Identifying entrenchment issues in a protected areas dispute : a case study of the Białowieża Forest conflict in Poland



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The Białowieża Forest (or Belovezhskaya Pushcha in Belarusian) is considered the last primeval forest in lowland Europe, straddling the border of Poland and Belarus in a 41/59 percent split. This project investigates the various issues involved in the most recent negotiations process that attempted to incorporate non-park areas of the Białowieża Forest in Poland into the Białowieża National Park. It seeks to understand the entrenchment of stakeholders on opposing sides of this protected areas dispute that has been underway since the area was first designated a Nature Reserve in 1921. An interview-based case study approach was used to explore prevalent themes and emerging narratives of the conflict, such as stakeholder relationships, competing conservation ideologies, economic factors, social tensions, administrative issues, and media portrayal.