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Conservation and Society
An interdisciplinary journal exploring linkages between society, environment and development
Conservation and Society
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ARTICLE
Year : 2012  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 256-269

A Framework for Evaluating Forest Conservation Implications of Community-based Capacity Building: Experiences from the Northern Bolivian Amazon


Woods Institute for the Environment, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA

Correspondence Address:
Kelly Biedenweg
Woods Institute for the Environment, Stanford University, Stanford, CA
USA
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0972-4923.101839

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Capacity-building projects in forest-based communities are implemented by governments, cooperatives, and non-government organisations to encourage sustainable management of community forests. While such projects are regularly evaluated on a case-by-case basis, they are rarely subjected to a landscape-level examination to explore conservation implications. To understand how environmental capacity-building projects address regional conservation goals, an interdisciplinary framework was developed to highlight the thematic focus, the geographic distribution, and the degree of community participation in environmental capacity-building projects. We demonstrate how the framework can be used by characterising projects in campesino communities in the Amazonian department of Pando, Bolivia, that were active during 2006-2008. While projects were too recent to affect forest cover, we describe how the framework elucidates three project themes (timber, Brazil nut, and agroforestry management); that project distribution was largely related to land tenure security, proximity to town, historical relationships, and motorised access; and that capacity-building strategies varied in participation, depending on thematic content and federal requirements for specific resources. We then discuss how the framework can be used to analyse forest cover implications over many years. Understanding the combination of thematic focus, geographic distribution, and degree of participation in project strategies offers a foundation for understanding how capacity-building initiatives can influence forest landscapes.


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