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Conservation and Society
An interdisciplinary journal exploring linkages between society, environment and development
Conservation and Society
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ARTICLES
Neoliberal environmentality: Towards a poststructuralist political ecology of the conservation debate
Robert Fletcher
July-September 2010, 8(3):171-181
DOI:10.4103/0972-4923.73806  
This article proposes a Foucaultian poststructuralist framework for understanding different positions within the contemporary debate concerning appropriate biodiversity conservation policy as embodying distinctive 'environmentalities'. In a recently-released work, Michel Foucault describes a neoliberal form of his familiar concept 'governmentality' quite different from conventional understandings of this oft-cited analytic. Following this, I suggest that neoliberalisation within natural resource policy can be understood as the expression of a 'neoliberal environmentality' similarly distinct from recent discussions employing the environmentality concept. In addition, I follow Foucault in describing several other discrete environmentalities embodied in competing approaches to conservation policy. Finally, I ask whether political ecologists' critiques of mainstream conservation might be viewed as the expression of yet another environmentality foregrounding concerns for social equity and environmental justice and call for more conceptualisation of what this might look like.
  59 23,446 5,954
INTRODUCTION
Conservation and Displacement: An Overview
Arun Agrawal, Kent Redford
January-March 2009, 7(1):1-10
DOI:10.4103/0972-4923.54790  
  50 19,237 5,786
ARTICLES
Re-creating the Rural, Reconstructing Nature: An International Literature Review of the Environmental Implications of Amenity Migration
Jesse B Abrams, Hannah Gosnell, Nicholas J Gill, Peter J Klepeis
July-September 2012, 10(3):270-284
DOI:10.4103/0972-4923.101837  
The term 'amenity migration' describes a broad diversity of patterns of human movement to rural places in search of particular lifestyle attributes. This review of international literature, drawn from the authors' own prior research and searches on relevant databases, synthesises findings on the implications of amenity migration for the creation and distribution of environmental harms and benefits. Further, we critique common framings of amenity migration-related environmental transformations and offer suggestions for future research. Analysis is positioned within a review of five common themes reflected in the cases we consider: land subdivision and residential development; changes in private land use; cross-boundary effects; effects on local governance institutions; and displacement of impacts. Within each of these themes, we discuss the uneven geographies of environmental transformation formed by diverse conceptions of 'nature', patterns of local management of amenity-driven transformations, and ecological contexts. We conclude that, through both intended and unintended environmental consequences of dominant activities and land uses, amenity migration results in a redistribution of environmental harms and benefits at multiple scales, as rural landscapes are (partially and incompletely) re-created in line with the ideals and expectations of amenity migrant populations.
  28 7,583 1,227
The Intersections of Biological Diversity and Cultural Diversity: Towards Integration
Jules Pretty, Bill Adams, Fikret Berkes, Simone Ferreira de Athayde, Nigel Dudley, Eugene Hunn, Luisa Maffi, Kay Milton, David Rapport, Paul Robbins, Eleanor Sterling, Sue Stolton, Anna Tsing, Erin Vintinnerk, Sarah Pilgrim
April-June 2009, 7(2):100-112
DOI:10.4103/0972-4923.58642  
There is an emerging recognition that the diversity of life comprises both biological and cultural diversity. In the past, however, it has been common to make divisions between nature and culture, arising partly out of a desire to control nature. The range of interconnections between biological and cultural diversity are reflected in the growing variety of environmental sub-disciplines that have emerged. In this article, we present ideas from a number of these sub-disciplines. We investigate four bridges linking both types of diversity (beliefs and worldviews, livelihoods and practices, knowledge bases and languages, and norms and institutions), seek to determine the common drivers of loss that exist, and suggest a novel and integrative path forwards. We recommend that future policy responses should target both biological and cultural diversity in a combined approach to conservation. The degree to which biological diversity is linked to cultural diversity is only beginning to be understood. But it is precisely as our knowledge is advancing that these complex systems are under threat. While conserving nature alongside human cultures presents unique challenges, we suggest that any hope for saving biological diversity is predicated on a concomitant effort to appreciate and protect cultural diversity.
  27 26,779 4,610
DEBATES
Eviction for Conservation: A Global Overview
Daniel Brockington, James Igoe
July-September 2006, 4(3):424-470
Displacement resulting from the establishment and enforcement of protected areas has troubled relationships between conservationists and rural groups in many parts of the world. This paper examines one aspect of dis­placement: eviction from protected areas. We examine divergent opinions about the quality of information available in the literature. We then examine the literature itself, discussing the patterns visible in nearly 250 reports we compiled over the last two years. We argue that the quality of the literature is not great, but that there are signs that this problem is primarily concentrated in a few regions of the world. We show that there has been a remarkable surge of publications about relocation after 1990, yet most protected areas reported in these publications were established before 1980. This reflects two processes, first a move within research circles to recover and rediscover pro­tected areas' murky past, and second stronger enforcement of existing legisla­tion. We review the better analyses of the consequences of relocation from protected areas which are available and highlight areas of future research.
  27 18,819 5,390
ARTICLES
Payments for ecosystem services as neoliberal conservation: (Reinterpreting) evidence from the Maloti-Drakensberg, South Africa
Bram Büscher
January-March 2012, 10(1):29-41
DOI:10.4103/0972-4923.92190  
Payments for ecosystem/environmental services (PES) interventions aim to subject ecosystem conservation to market dynamics and are often posited as win-win solutions to contemporary ecological, developmental and economic quagmires. This paper aims to contribute to the heated debate on PES by giving contrasting evidence from the Maloti-Drakensberg area, a crucial site for water and biodiversity resources in southern Africa. Several PES initiatives and studies, especially those associated with the Maloti-Drakensberg Transfrontier Project (MDTP), claim that an 'ecosystem services' market in the area is feasible and desirable. Based on empirical research in the area between 2003 and 2008, the paper challenges these assertions. It argues that the internationally popular PES trend provided an expedient way for the MDTP implementers to deal with the immense socio-political and institutional pressures they faced. Following and in spite of, tenuous assumptions and one-sided evidence, PES was marketed as a 'success' by the MDTP and associated epistemic communities that are implicated in and dependent on, this 'success'. The paper concludes that PES and the process by which it was marketed are both inherent to 'neoliberal conservation'-the paradoxical idea that capitalist markets are the answer to their own ecological contradictions.
  26 6,970 1,527
REVIEW ARTICLE
Change We can Believe in? Reviewing Studies on the Conservation Impact of Popular Participation in Forest Management
Jens Friis Lund, Kulbhushan Balooni, Thorkil Casse
April-June 2009, 7(2):71-82
DOI:10.4103/0972-4923.58640  
This article presents a review of methods in 60 empirical studies on forest conservation impact of popular participation in forest management. The review illustrates a high degree of variance in methods among the studies, and shows that a majority of the studies could benefit from a stronger focus on one or more of the following three areas: (i) the empirical verification and characterisation of popular participation as it exists on the ground, (ii) the indicators of impact and the method used to assess them, and (iii) the disentanglement of the effect of popular participation from other developments in the study area that may impact on forest condition. The variation in methods inhibits comparisons and meta-analyses, as well as questions the basis on which policy recommendations on popular participation in forest management are made. Based on the review, we provide recommendations for future evaluations of the conservation impact of popular participation in forest management.
  22 9,784 2,803
ARTICLES
Strangers in their own land: Maasai and wildlife conservation in Northern Tanzania
Mara J Goldman
January-March 2011, 9(1):65-79
DOI:10.4103/0972-4923.79194  
Despite dramatic transformations in conservation rhetoric regarding local people, indigenous rights, and community-oriented approaches, conservation in many places in Tanzania today continues to infringe on human rights. This happens through the exclusion of local people as knowledgeable active participants in management, policy formation, and decision-making processes in land that 'belongs' to them and on which their livelihoods depend. In this paper, I focus on a relatively new conservation area designed on the Conservation Trust Model-Manyara Ranch in Monduli district in northern Tanzania. I present this case as a conservation opportunity lost, where local Maasai who were initially interested in utilising the area for conservation, have come to resent and disrespect the conservation status of the area, after having lost it from their ownership and control. I illustrate how the denial of Maasai memories, knowledge, and management practices in Manyara Ranch threaten the future viability of the place both for conservation and for Maasai use. The paper contributes to a growing literature as well as a set of concerns regarding the relationship between conservation and human rights.
  21 11,844 1,935
Emerging marine protected area networks in the coral triangle: Lessons and way forward
Stuart J Green, Alan T White, Patrick Christie, Stacey Kilarski, Anna Blesilda T Meneses, Giselle Samonte-Tan, Leah Bunce Karrer, Helen Fox, Stuart Campbell, John D Claussen
July-September 2011, 9(3):173-188
DOI:10.4103/0972-4923.86986  
Marine protected areas (MPAs) and MPA networks are valuable tools for protecting coral reef habitats and managing near-shore fisheries, while playing an essential role in the overall conservation of marine biodiversity. In addition, MPAs and their networks are often the core strategy for larger scale and more integrated forms of marine resource management that can lead to ecosystem-based management regimes for seascapes and eco-regions. This study conducted in 2008 documents the status of selected MPAs and MPA networks in Indonesia, Philippines and Papua New Guinea, to better understand development and their level of success in the Coral Triangle. Findings reveal that substantial gaps exist between the theory and practice of creating functional MPA networks. Across these sites, biophysical and social science knowledge, required to build functional and effective MPAs or MPA networks, lagged behind substantially. Aspects that appeared to require the most attention to improve MPA network effectiveness included essential management systems, institutional arrangements, governance and sustainable financing. Common indicators of success such as increased fish catch and habitat quality parameters were consistently associated with several independent variables: sustainable financing for management, clarity of MPA network rules, enforcement by community level enforcers, local skills development, and involvement in management by local elected politicians, a functional management board, multi-stakeholder planning mechanisms and participatory biophysical assessments. Conclusions are that although considerable investments have been made in MPAs and potential MPA networks in the Coral Triangle, management effectiveness is generally poor throughout the region and that not many large, formally declared MPAs are well managed.
  19 8,385 1,598
INTRODUCTION
Collaborative Event Ethnography: Conservation and development trade-offs at the fourth world conservation congress
J Peter Brosius, Lisa M Campbell
October-December 2010, 8(4):245-255
DOI:10.4103/0972-4923.78141  
  19 7,132 1,198
SPECIAL SECTION: ALTERNATIVE APPROACHES TO CONCEPTUALISING AND ASSESSING ECOSYSTEM SERVICES
Ecosystem Services: Origins, Contributions, Pitfalls, and Alternatives
Sharachchandra Lele, Oliver Springate-Baginski, Roan Lakerveld, Debal Deb, Prasad Dash
October-December 2013, 11(4):343-358
DOI:10.4103/0972-4923.125752  
The concept of ecosystem services (ES) has taken the environmental science and policy literature by storm, and has become almost the approach to thinking about and assessing the nature-society relationship. In this review, we ask whether and in what way the ES concept is a useful way of organising research on the nature-society relationship. We trace the evolution of the different versions of the concept and identify key points of convergence and divergence. The essence of the concept nevertheless is that the contribution of biotic nature to human well-being is unrecognised and undervalued, which results in destruction of ecosystems. We discuss why this formulation has attracted ecologists and summarise the resultant contributions to research, particularly to the understanding of indirect or regulating services. We then outline three sets of weaknesses in the ES framework: confusion over ecosystem functions and biodiversity, omission of dis-services, trade-offs and abiotic nature, and the use of an economic valuation framework to measure and aggregate human well-being. Underlying these weaknesses is a narrow problem frame that is unidimensional in its environmental concern and techno-economic in its explanation of environmental degradation. We argue that an alternative framing that embraces broader concerns and incorporates multiple explanations would be more useful, and outline how this approach to understanding the nature-society relationship may be implemented.
  19 13,451 3,623
ARTICLES
Prosopis juliflora Invasion and Rural Livelihoods in the Lake Baringo Area of Kenya
Esther Mwangi, Brent Swallow
April-June 2008, 6(2):130-140
DOI:10.4103/0972-4923.49207  
Global concern about deforestation caused by fuelwood shortages prompted the introduction of Prosopis juliflora to many tropical areas in the 1970s and 1980s. P. juliflora is a hardy nitrogen-fixing tree that is now recognised as one of the world's most invasive alien species. The introduction and subsequent inva­sion of P. juliflora in the Lake Baringo area of Kenya has attracted national media attention and contra­dictory responses from responsible agencies. This paper presents an assessment of the livelihood effects, costs of control and local perceptions on P. juliflora of rural residents in the Lake Baringo area. Unlike some other parts of the world where it had been introduced, few of the potential benefits of P. juliflora have been captured and very few people realise the net benefits in places where the invasion is most ad­vanced. Strong local support for eradication and replacement appears to be well justified. Sustainable utilisation will require considerable investment and institutional innovation.
  16 10,353 979
The role of participant learning in community conservation in the Arabuko-Sokoke Forest, Kenya
A John Sinclair, Susan A Collins, Harry Spaling
January-March 2011, 9(1):42-53
DOI:10.4103/0972-4923.79187  
While the community conservation approach has gained broad acceptance, questions regarding its effectiveness persist. Many of the changes that community conservation projects seek to impart among participants correspond with their values and attitudes. This paper proposes the use of transformative learning as one of the measures of the success of a community conservation project in terms of promoting learning that leads to significant changes in a participant's values and attitudes. Using the ASSETS programme in coastal Kenya as a case study, we focused on participant learning and the extent to which such learning resulted in a more positive attitude towards conservation of the Arabuko-Sokoke Forest. Participation in ASSETS resulted in instrumental learning and communicative learning, as described in the transformative learning theory. Findings show that participation in ASSETS led to a variety of learning outcomes, such as learning new information about the forest, and learning to question local cultural norms and speak out for conservation.
  15 6,440 883
Co-management in community forestry: How the partial devolution of management rights creates challenges for forest communities
Peter Cronkleton, Juan M Pulhin, Sushil Saigal
April-June 2012, 10(2):91-102
DOI:10.4103/0972-4923.97481  
Forest tenure reform has opened economic and livelihood opportunities for community forestry management through the devolution of management rights under broader decentralisation reforms. However, the transfer of rights and associated power to forest communities is usually partial. The view of property as composed of 'bundles of rights' allows for the disaggregation of rights transferred from government to local people. In practice, it is common that rights held by natural resource stakeholders encompass only part of the rights bundle. This partial transfer of rights shapes community forestry institutions and the manner in which they function. When communities and state agencies share responsibilities and benefits of forest management, they collaborate within co-management systems. Co-management systems are attractive to governments because they open avenues for local participation in resource governance and more equitable benefit-sharing while maintaining some level of state control. However, co-management systems can place a greater burden on community level actors without providing the corresponding benefits. As a result, co-management can fail to meet expectations. In response, the promotion of community forestry may require greater emphasis on adjusting forest regulatory frameworks, institutions, and agencies, to allow more freedom by community-level actors in developing forest management systems.
  15 7,087 1,381
Sea change: Exploring the international effort to promote marine protected areas
Noella J Gray
October-December 2010, 8(4):331-338
DOI:10.4103/0972-4923.78149  
Citing multiple threats to marine biodiversity and resources, the international marine conservation community is promoting greater adoption of marine protected areas (MPAs). Like terrestrial protected areas, MPAs are characterised by debates over the appropriate role for scientific input and citizen participation and how to balance concerns for both social equity and ecological effectiveness. This paper explores how such debates are influencing the framing of MPAs as a global policy tool, based on an 'event ethnography' conducted at the 2008 World Conservation Congress in Barcelona. International non-governmental organisations (NGOs) dominated the discussions and agenda setting, although multiple concerns for MPAs were incorporated into the discussions. The framing of MPAs highlighted a global scale and vision, reflected by and reinforcing the dominant role of the big NGOs. However, it did not go unchallenged, nor is it prescriptive.
  14 4,383 772
The value of avitourism for conservation and job creation-An analysis from South Africa
Duan Biggs, Jane Turpie, Christo Fabricius, Anna Spenceley
January-March 2011, 9(1):80-90
DOI:10.4103/0972-4923.79198  
Tourism directed at bird watching (avitourism) has become increasingly popular. In many lower and middle-income countries, including South Africa, avitourism is being applied in an effort to simultaneously achieve community development and biodiversity conservation. This paper presents the results of an exploratory investigation of 11 community-based avitourism projects in South Africa. Conservation benefits were measured with the Threat Reduction Assessment tool. We calculated the Gamma (G) correlation coefficient to explore the relationship between conservation and income benefits and project characteristics. The projects were successful at reducing threats to sites where conservation was an explicit objective (n=11, G=0.609, P=0.03). The level of income benefits did not correlate with success in reducing threats to conservation. Once involved in avitourism projects, the average monthly income earned by local bird guides increased from USD 114 to USD 362. The extent of income benefits was positively related to the extent of support to projects (n=10, G=0.714, P=0.01). Participants in the projects reported substantive capacity building and empowerment benefits. Success in delivering conservation, income and empowerment benefits was challenged by the local guide's limited previous exposure to tourism and business, the guide's lack of self assurance, cultural differences, and a requirement for sustained mentorship and support to overcome these barriers. We conclude that with adequate long-term support, avitourism projects can be a cost-effective way to create jobs and deliver conservation and human development benefits.
  14 10,447 1,125
Seeing white elephants? The production and communication of information in a locally-based monitoring system in Tanzania
Martin Reinhardt Nielsen, Jens Friis Lund
January-March 2012, 10(1):1-14
DOI:10.4103/0972-4923.92188  
The literature on locally-based monitoring in the context of conservation displays a great deal of optimism about the prospects of involving local people in the systematic gathering of information about the condition and use of natural resources and conservation areas to inform management decisions from local to national levels. This study challenges this notion based on a case study of a collaborative forest management and locally-based monitoring project that has been considered a successful showcase example in Tanzania. It does so by comparing information from locally-based monitoring of forest condition and financial transactions, as presented by community management institutions to higher authorities, with forest transect surveys and an audit of financial accounts. The results reveal that the information produced and communicated under the locally-based monitoring system contradicts trends in wildlife densities and human disturbance observed in the forest and under-represents actual financial flows. Interviews and observations further indicate that communication of this information takes place under conditions of ongoing power struggles over access to benefits of collaborative forest management. This study serves to caution that the information produced and communicated under the locally-based monitoring system may be shaped by the incentives and power struggles surrounding the particular context within which the system is based and therefore cannot be taken at face value.
  13 5,212 970
SPECIAL FEATURE
Mediating Forest Transitions: 'Grand Design' or 'Muddling Through'
Jeffrey Sayer, Gary Bullb, Chris Elliottc
October-December 2008, 6(4):320-327
DOI:10.4103/0972-4923.49195  
Present biodiversity conservation programmes in the remaining extensive forest blocks of the humid trop­ics are failing to achieve outcomes that will be viable in the medium to long term. Too much emphasis is given to what we term 'grand design'-ambitious and idealistic plans for conservation. Such plans im­plicitly oppose or restrict development and often attempt to block it by speculatively establishing paper parks. Insufficient recognition is given to the inevitable long term pressures for conversion to other land uses and to the weakness of local constituencies for conservation. Conservation institutions must build their capacity to engage with the process of change. They must constantly adapt to deal with a continuously unfolding set of challenges, opportunities and changing societal needs. This can be achieved by long term on-the-ground engagement and 'muddling through'. The range of conservation options must be enlarged to give more attention to biodiversity in managed landscapes and to mosaics composed of areas with dif­fering intensities of use. The challenge is to build the human capacity and institutions to achieve this.
  13 4,207 842
ARTICLES
Conservation-induced displacement: A comparative study of two Indian protected areas
Asmita Kabra
October-December 2009, 7(4):249-267
DOI:10.4103/0972-4923.65172  
Attempts at 'preservation via displacement' are an extreme manifestation of the 'fortress' or an exclusionary conservation paradigm, support for which has increased lately due to escalating conservation threats. While the policies and processes emanating from this paradigm have produced positive conservation outcomes for some Protected Areas, livelihood outcomes for the displaced people have seldom been as positive. This article examines whether the impoverishment risks arising from conservation-induced displacement tend to vary with the degree of marginalisation of the displaced community. In this light, this article examines in detail the impact on livelihood of conservation-induced displacement in two Protected Areas (PAs) of India. The article posits that understanding the dynamic livelihood context of displaced communities, especially the ecological base of their livelihoods, is critical to any assessment of their pre- and post-displacement livelihood strategies and livelihood outcomes (such as income, poverty, food security and health). A variety of livelihood parameters, including compensation received, consumption flows, agricultural production, monetary income, food security, headcount ratio of poverty and overall poverty indices have been studied, to understand the extent to which key livelihood risks arising out of displacement are addressed by the rehabilitation package and process in the two PAs. The Sahariya is a forest-dependent Adivasi community living in and around the Kuno Wildlife Sanctuary in the semi-arid tropical region of Madhya Pradesh. The Sahariya Adivasis of the Kuno Sanctuary were a socially, politically and economically marginalised community, whose lives and livelihoods were intricately linked to their ecological base. We found that inadequate attention was paid to this factor while designing and implementing a suitable rehabilitation package for the 1650 Sahariya households displaced from this PA. As a result, their material condition deteriorated after displacement, due to loss of livelihood diversification opportunities and alienation from their natural resource base. Displacement thus resulted in rapid proletarianisation and pauperisation of these households, and their 'integration' into the national 'mainstream' occurred at highly disadvantageous terms. The 430 odd households displaced from the Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary in the Western Ghats (a biodiversity hotspot in the Southern Indian state of Karnataka) consisted of relatively less marginalised social groups like the Gowdas and the Shettys, both of whom occupy a prominent place in the local politics and economy of this state. The share of agriculture in the pre-displacement livelihood of these households was relatively higher, and dependence on forest-based livelihoods was relatively lower than in the case of the Kuno Wildlife Sanctuary. I argue that this was an important factor that enabled these households to negotiate a better post-displacement deal for themselves. Consequently, the relocation package and process was far more effective in mitigating the potential impoverishment risks of these households. It appears, then, that the livelihood outcomes of conservation-induced displacement are generally biased against the poor. Further, the more marginalised a displaced community (or household) is, the less likely it is to obtain benign or positive livelihood outcomes after displacement. This has important implications for poverty and social justice, especially for Adivasi communities, which constitute a large proportion of those threatened with conservation-induced displacement, in India, in the coming years.
  12 8,538 1,366
Business, Biodiversity and New 'Fields' of conservation: The world conservation congress and the renegotiation of organisational order
Kenneth Iain MacDonald
October-December 2010, 8(4):256-275
DOI:10.4103/0972-4923.78144  
Biodiversity conservation, in practice, is defined through the institutionalised association of individuals, organisations, institutions, bodies of knowledge, and interests. Events like the World Conservation Congress (WCC) constitute political sites where much of that institutionalisation is rendered legible and where struggles over the organisational order of conservation are acted out. Over the past decade one source of struggle has been the role of private sector actors and markets. This paper treats the WCC as a site where tension over market-based mechanisms of conservation becomes visible and where it becomes possible to watch durable institutional arrangements form and enter standard operational practice of organisations like IUCN. This paper builds upon recent work on the performative aspects of governance and analyses the WCC as an integral mechanism in achieving a renegotiated 'order' of conservation with 'private sector engagement' as a core operational practice. It describes how this performative work is predicated, in part, on the act of meeting; and the ways meetings serve both as sites for the formation of associations and as vehicles that privilege certain positions in renegotiating an organisational order under which the interests of capital accumulation receive an unparalleled degree of access and consideration in conservation planning and practice.
  12 5,877 1,020
The politics of indigeneity: Indigenous strategies for inclusion in climate change negotiations
Amity A Doolittle
October-December 2010, 8(4):286-291
DOI:10.4103/0972-4923.78142  
Indigenous environmental activists have clearly articulated their views on global climate change policy. The content of these views was explored during the 10-day 2008 World Conservation Congress (WCC) in Barcelona. Data were primarily collected through interviews and participant observation. In addition, policy statements and declarations made by indigenous environmental activists from 2000 to 2009 were analysed to place the perspectives of indigenous leaders and environmental activists in the context of their decade-long struggle to gain negotiating power at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. This study examines the rhetorical strategies indigenous leaders from around the world use to gain political recognition and legitimacy in climate change negotiations. Two core principles, relating to a particular representation of indigenous environmental knowledge are identified as fundamental rhetorical tools. These are a belief that the earth is a living being with rights and the conviction that it is the responsibility of indigenous peoples to protect the earth from over-exploitation. However, reference to indigenous environmental knowledge is not the only rhetorical mechanism used by indigenous leaders in the climate debates. When faced with specific United Nations policies to combat climate change that could have a profound impact on their land rights, some indigenous leaders adopt a more confrontational response. Fearing that new polices would reinforce historical trends of marginalisation, indigenous leaders seeking recognition in climate change debates speak less about their ecological knowledge and responsibility to the earth and more about their shared histories of political and economic marginalisation and land dispossession, experienced first through colonialism and more recently through globalisation.
  12 5,975 1,120
Fractured tenure, unaccountable authority, and benefit capture: Constraints to improving community benefits under climate change mitigation schemes in Ghana
Emmanuel Marfo, Emmanuel Acheampong, Emmanuel Opuni-Frimpong
April-June 2012, 10(2):161-172
DOI:10.4103/0972-4923.97488  
The debate on climate change and ecosystem services has grown substantially over the past two decades. The post-Kyoto protocol period particularly has witnessed increased formulation of financial mechanisms to compensate for green efforts towards carbon sequestration and reduction in deforestation. In most cases, communities substantially depend on forests for their livelihoods or their actions have a direct bearing on the sustainability of the forests. Will the economic incentives from emerging initiatives offer new sources of income to support rural livelihoods and reduce poverty? There is some doubt about this potential, because there is enormous evidence across the world to show that forest exploitation and use has not substantially benefited local people and Ghana is no exception. This paper draws on existing evidence in Ghana to show that the lack of secure community tenure rights and the dominance of unaccountable authority-which leads to benefit capture by local elites-are critical constraints to equitable forest benefit sharing. Building on the evidence, this paper argues that unless these issues are addressed in policy and practice, the potential economic benefits from the various emerging mechanisms under climate change and ecosystem services may not benefit local people; they may even reinforce the gap between the rich and the poor.
  11 5,921 710
Beyond the decade of policy and community euphoria: The state of livelihoods under new local rights to forest in rural Cameroon
Phil René Oyono, Martin Blaise Biyong, Serge Kombo Samba
April-June 2012, 10(2):173-181
DOI:10.4103/0972-4923.97489  
This paper interrogates the state of livelihoods under the exercise of new community rights to forest in rural Cameroon. The assessment makes use of a set of livelihoods indicators. The granting and exercise of new community rights, namely, management rights and market rights, are not synonymous with improved livelihoods, despite initial predictions and expectations. The resource base has not changed; it is more and more threatened by poor local level institutional arrangements and social and bio-physical management strategies, in addition to the weak central level regulation and monitoring actions. Similarly, the rights-based reform and community forestry are not improving basic assets and means at the household level. Nevertheless, this paper suggests that this experiment should not be judged hastily, since fifteen years are not enough to judge social and institutional processes like those in progress in Cameroon. The authors draw policy options likely to improve the livelihoods dimension of the reform and launch a debate on the real contribution of community income derived from community forests towards poverty alleviation at the household level.
  11 5,034 622
DEBATES
Displacement and Relocation from Protected Areas: Towards a Biological and Historical Synthesis
Mahesh Rangarajan, Ghazala Shahabuddin
July-September 2006, 4(3):359-378
  11 8,371 1,957
SPECIAL SECTION: PROTECTED AREAS AND MIGRATION
Introduction: Human migration to protected area edges in Africa and Latin America: Questioning large-scale statistical analysis
David M Hoffman, Derick Fay, Lucas Joppa
January-March 2011, 9(1):1-7
DOI:10.4103/0972-4923.79177  
The introduction to this set of papers highlights four challenges to the large-scale analysis of population growth at protected area edges in Africa and Latin America undertaken by George Wittemyer and colleagues in their 2008 paper published in Science. First, it raises questions about their sampling procedures, given national-level variation in systems of protected area designation and protected area estates. Second, it challenges the largely economic model of migration decisions that underlies their analysis. Third, it highlights the neglected variable of land tenure systems as a factor facilitating or impeding migration. Fourth, it points to the problematic politics of reducing human communities and polities to 'populations' subject to management from afar.
  11 6,200 998
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