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Conservation and Society
An interdisciplinary journal exploring linkages between society, environment and development
Conservation and Society
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   2011| July-September  | Volume 9 | Issue 3  
    Online since November 1, 2011

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Illegal logging in the Northern Sierra Madre Natural Park, the Philippines
Jan van der Ploeg, Merlijn van Weerd, Andres B Masipiqueña, Gerard A Persoon
July-September 2011, 9(3):202-215
Illegal logging is a threat to biodiversity and rural livelihoods in the Northern Sierra Madre Natural Park, the largest protected area in the Philippines. Every year between 20,000 and 35,000 cu. m wood is extracted from the park. The forestry service and municipal governments tolerate illegal logging in the protected area; government officials argue that banning an important livelihood activity of households along the forest frontier will aggravate rural poverty. However this reasoning underestimates the scale of timber extraction, and masks resource capture and collusive corruption. Illegal logging in fact forms an obstacle for sustainable rural development in and around the protected area by destroying ecosystems, distorting markets, and subverting the rule of law. Strengthening law enforcement and controlling corruption are prerequisites for sustainable forest management in and around protected areas in insular southeast Asia.
  35,472 1,868 8
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
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.
  8,922 1,660 19
Hungry for success: Urban consumer demand for wild animal products in Vietnam
Rebecca Drury
July-September 2011, 9(3):247-257
Rising urban prosperity is escalating demand for wild animal products in Vietnam. Conservation interventions seek to influence consumer demand, but are based on a limited understanding of consumers and consumption behaviour. This report presents key findings of a structured survey (n=915) and semi-structured interviews (n=78) to investigate the social context of consumption of wild animal-derived products among the population of central Hanoi. Wildmeat is the product most commonly reported consumed-predominantly by successful, high-income, high-status males of all ages and educational levels-and is used as a medium to communicate prestige and obtain social leverage. As Vietnam's economy grows and its population ages, demand for wildmeat and medicinal products is likely to rise. Given the difficulties of acting on personal rather than collective interests and the symbolic role of wildmeat in an extremely status-conscious society, reducing demand is challenging. Influencing consumer behaviour over the long term requires social marketing expertise and has to be informed by an in-depth understanding, achieved using appropriate methods, of the social drivers of consumer demand for wild animal products. In the meantime, strengthened enforcement is needed to prevent the demand being met from consumers prepared to pay the rising costs of finding the last individuals of a species.
  8,160 1,092 10
What is a conservation actor?
Paul Jepson, Maan Barua, Kathleen Buckingham
July-September 2011, 9(3):229-235
As a crisis-oriented discipline, conservation biology needs actions to understand the state of nature and thwart declines in biodiversity. Actors-traditionally individuals, institutions, and collectives-have been central to delivering such goals in practice. However, the definition of actors within the discipline has been narrow and their role in influencing conservation outcomes inadequately conceptualised. In this paper, we examine the question 'What is a conservation actor?' Who or what creates the capacity to influence conservation values and actions? Drawing from theoretical developments in Actor-Network Theory and collective governance, we argue that the concept of an actor in conservation biology should be broadened to include non-humans, such as species and devices, because they have the agency and ability to influence project goals and outcomes. We illustrate this through four examples: the Asian elephant, International Union for Conservation of Nature red lists, the High Conservation Value approach, and an Integrated Conservation and Development Project. We argue that a broader conceptualisation of actors in conservation biology will produce new forms of understanding that could open up new areas of conservation research, enhance practice and draw attention to spheres of conservation activity that might require stronger oversight and governance.
  6,842 1,365 10
Does population increase equate to conservation success? Forest fragmentation and conservation of the black howler monkey
Miriam S Wyman, Taylor V Stein, Jane Southworth, Robert H Horwich
July-September 2011, 9(3):216-228
The Community Baboon Sanctuary (CBS) in Belize is a community reserve for the endangered black howler monkey (Alouatta pigra). This study assessed the performance of the CBS as an International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Category IV protected area through deforestation and forest fragmentation of the CBS and 500 m river buffer, and impacts on black howler monkey habitat over 15 years (1989-2004). Using satellite imagery remote sensing and landscape metrics, this study helps fill the gap in our understanding of forest fragmentation processes and habitat provision, using the black howler monkey as a specific example. Increased fragmentation resulted in decreased forest cover by 33% within both the CBS and river buffer. However, connectivity between habitat patches has remained high, indicating that dispersal and colonising potential between most forest patches has not been jeopardised. We conclude that conservation within the CBS may be more complex than simply equating forest conservation with black howler monkey conservation. One could say the CBS has been successful at black howler monkey conservation, as documented by population increases over the past 20 years. However, if the conservation objective is forest preservation, one could conclude conservation failure and may signal that the CBS should not be managed for a single outcome as assigned by an IUCN Category IV designation.
  6,007 715 -
The king of the forest: Local knowledge about European brown bears (Ursus arctos) and implications for their conservation in contemporary Western Macedonia
Nicolas Lescureux, John D.C. Linnell, Sabit Mustafa, Dime Melovski, Aleksandar Stojanov, Gjorge Ivanov, Vasko Avukatov
July-September 2011, 9(3):189-201
From a conservation point of view, Macedonia's brown bear (Ursus arctos) population appears to be a key link in the distribution of one of Europe's largest brown bear populations, the Dinaric-Pindos population. The lack of information concerning the bear population in the Republic of Macedonia and bear acceptance by local people inspired us to explore local knowledge and perceptions concerning bears that could be relevant for their conservation. Accordingly, we adopted a qualitative approach using semi-structured interviews to determine how the specific behaviour and ecology of bears can influence, through interactions, local peoples' knowledge and perceptions. Our results show that due to numerous interactions, the informants' knowledge appeared to be detailed and consistent, both internally and with existing scientific literature about bears. Bear specific behaviour allows them to be located, individualised and thus appropriated by villagers, and also to be identified as an alter-ego. For the villagers, the occasional harmfulness of a bear is not the result of a general characteristic of bears in general, but of some individual bear's behaviour. Finally, bears enjoy a relatively good image as long as local people can react against individuals that cause damage. However, direct or indirect poaching of bears is still a main concern for the Macedonian brown bear's conservation.
  5,821 748 4
Foraging behaviour of Brazilian riverine and coastal fishers: How much is explained by the optimal foraging theory?
Priscila F.M. Lopes, Mariana Clauzet, Natalia Hanazaki, Milena Ramires, Renato A.M. Silvano, Alpina Begossi
July-September 2011, 9(3):236-246
Optimal Foraging Theory (OFT) is here applied to analyse the foraging behaviour of Brazilian artisanal fishers of the Atlantic coast (Itacuruçá and São Paulo Bagre villages) and of the inland Amazonian region (Jarauá and Ebenezer villages). Two OFT predictions are tested. Hypotheis1: A fisher who travels to more distant sites should return with more fish, and Hypothesis 2: The further a fisher goes, the longer s/he should stay fishing in a patch. OFT did not explain fishers' behaviour (non-significant regressions for coastal villages) or explain it in specific seasons (low water season for one Amazonian village: H1 r 2 =24.1; H2 r 2 =37.2) and in specific habitats (e.g., lakes and backwaters in Jarauá village, Lakes: H1 r 2 =13.5; H2 r 2 =24.0; Backwaters: H1 r 2 =34.4; H2 r 2 =46.5). The findings can indicate areas or seasons that are under higher fishing pressure, when fishers try to get the best out of a situation without any concern about resource conservation. By knowing the variables that influence fishers' decision-making processes, management initiatives may be more fine-tuned to the local reality and are thus more likely to succeed.
  4,504 574 2
David McDermott Hughes' Response to Bram Büscher's Review of Whiteness in Zimbabwe: Race, landscape, and the problem of belonging
David McDermott Hughes
July-September 2011, 9(3):259-260
  3,056 339 -
Bram Büscher's Review of Whiteness in Zimbabwe: Race, landscape, and the problem of belonging
Bram Büscher
July-September 2011, 9(3):258-259
  945 212 -