior reassurances to the contrary. Restrictions on visiting the park stoked anger amongst residents who felt ‘locked out of our backyard’, saying that ‘law enforcement is gun-toting like we’re a bunch of criminals’.
Even with management of Kenyan national reserves being delegated to a local level, and rangers and wardens claiming to initiate and maintain dialogue, residents are disappointed with the processes of communication . Most of the protected area staff considered their informal word of mouth network sufficient for communicating with local communities about important management decisions.
“Of course we cannot conserve this wildlife without the help of these communities. There must be that, a good relationship between the park and the community. So we normally go to the [homes and villages], we have meetings with them, tell them that these resources are also theirs, these are their resources.” (Park ranger, p55)
In contrast, most community members thought that communication between the reserves and communities was limited or non-existent, where decisions were made without opportunities to provide input or ask questions.
In addition to the poor communication between authorities and residents, were the difficulties encountered with communication between residents. The Qwaqwa National Park (IUCN IV), South Africa had been established for the purpose of ecotourism; however, this did not suit the livelihoods of stockholding families and others would have preferred the land to be subdivided for agriculture. Amongst all this disagreement, some residents were more able than others to make their voices heard, and family conflicts escalated as housing became more crowded because erecting new homes within the park was forbidden . In Lore Lindu National Park, Indonesia, the weak point for communication was between villagers and their leaders . Although the village leadership was active in the negotiations about the park regulations many ordinary villagers had never heard of the agreements.
In Australia, at the Purnululu National Park (IUCN II) relationships between different indigenous groups were so acrimonious that one group withdrew from the management of the park . In Slovakia, local authorities near Slovensky Raj Park (IUCN II) tried to make management of the park a focus for building relationships and developing mutual trust between different groups . Communication problems could be compounded by new regulatory arrangements being incompatible with traditional ways. For instance, very few Mexican farmers applied for resource use permits because the formal biosphere (IUCN VI) rules competed with customary rules . The formal rules were generic and did not take into account local variation in natural resource management. These mismatches created feelings of frustration:
“The reserve is like a beautiful woman whom you cannot touch. It does not do you any good. The hills are rich, but a poor man stays poor”  p205.
Contrary to tradition, only people living on the borders of Mount Elgon National Park (IUCN II) in Uganda were given rights of access . The new outsiders were required to pay the ‘insiders’ for access, even though half the insiders thought outsiders should have equal rights of access.
Even where access was allowed, as in Permululu National Park, Australia, costs of transportation across long distances over rough ground could be prohibitive .
In Indonesia Mehring et al.  attributed some of the difficulties of incompatibility to the government’s indifference to cultural and social diversities when managing the Lore Lindu National Park (IUCN II). Indigenous people respected their own traditional informal rules that suited traditional use rights and sanctions at the village level. Elsewhere, more prosperous and ethnically diverse villagers, growing more cash crops, referred not to traditional institutions but to economic power structures, where there was a widely spread laissez-faire attitude to resource use. With forest resources and agricultural land in short supply, villagers had no alternative to using the Park to extend their land. The State’s formal rules interacted with traditional informal rules, leading to confusion and conflict. Migrants struggled to implement traditional informal rules, and indigenous people failed to obey state-induced laws.
Traditional land ownership rights for indigenous populations were also contested in Australia, both between local residents and protected area management, and amongst local residents of different groups living near Purnululu National Park (IUCN II) .
A major challenge to developing and implementing regulations to protect areas is distinguishing subsistence activities for a sustainable environment from larger scale industrial activities. As mentioned above, this challenge was seen in Cameroon where regulations failed to distinguish clearly ‘traditional’ hunting methods for personal consumption from commercial hunting . In Masoala National park (IUCN II), Madagascar, residents acknowledged that some members of the community benefiting from illegal lemur hunting and timber harvest :
‘people [who] wanted easy money, especially the youth, so they went into the park to cut rosewood’ [p160].
However, much greater damage was done by industrial scale rosewood logging for international markets, and Park agents have limited legal powers over loggers.
“people from all over come to this area to cut rosewood, there is no other way to get money than from valuable wood” (Park resident p.160).
‘[international] demand is driving the outside buyers of rosewood, and this is a much bigger issue than lemur hunting.’ (Park Manager, p.162).
Similarly in Cameroon, the impact of residents hunting in Dja Wildlife Reserve (IUCN IV) to ensure a diet that includes animal protein is minor compared with intensive industrial logging which opened up forest tracks and thereby provided access for well organised, commercial poachers to use the tracks for transporting their game to city markets  p.208.
Ironically, it was a combined forestry management and community development project in Ecuador that opened the eyes of indigenous people to the potential benefits of logging; when profits were not what they had hoped for, they started making deals outside the community with industrial loggers .
Implementing regulations that have disadvantages for local communities is challenging enough. The relationship between residents and park officials in Masoala National park officials in Madagascar (IUCN II) was further damaged by absenteeism amongst staff who, unlike many locals, had the privilege of employment yet lacked training and clear job expectations, and had little interaction with residents .
Blunt regulations imposed by external authorities have been widely disregarded so that protected areas have continued to be exploited on domestic and industrial scales. Studies have focused on efforts to improve communication, draw on indigenous knowledge and share decisions to combine community development with environmental conservation. They have had mixed success.
The Lore Lindu area in Indonesia was established as a UNESCO Biosphere reserve in 1977 and a national park (IUCN II) in 1993. Since then participatory approaches have been advocated for managing Biospheres  and protected areas more widely . Initial efforts to impose external regulations failed and in the late 1990s, the park authority, NGOs and village representatives began to negotiate Community Conservation Agreements . Within designated zones, village conservation councils were the bridge between the Park authority and the community for planning, implementing, evaluating and reporting the results of the Agreement. Despite the village leadership being active in the negotiations, communication between the Park authorities and the whole community was poor, so many ordinary villagers had never heard of the agreements. The Agreements covered use of forest products and land and the village conservation councils were responsible for monitoring activities. The council could employ punishments or sanctions, which were usually based on village traditional rules. Insights into this system came from NGO interviewees. A collaborative management approach aimed to minimise the gap between the park management and the people, through participation of local inhabitants and integration of local rules. Respect for the rules was greater where they were ‘more practical’ having been locally adapted, and allowed income-generating possibilities.
In Mount Elgon National Park, Uganda (IUCN II), as in other African countries, a similar ‘fortress management’ or ‘fence and fine policy’, based on systematic evictions, exclusions and prohibition of using natural resources, met increasing resistance . Lack of success with ‘fence and fine’ policies prompted approaches with greater participation of local people in management and changes in regulations to legitimise sustainable use. Establishing the agreements was difficult even with guidelines and training for park staff; converting staff from law enforcers to community collaborative workers was difficult. Nevertheless, meeting locals and getting to know them improved relations. Some local people acknowledged that their initial reluctance lessened as they met staff and learnt more about the resource base; while a third of respondents did not participate at all.
Once established, the agreement provided greater clarity over rights and duties, and opportunities for long term planning about livelihood strategies. However, as a legal document, the agreement was flawed as it failed to refer accurately to maps or related by-laws, statutes or other documents . Subsequently people were more positive towards the park, its resources and staff. However, as the focus was on the park rather than the community, people were sometimes organised according to what resources they collected, rather than by other socially relevant criteria such as ethnicity, kinship, location, wealth etc. Contrary to tradition, only people living on the park borders were given rights of access. The new outsiders were required to pay the ‘insiders’ for access, even though half the insiders thought outsiders should have equal rights of access. Conflicts arose from this situation and threatened the agreement’s endurance. In such sensitive situations, staff need the socio-cultural skills to understand, interpret and interact with local people about livelihoods, conflicts and challenges in appropriate ways. Reports of misuse and corruption remained common. Nevertheless, collaborative arrangements improved relations and benefited biodiversity and livelihoods.
Sletten’s findings in Mount Elgon Park (IUCN II) are supported by other studies. Elsewhere in Uganda supporting community’s transition from a hunter gatherer to a settled farming community in a culturally sensitive way was more likely to result in community satisfaction and personal efficacy . Training and capacity building by charities and NGOs led to an increase in skills and knowledge and new income generating activities. Two NGOs working with local people helped to organise efforts around existing kinship networks and this community reported the highest states of economic development compared to other communities. At the other end of the scale these communities were willing to sacrifice their land claims to join relatives in other areas and access charitable projects there leaving the settlements struggling to maintain a viable community.
In Masoala National Park (IUCN II), Madagascar, residents who were more familiar with Park staff viewed the staff as well as the Park more favourably than residents who were unaware of staff or who had had negative interactions with Park agents . Residents were confused by the different NGOs’ responsibilities and changing priorities. A park manager and a local town official both considered community development as essential for maintaining a protected area. There was local support for protecting the park by providing community benefits through alternative livelihoods. However, it is unclear from this whether the benefits essential for behaviour change were the intangible empowerment benefits of community development, or the material benefits.
In Selous Conservation Programme (IUCN category IV), Tanzania, support from communities was greatest in areas where education and mobilisation campaigns had been conducted and benefits were beginning to be derived; findings suggest that the majority of villagers supported the project. The evidence showed that they were motivated to join the conservation programme by promises of socioeconomic benefits .
The arrival of western donors and NGOs in Caohai Nature Reserve (IUCN V), China, in 1993 changed the focus from enforcement of resource regulations towards small-scale community development and outreach programmes . These included small grants and a micro-credit programme for farmers to start up microenterprises in the hope that they would be less reliant on the reserve’s natural resources, infrastructure development, environmental education, a community based natural resource management programme, and school fees for girls from poor families. This involved two employees who had extensive prior experience of working with farmers, and required extensive training in community development, gender issues and a variety of participatory methodologies. The result was many fewer hostile confrontations between local people and nature reserve managers, the participation of local people in conservation activities and farmers contrasting the nature reserve’s concern for local people with the indifference of corruption of other government agencies. Farmers now work cooperatively with the reserve to seek resolutions to their own problems, sometimes taking the initiative to raise issues about road construction, sanitation improvements, and agro-forestry projects. The transformation from conflict to cooperation has been dependent on funds from NGOs and donors, which raises questions about the project’s sustainability.
Another successful example of cooperative management was on the margins of a category II park in Mozambique where land values increased exponentially. With the support of an NGO residents thrived, benefitting materially from land titles, revenues and empowered by the process of acquiring land titles and setting boundaries .
Participatory approaches to governance were not always successful. Almudi and Berkes  investigated the relationship between a local fishing community and officials responsible for the creation and maintenance of Brazil’s Peixe Lagoon National Park. They took a particular interest in the factors that could empower local fishers to ‘defend their rights to remain physically within the park and politically in the conservation policy process’ (p.220). The authors also found that fisher communities struggled to participate in discussions essential to securing their ‘long-term access to the resources for their livelihoods or to trigger the development of a PA co-management arrangement’ (p.225). The following quotes were provided as examples of the fishers experiences:
The authors summarised two of the main barriers contributing to the fishers’ lack of empowerment as: weak assistance for developing community organisational capacity and leadership; and lack of basic knowledge on laws and fisher rights.