Uses, Meanings, and Understandings of Values in the Environmental and Protected Area Arena: A Consideration of ‘‘World Heritage’’ Values
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The importance of language in influencing and often determining management, planning, and policy decisions in the environmental arena is well documented. Equally well established is the importance of language in research, both with respect to the assumptive worlds of theory, discussion, and debate, and with respect to operational definitions and methodologies. This research addresses and examines meanings and understandings of a key expression and construct largely responsible for shaping environmental management and conservation thought, practices, and policy in the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area of Australia, "World Heritage values." Research findings document the lack of a clear understanding and consensus with respect to the meanings and use of the expression across and within the stakeholder groups and communication contexts examined. This confusing, inconsistent, and often conflicting language use is a formidable and largely unacknowledged management issue and problem in terms of measurement, monitoring, and communication, and strategic and effective on-the-ground management.
Society and Natural Resources