Tajik National Park struggles with overgrazing, illegal hunting and ill-managed tourism. The designation of the park as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2013 was meant to ease some of these struggles, but improvements are thus far difficult to identify. We conducted a case study to understand how local people perceive and interact with the park to probe how these struggles could be mitigated. Interviewees and participants proposed solutions that revolved around the concept of co-management, which we consider as a way to alleviate challenges the park faces today, especially in terms of nature conservation and livelihoods for communities affected by the park. We conclude that engaged community members are willing to help the park improve its management by co-producing knowledge and adapting to social–ecological change if certain conditions, such as improving trust and making trade-offs, are met.