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Conservation and Society
An interdisciplinary journal exploring linkages between society, environment and development
Conservation and Society
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  Citation statistics : Table of Contents
   2007| April-June  | Volume 5 | Issue 2  
    Online since June 26, 2009

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People, Parks and Poverty: Political Ecology and Biodiversity Conservation
William M Adams, Jon Hutton
April-June 2007, 5(2):147-183
Action to conserve biodiversity, particularly through the creation of protected areas (PAs), is inherently political. Political ecology is a field of study that embraces the interactions between the way nature is understood and the politics and impacts of environmental action. This paper explores the political ecology of conservation, particularly the establishment of PAs. It dis­cusses the implications of the idea of pristine nature, the social impacts of and the politics of PA establishment and the way the benefits and costs of PAs are allocated. It considers three key political issues in contemporary international conservation policy: the rights of indigenous people, the relationship between biodiversity conservation and the reduction of poverty, and the arguments of those advocating a return to conventional PAs that exclude people.
  6 46,203 13,649
The Evolution and Reform of Tanzanian Wildlife Management
Fred Nelson, Rugemeleza Nshala, WA Rodgers
April-June 2007, 5(2):232-261
Natural resource management efforts in sub-Saharan Africa and throughout the tropics widely advocate the increased involvement of local communities in management decisions and processes. In Tanzania, wildlife management is largely centralised, featuring large state-protected areas and strict controls on resource use throughout the colonial and post-independence periods. During the past two decades a policy reform narrative has emerged in Tanzania, strongly supported by donor agencies and foreign conservation organisations, which aims to increase the participation of rural communities and decentralise wildlife management to the local level. Despite official gov­ernment policies calling for these reforms, administrative and legal measures enacted during the past 10 years have, contrastingly, increased central con­trol over wildlife and reduced the rights of rural communities. This diver­gence between the rhetoric of policy statements and management practice is best explained by the historical legacy of centralised control over wildlife and the institutional disincentives to devolving authority that have become entrenched within Tanzania's wildlife bureaucracy. These factors undermine efforts to reform the country's wildlife sector and reflect fundamental political economic challenges facing natural resource decentralisation efforts throughout much of sub-Saharan Africa and the developing world.
  3 8,855 1,309
A Strategy for Conservation of the Tibetan Gazelle Procapra picticaudata in Ladakh
Yash Veer Bhatnagar, CM Seth, J Takpa, Saleem Ul-Haq, Tsewang Namgail, Sumanta Bagchi, Charudutt Mishra
April-June 2007, 5(2):262-276
Tibetan gazelle Procapra picticaudata is endemic to the Tibetan plateau. During the early twentieth century, it was distributed over a range of c. 20,000 km 2 in Ladakh, India. Although its conservation status is believed to be secure, our surveys initiated in 2000 found that the gazelle's population in Ladakh has undergone a precipitous decline. Today, c. fifty individuals sur­vive precariously in an area of c. 100 km 2 in eastern Ladakh. Population de­clines have also been reported from Tibet, which remains its stronghold. Local extinction of the gazelle in Ladakh is imminent unless active population and habitat management are undertaken. Management measures, however, are stymied by the lack of understanding of the gazelle's ecology and the causes for its decline. Our recent studies in Ladakh establish that past hunt­ing, particularly in the aftermath of the Sino-Indian war in 1962, and contin­ued disturbance and habitat degradation associated with excessive livestock grazing are the main anthropogenic factors that caused the gazelle's decline. Our studies have also generated an understanding of the important biotic and abiotic habitat correlates of the gazelle's distribution, and the land use and socio-economy of pastoral communities that share the gazelle's range. We re­view these findings, and based on our research results, outline a species re­covery strategy for the Tibetan gazelle.
  2 2,883 449
Where Community-Based Water Resource Management has Gone Too Far: Poverty and Disempowerment in Southern Madagascar
Richard R Marcus
April-June 2007, 5(2):202-231
Madagascar has struggled with the question of decentralisation for more than three decades. Since coming to power in 2002, President Marc Ra­valomanana has both reformed and accelerated this process, granting new roles and responsibilities to regional and community leadership. This politi­cal path is consistent with shifts in natural resource management in the 1990s, notably in the water sector. We thus see the role of the national gov­ernment diminishing in favour of resource management at the community level. This paper explores the impact of increased responsibility for water management and decision making in the southern district of Ambovombe­Androy. The assumption is that this sort of decentralisation leads to empow­erment at the local level and improves accountability, civic engagement and equity. Unfortunately, in the case of Ambovombe, 'local empowerment' quickly translates to 'you're on your own'. 'Decentralisation' quickly trans­lates into state disengagement. To avoid this, a finer relationship between state and local institutional relationships and responsibilities needs to be ex­plored. Only once we understand what a community is, and what its capacity can be, can we figure out what responsibilities it needs to take on to ensure the efficacy of a state that tends to be at best inefficient and at worst preda­tory.
  - 4,000 2,186
Tropical Forests. Regional Paths of Destruction and Regeneration in the Late Twentieth Century
Edmond Dounias
April-June 2007, 5(2):277-279
  - 1,799 430
Does Environmental History Matter? Shikar, Subsistence, Sustenance and the Sciences
Radhika Govindrajan
April-June 2007, 5(2):280-283
  - 2,509 439
Reading Environmental History: A Way Out
Arupjyoti Saikia
April-June 2007, 5(2):284-287
  - 2,026 341
Protection, Politics and Protest: Understanding Resistance to Conservation
George Holmes
April-June 2007, 5(2):184-201
This paper presents a framework to understand how conservation, in particular protected areas and national parks, are resisted, based on theo­ries of subaltern politics and a review of thirty-four published case studies. It is informed largely by Scott's concept of everyday resistance, which considers the informal subtle politics involved in social conflicts where there are con­straints on the ability of some people to take open, formal action. These ideas are critiqued and adapted to the particular context of conservation regula­tion, which is distinct from many other types of rural conflict. In particular, it recognises the importance of continuing banned livelihood practices such as hunting or farming in resistance, and the particular symbolism this has in conflicts. It also shows the importance of not just social factors in these con­flicts, but also the role of physical properties of natural resources in deter­mining the form of resistance. As well as the theoretical contribution, by showing the variety of responses to this resistance this paper aims to make conservation practitioners more aware of the forms local resistance can take. Rather than being a simple call for a more socially just conservation, it goes beyond this to provide a tool to make conservation better for both local com­munities and biodiversity.
  - 5,830 1,596