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2007| July-September | Volume 5 | Issue 3
June 26, 2009
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Traditional Ecological Knowledge in Conservation Research: Problems and Prospects for their Constructive Engagement
Janna M Shackeroff, Lisa M Campbell
July-September 2007, 5(3):343-360
In response to growing interest in accessing traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) for conservation purposes, we discuss some of the complexities involved in doing TEK research. Specifically, we consider the issues of power and politicisation, ethics and situated knowledge. These are standard issues to be considered in any social scientific endeavour and are particularly compelling when dealing with indigenous groups or cross-cultural contexts. We argue that the human context, and the researcher's ability to adequately understand and account for it, will largely determine the success or failure of TEK research. To this end, we offer three broad recommendations for conservation researchers hoping to engage TEK. Only through an informed and conscientious approach can TEK be incorporated into mainstream conservation research in a manner beneficial to both conservation and TEK holders.
'South Africa: A World in One Country': Land Restitution in National Parks and Protected Areas
July-September 2007, 5(3):292-306
Explaining Community-Level Forest Outcomes: Salience, Scarcity and Rules in Eastern Guatemala
Clark C Gibson, David Dodds, Paul Turner
July-September 2007, 5(3):361-381
The residents of the settlement of Moran, located along the border of Guatemala's Sierra de las Minas Biosphere Reserve, have lived in the area for over a century. Despite a lack of community-level rules about protecting their communal forest, limited amounts of arable land, and a high human fertility rate, Moron's forest does not appear over-exploited. This study seeks to explain this outcome given the residents' pattern of forest use and the relative lack of restrictive forest-conservation rules. We first argue that individuals do not create highly restrictive management rules unless two conditions hold: individuals must depend significantly on the resource and they must perceive its scarcity. One of these necessary conditions does not hold in Moran: while community members make use of forest products in their daily lives, they do not consider the forest products on which they depend to be scarce. We also provide evidence about the lack of forest rules by looking at its structure: the pattern of use indicates an optimal foraging strategy. We test these arguments using qualitative and quantitative data from the community and its forests.
Participatory Stakeholder Workshops to Mitigate Impacts of Road Paving in the Southwestern Amazon
Elsa Mendoza, Stephen Perz, Marianne Schmink, Daniel Nepstad
July-September 2007, 5(3):382-407
Infrastructure projects are crucial for regional development, but they often lack participatory planning processes. As a result, they often generate negative socio-economic and biophysical impacts, threatening local livelihoods as well as environmental conservation. The Amazon is an instructive example, where new infrastructure projects may repeat the deforestation and social conflict seen around earlier road projects. This article considers the case of the Inter-Oceanic Highway, being paved through the tri-national frontier in the southwestern Amazon where Brazil, Bolivia and Peru meet. To raise local awareness and to facilitate public participation in planning to mitigate negative road impacts, we conducted multistakeholder workshops in eighteen municipalities along this road corridor. Participants identified and prioritised infrastructure, social, environmental, economic and political problems related to road paving. They also created their own land-use maps for purposes of land-use planning. Such exercises can broaden public participation in planning to mitigate the negative impacts of infrastructure projects.
Interactions between Humans and Wildlife: Landowner Experiences Regarding Wildlife Damage, Ownership and Benefits in Laikipia District, Kenya
July-September 2007, 5(3):408-428
Substantial biological diversity exists in areas outside protected areas and its survival depends on the goodwill extended by private landowners. To ensure that those landowners contribute to biodiversity conservation efforts in mutually beneficial partnerships, it is important to understand their socio-economic backgrounds and historical heritage, land use patterns and expectations, and biodiversity education needs as a basis of formulating inclusive conservation policies. The goal of this study was to explore some of the issues arising from interactions between local landowners and wildlife in a prominent wildlife area in Kenya. Interviews were conducted with 377 private landowners in Laikipia District of north-central Kenya falling in three categories: small-scale, pastoralist and large-scale. Landowners differed in many respects regarding wildlife benefits, wildlife damage and mitigation, benefits, ownership and possible solutions primarily based on their economic backgrounds, land-parcel size and land use, traditional history and knowledge about biodiversity. In all ownerships, the elephant (Loxodonta africana)was the most dominant animal in terms of size and its potential to cause injury or death and damage to property. The most favoured methods of deterring wildlife were traditional (in small-scale and pastoralist ownerships)including
bonfires, iron-sheet beating and sound whips; while in many large ownerships modern methods were favoured, primarily the use of firearms to shoot in the air. Many landowners stated that benefiting from wildlife utilisation directly, was very important to them. Suggested long-term solutions emphasised direct wildlife benefits, compensation for property damages, problem animal control, investment in development projects and biodiversity education.
Rough Time in Paradise: Claims, Blames and Memory Making Around Some Protected Areas in Kenya
July-September 2007, 5(3):307-330
Aversion to Relocation: A Myth?
Rucha Ghate, Kim Beazley
July-September 2007, 5(3):331-334
The Sundarbans: Whose World Heritage Site?
July-September 2007, 5(3):335-342
Relocation from Protected Areas
July-September 2007, 5(3):291-291
All articles in Conservation and Society, unless otherwise noted, are licensed under a
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and supported by the
Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment
(ATREE), Bangalore, on behalf of an informal alliance of natural & social scientists
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