Two approaches that are useful in understanding the management of Conserved areas for natural resources include the Top-Down, the Mixed Top-Down and Bottom-Up Management approaches.
The top-down management approach – This involves a command management in which the management of conserved or protected areas is strictly controlled by the authorities while the local communities have no direct control or power in the administration and management of the conserved area and its resources.
Revenues accruing from ecotourism in such cases are not allocated to the surrounding communities or utilized to enhance their standard of living.
The resulting effects have been the involvement of local communities in economic activities that are less sustainable than previously engaged in.
The Mixed Top-down approach – The mixed top-down approach attempts to partially involve the local communities in the management and administration of conserved areas.
In this case, suggestions by local communities are appreciated by the authorities, bringing about a collaborative management effort.
The Bottom-Up management approach – is the piecing together of systems to give rise to grander systems. In a bottom-up management approach, the individual base elements of the system are first specified in great detail.
These elements are then linked together to form larger subsystems, which then in turn are linked, sometimes in many levels, until a complete top-level system is formed.
The resultant effects of such attempts have been the creation of various land uses of the zone, anthropogenic landscape features, culturally significant and sacred areas and natural resource distribution aimed at enhancing the communities’ abilities to support their livelihoods within the confines of the conserved area such as wildlife protection, agricultural fields and livestock management.
The involvement of the local authorities in the management of the park results in reduced incidences of conflicts.