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Conservation and Society
An interdisciplinary journal exploring linkages between society, environment and development
Conservation and Society
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REVIEW
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 14  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 163-182

Modelling Local Attitudes to Protected Areas in Developing Countries


1 Institute of Biological and Health Sciences, Federal University of Alagoas, Maceió, Brazil
2 School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
3 Institute of Biological and Health Sciences, Federal University of Alagoas, Maceió, Brazil; School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK

Correspondence Address:
Chiara Bragagnolo
Institute of Biological and Health Sciences, Federal University of Alagoas, Maceió
Brazil
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0972-4923.191161

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During a time of intensifying competition for land, Protected Areas (PAs) are coming under increasing pressure to justify their status. Positive local attitudes to a PA are a potentially important component of any such justification, especially in the developing world where human pressure on natural resources is often high. However, despite numerous studies our understanding of what drives positive attitudes to PAs is still exceedingly limited. Here, we review the literature on local attitudes towards PAs in developing countries. Our survey reveals a highly fragmented research area where studies typically lack an explicit conceptual basis, and where there is wide variation in choice of statistical approach, explanatory and response variables, and incorporation of contextual information. Nevertheless, there is a relatively high degree of concordance between studies, with certain variables showing strong associations with attitudes. We recommend that PA attitude researchers in developing countries adopt a more rigorous model building approach based on a clear conceptual framework and drawing on the extensive empirical literature. Such an approach would improve the quality of research, increase comparability, and provide a stronger basis to support conservation decision-making.


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