Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Master of Science (MS)

Degree Name

Resource Conservation (International Conservation and Development)

Department or School/College

W.A. Franke College of Forestry and Conservation

Committee Chair

Jennifer Thomsen

Commitee Members

Brian Chaffin, Sarah Halvorson


Transboundary, Large-Landscape Conservation, Patagonia


University of Montana

Subject Categories

Environmental Studies | Latin American Studies | Nature and Society Relations


With the growing pressure of environmental degradation and exploitation to social and ecological landscapes around the world, conservationists are looking for new approaches to address the complex nature of transboundary issues. Large-landscape conservation supports conservation and management of ecosystems, wildlife, and resources in a more holistic approach that extends beyond protected area boundaries. Transboundary conservation, a distinct form of large-landscape conservation, operates across political and spatial scales by involving two or more countries cooperating to protect a border resource or ecosystem. Though the recognition of large-landscape and transboundary conservation is growing, there is limited understanding of trends across these types of initiatives and how they function on-the-ground. This study addresses these gaps through two phases of research. Phase One implemented a survey to two International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Specialist Groups on Transboundary and Connectivity Conservation to evaluate trends in the field of large-landscape and transboundary conservation. The survey explored topics such as local community involvement, challenges, defining success, and landscape-scale governance. Phase Two focused on evaluating the potential for large-landscape, transboundary conservation between Chile and Argentina around three protected areas in the Southern Patagonian Ice Fields. Qualitative interviews were used to evaluate local stakeholder perspectives on current and future transboundary collaboration. The results of this thesis suggest that a gap remains between global and regional perspectives on large-landscape conservation. In addition, the results suggest that the field of large-landscape conservation must work to move beyond traditional conservation paradigms that have not adequately involved and recognized local and Indigenous communities. Lastly, this study demonstrates the importance of recognizing and supporting informal, local transboundary collaboration. These results increase our understandings of large-landscape and transboundary conservation and inform best practices to increase success of these initiatives and support more effective and equitable future transboundary conservation initiatives.



© Copyright 2020 Sanober R. Mirza