Governance refers to the structures and processes that determine how decisions about a Sustainable Heritage Area (SHA) are taken and how stakeholders are included. Effective governance is key for implementing and coordinating all activities in an SHA. Differences in attitudes, governments and culture influence the necessary actions to be taken in each area.
The process of applying for a designation for a SHA and identifying an appropriate governance models can be demanding. To help with this process and help aspiring SHAs, SHAPE provides information about different governance models for SHAs. For SHAs at earlier stages of development, this can help them to select the most suitable form of governance for their circumstances. For longer-established SHAs, this can help them to reflect on experiences of what works, and what does not, and to make improvements that contribute to achieve more effective governance.
SHAPE has prepared a comparative analysis of literature and experience of governance models in the various types of SHAs and protected areas relevant to the NPA region. Among other criteria, SHAPE has considered: processes leading to SHA establishment; stakeholder involvement; strengths and weaknesses of governance and management models; resources; and branding and communications.
The SHAs involved in SHAPE are at very different stages of developing governance structures and achieving designations. The governance of each SHA has been analysed in detail and presented to, and discussed with, stakeholders in the regional meetings and learning journeys. All these experiences and the results of the analysis are documented here in the e-service.