Protected Area Management through Community Engagement: Delving into Kumrat Valley

Conference: The Asian Conference on Sustainability, Energy & the Environment (ACSEE2021)
Title: Protected Area Management through Community Engagement: Delving into Kumrat Valley
Stream: Environmental Sustainability & Environmental Management: Land Use & Misuse
Presentation Type: Live-Stream Presentation
Hina Irfan, Beaconhouse National University, Pakistan
Hassaan Touqeer, Beaconhouse National University, Pakistan


There are areas so ecologically valuable (and undisturbed by human activity) that they are in need of protection; according to Khan (2003) 10.4% of the land area in Pakistan falls under the Protected Areas category. He further claims that 'the size, distribution and management of these areas does not meet the needs of the ecosystem they are meant to safeguard’ and ‘the communities living alongside the area should have a hand in management and should derive benefits from there otherwise, development activities in areas adjacent to PA’s often conflict with biodiversity conservation.’ As part of an architectural design thesis, a study of Kumrat Valley was undertaken; located in the Upper Dir District of the KPK province in Pakistan, it is an area with dense forests (and considerable natural beauty) that caters to many tourists (and rapid hotel construction). Thus, to safeguard the valley as a protected area, so it can be appreciated by locals and visitors for many decades to come, a series of design interventions was proposed as a model for the management of Kumrat Valley through community engagement. A masterplan of a select area was developed and hotel typologies were proposed - all considering that ‘PA management schemes often fail because benefits for local people are not realized, and their participation is neglected’. (Hirschnitz-Garbers and Stoll-Kleemann, 2010). The emphasis was on the design process, where community, program, building footprint, seasonal activity, and the character of Kumrat Valley were considered holistically.

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