An adaptive watershed management assessment based on watershed investigation data.
This study adopts and modifies the WWF Rapid assessment and prioritization of protected areas management methodology (RAPPAM) to evaluate the management effectiveness of five protected areas in Taiwan. The results indicate that, unlike the situation in most developing countries, the threats and pressures faced by protected areas in Taiwan come mainly from the outside-with pollution as the most common pressure and threat, and difficult for their management authorities to deal with effectively. The categories and extent of these pressures and threats are related to remoteness and geographic location of the protected areas. All five cases under study reveal a similar management approach, clear management goals, adequate basic infrastructure and clear management decision-making; on the down side, however, all of them suffer from the lack of an effective comprehensive management plan, inadequate or poor quality human resources and insufficient funding. The present study suggests that first priority should be given to strengthening management planning in order to improve management effectiveness of protected areas in Taiwan. The adjustment made to RAPPAM in this study was to amend and take the format of the management plan as the basis for evaluation material preparations and open the discussion to encourage stakeholders' participation to open the dialogue among them. The results indicate that, although the system evaluation design still has some constraints, the quality of information collected is improved and can respond more directly to the specific demands of the respective areas.