The general idea...
-By having diversified local livelihoods, human pressure will be less on biodiversity, leading to
- Local people and their practices constitute the most important threat to biodiversity.
- Community-based conservation and its derivatives offer sustainable alternatives to traditional protectionist approaches to protected area management
-Poverty alleviation. Under the argument that raising people’s income will decrease environmental degradation and protect the environment.
- Improved social organization. The project should help poor nations to manage their own natural resources through improved social organization. Social change can lead to socioeconomic development without environmental degradation.
- Social equity and justice. Equity should be provided by political systems that secure citizen participation.
development could influence in-migration and can further segregate marginalized groups. Not identifying the root cause for biodiversity loss in the areas, and assuming that local people and their land use is the sole cause of biodiversity loss, is a generalization that can affect the success of the project. There is also failure when a pre-conceived notion that the skills required to participate in a community-based management program are already in place.
Theories at work...
I. Capacity Building - Current implementation is focused on tasks-results rather than adaptive learning for an adaptive management plan. By empowering communities via the process of governance, capacity building, and education over adaptive management, they are more prone to resilience over a radical change in politics and a bigger voice power over decision making.
II. Power and Empowerment - A process of
decentralization is necessary for participation from the local community to occur. Reaching a
local consensus on resource use and investments via negotiation is a way for transferring control of
projects from state to local community. A challenge for this is ensuring that the government will be responsive to the needs of groups. Waste (1986) and other scholars have indicated that a transfer of power should not to be given to individuals but to specific institutions.
III.Capital - Creation of networks, collective action, set of
rules in a community, trust, and reciprocity. "Greater social capital within a community can help in ensuring positive attitudes and better outcomes". Information and knowledge sharing among individuals in the community can be a method for enhancing trust.
1.) Lack of realistic and relevant goals
2.) Disinterest in decentralization of power and resources (no sense of social justice)
3.) Most of these programs are funded by international organizations. These organizations often try to apply a planned agenda which contains generic objectives and deadlines
4.) Time allotted to the development of conservation projects. By having strict deadlines, implementation takes place without a thorough study of the implications of the project for the environment and the community.
Project in Zambia
The main source of income for the community surrounding the park was agriculture, which often provided low yields with little opportunity to benefit economically and thus putting pressure on wildlife for bush meat.
The main goal: Providing an alternative livelihood through managing a safari hunting business and spreading knowledge about wildlife in order to decrease current threats.
Main Actor: Power. Giving the community autonomy over certain areas of the park, property rights over land. Community was responsible for tasks such as law enforcement, maintenance of local institutions and some of the finances. Between the country’s government and the Norwegian government they developed and transition plan from dependence to self-sustainable form of profit, which was the conservation project through the safari
and hunting business. Under this project 60% of all income went to management and maintenance of
institutions and 40% went directly to the community (schools, housing, hospitals, etc).
Project in Philippines
I very briefly discuss the project in Northern Sierra Madre Natural Park in the eastern coast of Luzon, which
has a population of 23,000 people who live inside the park. The main source of income from around the
buffer areas are timber harvesting, a land that was given to companies in 1965.
The main goal: Reduce the intensity of floods and droughts in the area, which is a constant threat to the livelihoods of the residents. Protect the soil from erosion to help maintain the structure of the forest, and maintaining the integrity of the systems thus regulating local climate.
Main actor: Outreach and participation. New protected areas can only be established after consulting and consent from the local community. Communication and public awareness were significant components of projects
proposed for the park. From interactive sessions and focus groups, asking multi-stakeholders, and
socioeconomic and biological data they came up with key issues that were affecting the community.
Among these issues were: migration, limited livelihood sources, lack of technical knowledge and low
level of environmental awareness.
between private and public Universities and the Dutch government funded socieconomical and biological research projects and have created a body of interdisciplinary knowledge on the subjects of forest exploitation, change over land-use, and forest policy.This partnership has been successful in setting up an information and training center on one of the campuses (Isabela State University).
Project in Costa Rica
Community members organized in subsequent years and decided to join scientists for finding an argument in favor of harvesting in the refuge. Scientific and social evidence was convincing enough that the government proceeded with a regulated harvesting program in the area.
Main actor: Institutions and Secure economic benefit.
The creation of institutions was of utmost importance in the development of this community-based
conservation project. These institutions are all governmental, and have different responsibilities
for the management of the project. The project was
established with a solid legal, social and economic framework. Any decision made by the agencies has to
have the approval of the community; community participation is insured by law.
Unlike many other community-based conservation projects, the Ostional program had a steady
source of income, which is the harvesting of turtle eggs for consumption or to sell. Harvesting is well
regulated with groups going out each day and under the supervision of a biologist.
Because of regional perceptions, different cultures and traditions, amount of ecological knowledge among other things that differ from place to place, it is best to assess the community first and ask what their needs are. Conservationists already know the needs of the ecosystem and wildlife, governments already know what their own needs are, now local communities,
funding agencies, academics and governments need to draw upon interdisciplinary approaches and work in cooperation for improving what ‘community-based conservation’ is.