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Conservation and Society
An interdisciplinary journal exploring linkages between society, environment and development
Conservation and Society
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   2013| January-March  | Volume 11 | Issue 1  
    Online since March 30, 2013

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Exploring the Relationship Between Local Support and the Success of Protected Areas
George Holmes
January-March 2013, 11(1):72-82
The idea that the support of local people is essential for the success of protected areas is widespread in conservation, underpinning various conservation paradigms and policies, yet it has rarely been critically examined. This paper explores the circumstances which determine whether or not local opposition to protected areas can cause them to fail. It focuses on the power relations between protected areas and local communities, and how easily they can influence one another. We present a case study from the Dominican Republic, where despite two decades of resentment with protected policies, local people are unable to significantly challenge them because of fears of violence from guards, inability to reach important political arenas, social ties with guards, and the inability to coordinate action. It concludes by arguing that there are often substantial barriers that prevent local people from challenging unpopular conservation policies, and that local support is not necessarily essential for conservation.
  6 7,035 1,225
Social Dimensions of 'Nature at Risk' in the Galápagos Islands, Ecuador
Flora Lu, Gabriela Valdivia, Wendy Wolford
January-March 2013, 11(1):83-95
The Galápagos National Park is an iconic site of environmental conservation; hundreds of thousands of tourists, students, and scientists have visited the islands since the national park was founded in 1959. What a casual visitor to the region might fail to see, however, is the history of conflict that has accompanied the formation and maintenance of the park. In 2007, the tension on the Galápagos Islands became so great that UNESCO put it on their list of World Natural Heritage Sites 'In Danger', arguing that the Galápagos Islands residents had to resolve a set of problems before the effects of increasing population numbers and poor management overran the unique natural environment. We draw on the literature within political ecology and argue that while there was broad agreement on the 'facts' of the crisis, people on the islands interpreted those facts very differently; individual assumptions, beliefs, and experiences imbued the facts with different and often confrontational meanings that, in turn, shaped the possibility of managing the crisis. Based on in-depth qualitative research conducted between 2007 and 2011, we illustrate the differences in the way people 'see'-or understand and experience-the problems on the islands, and show how these differences continue to complicate the search for resolution.
  2 6,753 798
National Parks and ICCAs in the High Himalayan Region of Nepal: Challenges and Opportunities
Stan Stevens
January-March 2013, 11(1):29-45
In Nepal, as in many states worldwide, national parks and other protected areas have often been established in the customary territories of indigenous peoples by superimposing state-declared and governed protected areas on pre-existing systems of land use and management which are now internationally considered to be Indigenous Peoples' and Community Conserved Territories and Areas (ICCAs, also referred to Community Conserved Areas, CCAs). State intervention often ignores or suppresses ICCAs, inadvertently or deliberately undermining and destroying them along with other aspects of indigenous peoples' cultures, livelihoods, self-governance, and self-determination. Nepal's high Himalayan national parks, however, provide examples of how some indigenous peoples such as the Sharwa (Sherpa) of Sagarmatha (Mount Everest/Chomolungma) National Park (SNP) have continued to maintain customary ICCAs and even to develop new ones despite lack of state recognition, respect, and coordination. The survival of these ICCAs offers Nepal an opportunity to reform existing laws, policies, and practices, both to honour UN-recognised human and indigenous rights that support ICCAs and to meet International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) standards and guidelines for ICCA recognition and for the governance and management of protected areas established in indigenous peoples' territories. The challenge will be for Nepal to reverse long-established inter-ethnic and governmental relationships which have dispossessed and marginalised indigenous peoples and insufficiently respected their knowledge, institutions, conservation contributions, and human rights in national parks. This article explores the political ecology of ICCAs in Nepal's Himalayan national parks, with particular focus on SNP.
  2 6,163 1,168
Conservation as if People Also Mattered: Policy and Practice of Community-based Conservation
Ashish Kothari, Philip Camill, Jessica Brown
January-March 2013, 11(1):1-15
Community-based conservation is being increasingly recognised as a major global force in the protection and sustainable management of ecosystems and species. Yet documentation of its main achievements and shortcomings, and the key issues it faces, is still at a nascent stage. This paper introduces the concept and experience of two forms of community-based conservation: Collaborative Management of Protected Areas (CMPA), and Indigenous Peoples' and Local Community Conserved Territories and Areas (ICCAs). It explores the emergence of these approaches in the context of global international conservation policy. Reviewing four case studies that were presented at a symposium convened at the Bowdoin College (Maine, USA, in November 2008), and drawing from the discussion during that session, it identifies some key lessons and principles that are likely to be applicable to community-based conservation across the world.
  2 8,653 2,323
Bureaucratic Barriers Limit Local Participatory Governance in Protected Areas in Costa Rica
Xavier Basurto
January-March 2013, 11(1):16-28
The importance of local participation in biodiversity governance was recently recognised by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) through the incorporation of Indigenous Peoples' and Local Community Conserved Territories and Areas (ICCAs) as a protected area category. This paper explores what barriers ICCAs might face in their successful implementation within already existing protected area systems. I look at this issue in the context of the decentralisation of biodiversity governance in Costa Rica and examine the internal makeup of four different conservation areas within the National System of Conservation Areas. My findings suggest that it is not enough to enact legal reforms allowing and encouraging local participation. Successfully involving local participation requires attention to the class-based relationships within the protected area bureaucracy that create incentives (or not) to link with the local rural citizenry affected by these areas. In three out of four conservation areas, the dominant social class and urban-rural dynamics combined with a lack of accountability mechanisms have discouraged any real rural involvement and empowerment for decision-making. The strategy of the one area that succeeded at sorting these obstacles to incorporate local participation is described in detail.
  - 5,310 1,060
New England's Community Forests: Comparing a Regional Model to ICCAs
Martha West Lyman, Cecilia Danks, Maureen McDonough
January-March 2013, 11(1):46-59
This paper examines the ways in which some forms of community forests in the northeastern United States could be considered Indigenous Peoples' and Community Conserved Territories and Areas (ICCAs), based on the work conducted by the Community Forest Collaborative, a partnership of four non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in the US. The Collaborative defined a Community Forest Model for northern New England, conducted research on the economic, social, community, and conservation values of the Community Forest Model and developed case studies on five community forest projects. Five key attributes of ICCAs were selected and used to compare with characteristics of the Collaborative's Community Forest Model. The results conclude that the Community Forest Model is very consistent and compatible with the characteristics of ICCAs, defined by Kothari (2006), and further, that there would be benefits both to community forests in New England as well as to other ICCAs to include the Community Forest Model as an example of an ICCA.
  - 3,803 653
Co-management in the Maine Lobster Industry: A Study in Factional Politics
James M Acheson
January-March 2013, 11(1):60-71
One of the most promising mechanisms to conserve fish stocks is co-management, a type of ICCA (Indigenous Peoples' and Community Conserved Territories and Area), in which responsibilities are shared by resource users and the government. In Maine, the lobster co-management system, established in 1995, divides the coast into seven zones. It permits license holders in each zone to recommend rules on four issues to the commissioner of the Department of Marine Resources. This article describes the history of the Maine lobster co-management system, emphasising the role of factional politics in determining the development of policies and rules. In the Maine co-management system, political outcomes depend on the power of factions of fishermen and the coalitions of those factions with government units at higher scales. Cross-scale cooperation is necessary. In the cases where such a cross-scale coalition existed, rules were passed and policies went into effect. In those cases where no such coalition existed, gridlock reigned. If we wish to understand the production of rules for the lobster industry, we must focus not only on the actions of different industry factions, but also on the byzantine relationships between lower levels of management (i.e., the zone councils and the Lobster Advisory Council) and higher scale institutions (i.e., legislature, Maine Department of Marine Resources, etc.). In this paper, special attention is paid to the reasons that stricter trap limits have not been devised, despite the fact that such limits would solve a variety of serious problems.
  - 5,574 923