Sign Up
Governance Decision Making Tool

Governance Decision-Making Tool

What are the type of issues an SHA should consider when designing their governance structure?

Good governance is essential for SHAs to be effective in achieving their aims. For an area looking into gaining a designation, there are many key decisions to be made with regard to governance.

This decision-making toolkit is aimed at those responsible for designated areas such as Biosphere Reserves, Regional Parks, Geoparks, National Parks, etc. These areas are often set up to address local areas of concern such as tourism, economic development, biodiversity management, cultural heritage, and rural depopulation, or in order to achieve a balance between these. For these areas to have credibility in helping to address these issues in an integrated manner, it is essential that they have a strong governance structure. Governance refers to the structures and processes that determine how decisions about a designated area are taken, and how stakeholders are included.

The process of establishing a designated area, and identifying an appropriate governance model, can be demanding. To help with this process, this resource provides information about the different decisions that need to be taken. For longer-established areas, the resource can help them to reflect on experiences of what works, and what does not, and to make improvements that contribute to achieving more effective governance. Differences in attitudes, culture and national political/economic contexts will influence the outcomes of these decisions in any given area, but this resource aims to provide an accessible overview of the questions that need to be asked.

Issues to consider include the type of designation, organisational structure, stakeholder engagement, and effectiveness and resilience. Click on the buttons below to find the questions to consider when designing their governance structure under each category.