The Roles of Protected Areas in Contemporary Societies: Resident, Research and Recreation on the Islands of Yakushima, Japan and Maui, Hawaiʻi

Cusick, John
Murton, Brian
Geography and Environment
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
[Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [December 2003]
Starting Page
Ending Page
Alternative Title
This dissertation investigates the roles of protected areas in contemporary societies through the experiences of two places. The increasing demands on protected areas by resident, research, and recreation interests worldwide indicate opportunities and tensions for places the international conservation community claims are environmental diversity "hot spots." The basis for such claims of significance by interest groups is explored to understand World Heritage Site and International Biosphere Reserve status for portions of Northwest Yakushima, Japan and East Maui, in the State of Hawaiʻi. Protected area interest groups reflect complex understandings and relationships that highlight complimentary and contradictory intentions. They are often situated as both allies and adversaries as indicated in much of the protected area literature. The assertion of power to dominate discussion and representation is problematic as no group speaks with a single voice. An analysis of three interest groups regarding two places is a deliberate attempt at broadening the contemporary context of protected area research in these two countries. The dissertation contributes place-based narratives concerning global environmental conservation priorities to the protected area literature. It also provides two case studies to the literature of cultural geography. Although Yakushima and East Maui are relatively known as sites for specific research activities in the natural sciences, they are both underrepresented in the social sciences. A comparative study of place centers on the visit to East Maui of Yakushima government officials. The discussions that ensued among individuals representing various interests provide the basis for comparison. The most compelling outcome of this research may be that these two places provide lessons to their counterpart members of protected area networks, although transferability of outcomes is suspect. The study concludes that although Northwest Yakushima and East Maui are places with significant attributes sought after by resident, research, and recreation interests, these interests are generally cooperative and complimentary unlike many other protected area "hot spots" where resistance and conflict are often endemic.
PhD University of Hawaii at Manoa 2003
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 239–258).
protected areas, Hawaii, Maui, Japan, recreation, health and environmental sciences, societies, Yakushima
xiii, 258 leaves, bound ; 29 cm
Geographic Location
Time Period
Related To
Theses for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (University of Hawaii at Manoa). Geography.
All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Rights Holder
Email if you need this content in ADA-compliant format.