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Conservation and Society
An interdisciplinary journal exploring linkages between society, environment and development
Conservation and Society
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   2004| April-June  | Volume 2 | Issue 2  
    Online since July 18, 2009

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Community Conservation, Inequality and Injustice: Myths of Power in Protected Area Management
Dan Brockington
April-June 2004, 2(2):411-432
The principle of local support states that protected areas cannot survive without the support of their neighbours. It is the dominant motif of much writing about community conservation and the integration of conservation with development. However, we should be sceptical of it for several reasons. First, it implies that the weak can defeat the agendas of the strong. Second, the principle ignores the fact that inequality and injustice tend to be perpetrated about the globe. It is not existence of poverty or injustice that will cause problems for conservation, but their distribution within society. Third, a detailed case study from the Mkomazi Game Reserve in Tanzania shows how conservation can flourish despite local opposition. Advocates of community conservation need to pay more attention to fortress conservation's strengths and especially its powerful myths and repre­sentations. Understanding how inequality and conservation are successfully perpetrated will make it easier to understand the politics of more participatory community conservation projects.
  11,869 3,528 -
Co-management of Contractual National Parks in South Africa: Lessons from Australia
Hannah Reid, David Fig, Hector Magome, Nigel Leader-Williams
April-June 2004, 2(2):377-409
Contractual national parks in South Africa and Australia have been established on land owned either by the state or a group of private individuals. They are managed by the national conservation authority according to the terms of a joint management agreement drawn up by a joint management committee usually consisting of representatives from the national conservation authority and the landowners. Since majority rule in 1994, South African contractual national parks have provided a model through which the country's conservation as well as development objectives can be met, particularly where landowners are previously disadvantaged communities. Uluru-Kata Tjuta and Kakadu National Parks in Australia were established on Aboriginal-owned land and have over fifteen years of experience in co-management. In view of the growing resurgence of protectionist approaches to conservation, this article assesses the success of contractual national parks in South Africa and Australia. Rather than reverting to protectionism, it seeks to build on experiences with joint management to date by analysing what lessons South Africa can learn from Australia regarding meeting the conservation, social and financial/economic objectives of its contractual national parks. Indeed, lessons learnt from both countries will be of value to all non-industrialised countries.
  9,339 1,421 -
Acai Palm Management in the Amazon Estuary: Course for Conservation or Passage to Plantations?
Stephanie Weinstein, Susan Moegenburg
April-June 2004, 2(2):315-346
In the lalate 1980s, the acai (Euterpe oleracea) fruit and palmito extraction system of eastern Amazonia was heralded as a promising alternative to deforestation that could simultaneously provide income to rural producers and protect forest integrity. We e tested these claims in ffive communities located along a distance gradient from the lalargest regional market in Belem, Brazil. We e evaluated the market accessibility and management strategies of acai producers, and assessed the im­pacts of management on forest characteristics. In contrast to other NTFP systems, we found that distance to the major market is not a limiting factor for acai sales because throughout the region intermediaries are readily available to transport acai from producer to market. Demand for acai fruit is increasing, leading to intensification of palm management, which results in the conversion of native flfloodplain forests into acai-dominated forests that closely resemble plantations. We e conclude that the acai system is not typical of other NTFP and should not be regarded as a model for merging forest conservation with rural development. However, the increased demand for acai, especially from educated consumers, together with the ease of production and marketing, present an opportunity to develop the acai system into one in which both rural livelihoods and forest integrity are supported.
  8,817 1,313 -
Forest Product Use, Conservation and Livelihoods: The Case of Uppage Fruit Harvest in the Western Ghats, India
Nitin D Rai, Christopher F Uhl
April-June 2004, 2(2):289-313
The harvest and sale of non-timber forest products (NTFP) by local communities has been suggested as a possible solution to the often observed conflict between forest use and forest conservation. Recent studies have, however, suggested that the economic rewards might not be constant, and that ecological effects of harvest might be higher than previously believed. In India trade in NTFP has a long history, but few studies have explored both the ecological and socio-economic aspects of harvest. We report here the results of a socio-economic and ecological study on the harvest of fruits from the rainforest tree uppage (Garcinia gummi­gutta), which occurs in the tropical forests of the Western Ghats. We studied the characteristics of uppage fruit harvest, socio-economic factors that influence harvest, and the ecological effect of fruit harvest under differing tenurial regimes. Our findings suggest that dependence on NTFP harvest by local communities might be problematic due to market instability, patchy resource distribution, in­equitable access to forest resources within the village and lack of security of tenure.
  5,527 738 -
Assessing Ecological Sustainability of Non-Timber Forest Produce Extraction: The Indian Scenario
Ghazala Shahabuddin, Soumya Prasad
April-June 2004, 2(2):235-250
Non-timber forest products (NTFP) are extensively extracted from Indian forests, and their role in rural and forest economies is immense. However, the long-term ecological sustainability of NTFP extraction with respect to resource populations, dependent animal species and ecosystem functioning has remained largely unexamined. In this article NTFP research undertaken in India is reviewed in an attempt to understand issues related to ecological sustainability. There is a glaring scarcity of systematic research on ecological aspects of NTFP extraction in India. From the few available studies, it appears that species differ in their responses to harvest depending on the plant part extracted, natural history attributes and harvesting techniques. However, regeneration and population densities of some NTFP species are reported to be adversely affected by extraction. Such adverse effects, though, cannot be attributed to NTFP harvests alone, but rather to a com­bination of harvests, damaging harvesting practices and accompanying anthro­pogenic disturbances such as fire, grazing and fuel wood collection. There is little information on the long-term indirect effects of NTFP extraction on dependent animal species. The available literature also indicates a disturbing trend of eco­system simplification due to intensive forest use, including extraction of NTFP, which may gradually lead to the weeding out of vulnerable plant species from Indian forests. Much more research is required before it can be clearly understood to what extent and in what ways livelihoods based on NTFP can be compatible with biodiversity conservation.
  5,120 979 -
The Ecology and Harvest of Andiroba Seeds for Oil Production in the Brazilian Amazon
Campbell Plowden
April-June 2004, 2(2):251-272
Andiroba (Carapa guianensis Aubl.: Meliaceae) is a canopy tree found in moist tropical forests in Amazon, Central America and Africa. Manual and mechanical methods have been used to extract oil from its seeds for use in insect repellent and traditional medicine, and as an ingredient in mosquito repellent candles and medicinal soap. Forest communities need a better understanding of the ecological and economic aspects of andiroba seed and oil production to decide if and how collecting more of these seeds can be done sustainably and profitably. I worked with Tembe Indians in the eastern Brazilian Amazon in 1998-99 to investigate the ecology and economics of andiroba seed production. We found that andiroba tree (?10 cm DBH) density in mostly intact forest near Tekohaw village averaged 6.5 trees ha-1. While some trees started reproducing in the 10-20 cm DBH class, 46-63 per cent of trees ? 30 cm DBH had flowers or fruits in the two seasons observed. Trees reached peak flowering in the mid-rainy season in March, and most fruit fell in the early dry season in June and July. In 1999 a group of forty­six reproducing trees yielded an average of 0.8 kg of seeds tree-1. Up to 29 per cent of these seeds had been infested by moth and fly larvae, partially consumed by mammals or germinated. Each tree produced an estimated average of 1.2 kg seeds with 33 per cent being removed by mammals. This production is much less than the 50-300 kg seeds per tree averages cited in other accounts. The study's one measurement of seed transformation to oil (14.4 kg seed to a litre oil yield) was less efficient than the 3.4-9 kg seed to oil (litre) ratio reported in other accounts. Given the extensive time needed to collect and process seeds, this enterprise would provide minimal financial reward with the typical selling price of $3 per litre. It may be worthwhile for some communities to collect seeds from the most productive trees for sale to dealers or buy a seed press to increase processing efficiency. Andiroba density could be readily planted in forest gaps and secondary forests to increase seed supply for human harvesters and wildlife.
  4,703 531 -
Ecological Consequences of Forest Use: From Genes to Ecosystem - A Case Study in the Biligiri Rangaswamy Temple Wildlife Sanctuary, South India
R Uma Shaanker, KN Ganeshaiah, M Nageswara Rao, NA Aravind
April-June 2004, 2(2):347-363
Human dependence on forests can have manifold ecological consequences from the level of genes to the entire ecosystem. Despite the extensive use of forest products by communities, especially in tropical countries such as India, there have been hardly any attempts at monitoring these consequences. Understanding the consequences could facilitate the development of management protocols that, while maintaining the livelihoods of the forest-dependent communities, could help minimise the associ­ated ecological cost. In a unique attempt over the last decade, we have examined the ecological consequences of forest use, from genes to ecosystem, in the Biligiri Rangaswamy Temple Wildlife Sanctuary, south India. In this article we review these findings and demonstrate that monitoring of biodiversity elements from genes to ecosystem is important in understanding the underlying process of change and in formulating appropriate strategies for the conservation of biodiversity.
  4,069 678 -
Artisanal Non-Timber Forest Products in Darien Province, Panama: The Importance of Context
J Velasquez Runk, Pinel Mepaquito, Floriselda Pena
April-June 2004, 2(2):217-234
Non-timber forest products (NTFP) have been frequently studied as a means to conserve forests and provide income to user communities. Studies on NTFP have often been restricted to a single species, year and human user community. However, a number of recent studies are challenging these simplifications. Here, we examine a suite of artisanal NTFP that are of increasing economic importance to Wounaan and Embera households in Panama. Artisans make carvings from seeds of a tagua palm (Phytelephas seemannii) and the wood of cocobolo (Dalbergia retusa), and weave baskets from the fibres of the chunga palm (Astrocaryum standleyanum). We studied the ecology and socio-economics of these resources between 1997 and 2001, and here consider ecological, spatio-temporal, and socio-political vari­ables in the use of these artisanal NTFP. Our methods included the establishment of long-term demographic plots of P. seemannii, natural history observations, participant observation of harvest and semi-structured interviews of artisans and vendors. Our results indicate that the ecological effects of harvesting are vastly different for each species, but so too are spatial, temporal, social and political variables. We conclude by illustrating how contextualising the differences among these three NTFPs leads to answers of questions we did not ask, but also is more relevant to resource users, managers and policy makers.
  3,930 497 -
Regeneration of Amla, an Important Non-Timber Forest Product from Southern India
R Ganesan, R Siddappa Setty
April-June 2004, 2(2):365-375
Amla fruits collected from Phyllanthus emblica and P. indofischeri are an important non-timber forest product for the indigenous Soliga community in the Biligiri Rangaswamy Temple Wildlife Sanctuary, India. Seedlings, saplings and trees of these two congeners were monitored over three years in ten 0.1 ha plots each to assess and compare their regeneration status. The densities of seedlings and of adult trees of both species were similar, but the density of saplings of P. emblica was lower than that of P. indofischeri. The size class distribution of P. indofischeri, but not of P. emblica, followed the inverse J-shaped curve typically associated with regenerating populations, suggesting a higher mortality of seedlings and saplings of P. emblica than of P. indofischeri. Furthermore, re-sprouting individuals-presumably a response to damage by fire or grazing-constituted a larger proportion of the population in the case of P. emblica and may constitute a future population bottleneck. We suggest that anthropogenic pressures other than harvest could be responsible for differences in population structure between these two species, which are managed under similar harvest intensities and subject to similar disturbance regimes.
  3,502 566 -
Communities and Their Partners: Governance and Community-based Forest Management
Nicholas K Menzies
April-June 2004, 2(2):449-456
A number of agencies closely associated with community-based forest management have recently commissioned reviews to assess the impacts of opening the arena for decision making and benefit sharing in forest management to a wider spectrum of players. This article draws on the findings of a set of reviews commissioned by the Ford Foundation and on an interactive process in which partners in activities supported by the Foundation had opportunities to respond to the conclusions drawn by the reviews. It analyses how governance is emerging as a central concern of all the partners involved in efforts to forge new relationships between government agencies, forest communities and intermediaries such as NGOs that work with them. All those involved in the process considered that the scientific bureaucratic model that has dominated forest management since the nineteenth century and earlier has reached an impasse marked by conflict between a spectrum of stakeholders, and by questions about the biological or ecological sustainability of current harvesting and production practises. Community-based forest man­agement will not in itself resolve these tensions and conflicts, but it does have the potential to play an important role in sustainable natural resources management strategies if there is a realignment of relations between households, community and government. The reviews, therefore, call for more emphasis on crafting in­clusive, equitable and accountable mechanisms to articulate and mediate relations between partners from the national and even international level to the local.
  2,912 654 -
The Ecological Consequences of Managing Forests for Non-Timber Products
Ankila J Hiremath
April-June 2004, 2(2):211-216
  2,649 676 -
Ecology of Two Selected Liana Species of Utility Value in a Lowland Rain Forest of Sri Lanka: Implications for Management
HS Kathriarachchi, KU Tennakoon, CVS Gunatilleke, IAUN Gunatilleke, PMS Ashton
April-June 2004, 2(2):273-288
Calamus ovoideus Thw. and Coscinium fenestratum Colebr. are economically important, naturally growing liana species in the disturbed habitats of lowland rain forests in Sri Lanka. Harvesting their mature stems has jeopardised their survival and led to dwindling populations. Growth performance, population sizes and the eco-physiology of these species were examined under three different canopy removal treatments and a closed canopy control of a Pinus caribaea buffer zone plantation of the Sinharaja forest. Population studies of Calamus spp. and C. fenestratum revealed that they survive and regenerate naturally in disturbed habitats compared to undisturbed forest. After nine years, both liana species grew poorly in the Pinus understorey (control) compared to the canopy removal treatments. During the study period, height increment of C. ovoideus was best in the three-row canopy removal treat­ment. In contrast to C. ovoideus, the eco-physiological features of C. fenestratum varied little among the canopy removal treatments, suggesting that they tolerate a wider range of light levels. The study revealed that both species could be successfully introduced to the Pinus caribaea buffer zones, degraded areas of lowland rain forests in Sri Lanka, in order to conserve them in the wild and manage them sustainably.
  2,447 374 -
Multiple Criterion Synchronisation for Conservation Area Network Design: The Use of Non-dominated Alternative Sets
Sahotra Sarkar, Justin Garson
April-June 2004, 2(2):433-488
This article shows how a standard technique from multiple-criteria decision making, the computation of non-dominated alternative sets, can be adapted to incorporate non-biological criteria such as socio-political ones during the design of bio­diversity conservation area networks. There are three chief advantages of this approach: (a) unlike almost all other methods for incorporating multiple criteria in decision making, this technique avoids making arbitrary utility assignments to alternatives; (b) it only requires comparative rankings of the alternatives under the criteria to be synchronised; and (c) it often results in several alternatives of equal status, leaving a further choice to be made by political decision-making bodies. This allows those bodies to bring into consideration criteria that cannot be satisfactorily formally modelled. The use of this method is demonstrated using a data set from Texas, one from Ecuador and two artificially constructed data sets.
  2,009 348 -
Book Review 3
Charles Santiapillai
April-June 2004, 2(2):463-468
  1,813 248 -
Book Review 1
Amita Baviskar
April-June 2004, 2(2):457-460
  1,642 246 -
Book Review 5
Ronald J Herring
April-June 2004, 2(2):471-475
  1,536 233 -
Book Review 4
Sudha Vasan
April-June 2004, 2(2):468-471
  1,374 247 -
Book Review 2
Cynthia Caron
April-June 2004, 2(2):461-463
  1,247 242 -