Values in nature conservation, tourism and UNESCO World Heritage Site stewardship
This paper seeks to understand the complex values held by those involved in Protected Area and World Heritage stewardship. Using IUCN Protected Area categories, a values framework is developed and applied to demonstrate how values guide stewardship in protected areas. In-depth interviews with key tourism operators, public sector managers and other stakeholders from the iconic World Heritage Site and tourism destination, Australia's Great Barrier Reef (GBR) reveal how shifting ideologies and government policies increased pressures on nature, resulting in new alliances between stewards from the tourism sector and national and international organisations. These alliances were built on shared nature conservation values and successfully reduced increasing development pressures. Three distinct phases in this process emerged at the GBR, which were driven by personal values held by tourism industry representatives, and their recognition of tourism's reliance on nature for business success. Changing mainstream ideologies and political values can erode World Heritage and Protected Areas, and recalibrate values – including the universal values on which World Heritage Sites depend – towards more anthropocentric interpretations. The values framework presented here could be a powerful tool for stewards involved in conservation to remind those who merely manage and govern of the original nature-focused values.
Journal of Sustainable Tourism
This publication has been entered into Griffith Research Online as an Advanced Online Version.
Tourism not elsewhere classified