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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| April-June  | Volume 11 | Issue 2  
    Online since July 29, 2013

 
 
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ARTICLES
How Biodiversity Conservation Policy Accelerates Agrarian Differentiation: The Account of an Upland Village in Vietnam
Wolfram H Dressler, Phuc Xuan To, Sango Mahanty
April-June 2013, 11(2):130-143
DOI:10.4103/0972-4923.115727  
This paper shows how the implementation of Vietnam's recent biodiversity conservation policy in Ba Vi National Park has increased the economic value of nature, created sustained conflict, and exacerbated agrarian differentiation in an upland village in northern Vietnam. Increased global and national interest in biodiversity conservation has intersected with markets for ecosystem services that attempt to commoditise biodiversity resources in Ba Vi National Park and reconfigure conservation as market-based development. Efforts to marketise conservation have simultaneously increased the financial value of forestland and drawn new capital investments. In Ba Vi, local elites have captured these new forms of wealth through their connections to political parties, reinforcing the already unequal distributions of wealth and power. Coupled with political power, rising land value has also allowed local elites to become landlords, with the capacity to further dispossess other villagers. The resulting skewed access to natural resources has widened the gap between poor and wealthy villagers, and contributes to their over-exploitation of forests within the Park through informal agricultural expansion. The ensuing local conflicts have also negatively affected livelihoods and biodiversity resources.
  5 3,805 562
Who Gains and Who Loses from Compensated Displacement from Protected Areas? The Case of the Derema Corridor, Tanzania
Salla E Rantala, Heini Vihemäki, Brent M Swallow, George Jambiya
April-June 2013, 11(2):97-111
DOI:10.4103/0972-4923.115721  
Increasing attention is being paid to the social impacts of the exclusionary nature of conservation, as well as the mechanisms and policies put in place to mitigate negative impacts. Yet, factors that condition the restoration of well-being among people whose access to resources has changed due to conservation are still poorly understood. In this article we present an analytical framework for studying the social impacts of conservation interventions, and factors affecting post-intervention livelihood rehabilitation. We use this framework to analyse the consequences of the displacement of farmers from the Derema Corridor in northeastern Tanzania, who were given monetary compensation to mitigate livelihood losses. Drawing from qualitative and quantitative data collected over two years following their displacement, we find that the conservation intervention contributed to local social differentiation. Women and the poorest farmers experienced the strongest negative impacts, whereas those who were previously better-off emerged as relative winners among those affected. For more fair and equitable social outcomes, we recommend that conservation planners give careful attention to identifying rights-holders entitled to compensation, promptly implement ex ante risk management mechanisms, and give careful attention to the most appropriate forms of compensation and support measures in the local political economy context.
  5 3,706 757
The Impact of Participatory Forest Management on Local Community Livelihoods in the Arabuko-Sokoke Forest, Kenya
Paul Matiku, Mireri Caleb, Ogol Callistus
April-June 2013, 11(2):112-129
DOI:10.4103/0972-4923.115724  
This study examines the impact of participatory forest management (PFM) on forest-adjacent household livelihoods in the Arabuko-Sokoke forest in Kenya. It compares the impacts on households near PFM forests (PFM zones) with those near forests with no participatory management (non-PFM zones). The study questions were: does conservation of the Arabuko-Sokoke forest result in net household incomes?; does PFM increase net household benefits?; and are household benefits uniformly distributed within the 5 km PFM intervention zone? The hypotheses tested were: forest conservation benefits exceed forest conservation costs; PFM zones have higher household benefits than non-PFM zones; and benefits and costs reduce with distance from forest edge. In the year 2009, we collected data on household benefits and costs in PFM and non-PFM zones. Data were collected along 10 km transects at 1 km intervals, sampling 600 households up to 5 km away from the forest. The results show varied household dependence on the Arabuko-Sokoke forest. The forest benefits exceed costs in PFM zones but the forest is a cost in non-PFM zones, and costs and benefits reduce with distance from forest edge. The study concludes that, though not cheap, PFM is a tool that can help the Arabuko-Sokoke forest win the support of the adjacent local communities.
  2 11,280 1,332
Analysis of Local Attitudes Toward the Sacred Groves of Meghalaya and Karnataka, India
Alison Ormsby
April-June 2013, 11(2):187-197
DOI:10.4103/0972-4923.115722  
The sacred groves of India represent a long-held tradition of community management of forests for cultural reasons. This study used social science research methods in the states of Meghalaya and Karnataka to determine local attitudes toward the sacred groves, elements of sacred grove management including restrictions on resource use, as well as ceremonies associated with sacred groves. Over a seven-month period, 156 interviews were conducted in 17 communities. Residents identified existing taboos on use of natural resources in the sacred groves, consequences of breaking the taboos, and the frequency and types of rituals associated with the sacred groves. Results show that numerous factors contribute to pressures on sacred groves, including cultural change and natural resource demands. In Meghalaya, the frequency of rituals conducted in association with the sacred groves is declining. In both Meghalaya and Karnataka, there is economic pressure to extract resources from sacred groves or to reduce the sacred grove size, particularly for coffee production in Kodagu in Karnataka. Support for traditional ceremonies, existing local community resource management, and comprehensive education programs associated with the sacred groves is recommended.
  2 7,410 878
The New State of Nature: Rising Sea-levels, Climate Justice, and Community-based Adaptation in Papua New Guinea (2003-2011)
David Lipset
April-June 2013, 11(2):144-158
DOI:10.4103/0972-4923.115726  
If a legal 'vacuum' exists at the international level, and no domestic or national remedy can be found, and (non-government organisations) NGOs have not taken up their cause, then where may climate vulnerable people look to find adaptation strategies and remedies for the equity and justice issues contained within them? With the goal of investigating one kind of answer to this question, this case study examines local-level discourse about the prospect of internal resettlement in Papua New Guinea, where slow-onset, coastal erosion has been going on since 2003. Among the several points illustrated, an institutional absence is revealed-the postcolonial state. In response to its ineffective initiative, villagers express ambivalences about, and attachments to, place, as well as fears about resettlement. They have also begun to devise and debate community-based adaptations. The latter offer a temporary solution and an illusion of local agency, but no justice.
  - 5,515 843
On Using Mental Model Interviews to Improve Camera Trapping: Adapting Research to Costeño Environmental Knowledge
Christopher A Jordan, Gerald R Urquhart, Daniel B Kramer
April-June 2013, 11(2):159-175
DOI:10.4103/0972-4923.115725  
In many regions, including our study area along the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua, it is necessary to apply traditional or local environmental knowledge in biological research projects based in Western scientific knowledge. In such projects, it is important for both researchers and local people that the integration of the two knowledge systems: a) produces scientifically rigorous reports, and b) justly benefits local people. As every knowledge system is unique, there is no universal list of best-practices that will attain these two goals. To discover the best-practices for a particular project, it is necessary to develop the unique relationship between the two knowledge systems and related research methodologies based on personal experience. To gain this experience in the context of our camera trapping project that integrates traditional environmental knowledge, we undertook mental model interviews with local people. Interview results revealed the environmental knowledge our local assistants are most likely to share with us. We used this information to refine our sampling methodology to ensure scientifically rigorous results, and to appropriately engage locals to ensure the project yielded locally desirable benefits. This or a similar technique could be used by other researchers in comparable contexts to yield more comprehensively beneficial results.
  - 2,926 316
Transforming Saltbush: Science, Mobility, and Metaphor in the Remaking of Intercolonial Worlds
Jodi Frawley, Heather Goodall
April-June 2013, 11(2):176-186
DOI:10.4103/0972-4923.115723  
The movement of exotic biota into native ecosystems are central to debates about the acclimatisation of plants in the settler colonies of the nineteenth century. For example, plants like lucerne from Europe and sudan grass from South Africa were transferred to Australia to support pastoral economies. The saltbush Atriplex spp. is an anomaly-it too, eventually, became the subject of acclimatisation within its native Australia because it was also deemed useful to the pastoralists of arid and semi-arid New South Wales. When settlers first came to this part of Australia, however, initial perceptions were that the plants were useless. We trace this transformation from the desert 'desperation' plant during early settlement to the 'precious' conservation species, from the 1880s, when there were changes in both management strategies and cultural responses to saltbush in Australia. This reconsideration can be seen in scientific assessments and experiments, in the way that it was commoditised by seeds and nursery traders, and in its use as a metaphor in bush poetry to connote a gendered nationalist figure in Saltbush Bill. We argue that while initial settlers were often so optimistic about European management techniques, they had nothing but contempt for indigenous plants. The later impulses to the conservation of natives arose from experiences of bitter failure and despair over attempts to impose European methods, which in turn forced this re-evaluation of Australian species.
  - 3,030 270
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