Greater than the sum of its parts Strategic Stakeholder Dialogues in the Conservation of National Parks
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In business-society management the strategic stakeholder dialogue was introduced as a concept to shape the relationships with stakeholders, to ensure that private parties address both environmental and social responsibilities. Large businesses increasingly meet these increased social demands, which has become of strategic importance to their long-term viability and survival. In this thesis, a first step is made to look into the perspectives that the strategic stakeholder dialogue can offer in natural resources management. In this field of study it is also acknowledged that, to address pressing issues, the relevant stakeholders should co-operate to ascertain the sustainable management of these resources. Dutch National Parks were chosen as examples of natural resources, to investigate what perspective the concept of the strategic stakeholder dialogue offers in meeting the most important objectives. Sustainable management of National Parks in the Netherlands has already been safeguarded under the umbrella of the IUCN-objectives, and is further laid down in Dutch legislation. Therefore, the somewhat harder aspects of the strategic stakeholder dialogue, regarding process agreements, seem to be not applicable. However, with regard to the softer aspects, which stress values such as co-operation, effectiveness, learning, ownership, participation and so on, the concept has a lot to offer. Dutch National Parks have been successful with relatively limited authorities and means, but there is still some work to be done. Not only by promoting the system of Joint National Parks, but also in the organization of the consultative bodies. By incorporating certain aspects of the strategic stakeholder dialogue into their organization, they could operate in a more efficient and decisive manner.