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Conservation and Society
An interdisciplinary journal exploring linkages between society, environment and development
Conservation and Society
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   2015| July-September  | Volume 13 | Issue 3  
    Online since November 24, 2015

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Wildlife Protection, Community Participation in Conservation, and (Dis) Empowerment in Southern Tanzania
Christine Noe, Richard Y. M. Kangalawe
July-September 2015, 13(3):244-253
The debate about conservation and human welfare (poverty or development) is no longer new in the literature. Yet, poverty and conservation challenges persist. This paper seeks to demonstrate how community involvement in conservation has both empowering and disempowering effects. The paper uses two villages in the Namtumbo district, one representing those villages that are involved in wildlife protection and the other representing those villages that are not involved in conservation. The paper addresses two questions: 1) does community participation in wildlife protection lead to their empowerment? and 2) does empowerment, in turn, lead to community development? Different methods of data collection were used, including quantitative interviews using questionnaire and the qualitative techniques (such as group discussions, observations, and secondary analysis of policies and village documents related to wildlife conservation projects). Findings from these sources drive the main argument of the paper that the relationship between community participation in conservation and economic empowerment remains problematic after two decades of community-based conservation interventions.
  8,308 1,120 -
Women, Human-Wildlife Conflict, and CBNRM: Hidden Impacts and Vulnerabilities in Kwandu Conservancy, Namibia
Kathryn Elizabeth Khumalo, Laurie Ann Yung
July-September 2015, 13(3):232-243
Community-based natural resource management (CBNRM) programmes are designed to ensure that rural residents benefit from conservation initiatives. But where human-wildlife conflict threatens life and livelihood, wildlife impacts can undermine the goals of CBNRM. Based on research on women's experiences in Namibia's Kwandu Conservancy, we examine both the visible and hidden impacts of human-wildlife conflict. In Kwandu Conservancy, the effects of human-wildlife conflict are ongoing, reaching beyond direct material losses to include hidden impacts such as persistent worries about food insecurity, fears for physical safety, and lost investments. Existing vulnerabilities related to poverty and marital statuses make some women more susceptible to wildlife impacts, and less able to recover from losses or to access compensation. This process may actually deepen the vulnerability of women whose economic status is already marginal. Because the benefits of wildlife conservation accrue at multiple scales, we recommend that the cost of human-wildlife conflict be better distributed, with additional resources for prevention and compensation made available for conservancy residents.
  4,660 1,473 -
The Politics of Natural Resource Enclosure in South Africa and Ecuador
Melissa Hansen, Mine Islar, Torsten Krause
July-September 2015, 13(3):287-298
The paper examines the ways in which states facilitate 'new enclosures' of natural resources, and the challenges of this as a strategy of development and environmental sustainability. We argue that enclosures introduce significant changes in property regimes, which redefine conditions for the access and control of land and forest, especially for tribal and indigenous communities. In this context, we analyse two state-initiated projects-the iSimangaliso Wetland Park in South Africa, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and the Socio Bosque incentive conservation programme in Ecuador.
  4,513 988 -
Living with Invasive Plants in the Anthropocene: The Importance of Understanding Practice and Experience
Lesley Head, Brendon M.H. Larson, Richard Hobbs, Jennifer Atchison, Nick Gill, Christian Kull, Haripriya Rangan
July-September 2015, 13(3):311-318
The role of humans in facilitating the rapid spread of plants at a scale that is considered invasive is one manifestation of the Anthropocene, now framed as a geological period in which humans are the dominant force in landscape transformation. Invasive plant management faces intensified challenges, and can no longer be viewed in terms of 'eradication' or 'restoration of original landscapes'. In this perspectives piece, we focus on the practice and experience of people engaged in invasive plant management, using examples from Australia and Canada. We show how managers 1) face several pragmatic trade-offs; 2) must reconcile diverse views, even within stakeholder groups; 3) must balance competing temporal scales; 4) encounter tensions with policy; and 5) face critical and under-acknowledged labour challenges. These themes show the variety of considerations based on which invasive plant managers make complex decisions about when, where, and how to intervene. Their widespread pragmatic acceptance of small, situated gains (as well as losses) combines with impressive long-term commitments to the task of invasives management. We suggest that the actual practice of weed management challenges those academic perspectives that still aspire to attain pristine nature.
  3,732 676 -
Locating Human-Wildlife Interactions: Landscape Constructions and Responses to Large Carnivore Conservation in India and Norway
Sunetro Ghosal, Ketil Skogen, Siddhartha Krishnan
July-September 2015, 13(3):265-274
People's reactions to large carnivores take many forms, ranging from support and coexistence to resistance and conflict. While these reactions are the outcome of many different factors, in this paper we specifically explore the link between social constructions of landscapes and divergent responses to large carnivore presence. We compare case studies from four different landscapes shared by people and large carnivores, in India and Norway. We use social construction of landscapes as a key concept to explore responses to large carnivores in the context of ecological, economic, social, and cultural changes in these areas. Based on this comparison, we argue that the process of change is complex, with a plurality of responses from the groups affected by it. The response to large carnivore presence is influenced by many different factors, of which the interpretation of change-particularly landscape change-plays a significant role.
  3,330 521 -
Market-based Conservation in Melanesia: Contrasting Expectations of Landowners and Conservationists
Bridget Marie Henning
July-September 2015, 13(3):299-310
Conservationists have long been interested in the biodiverse country of Papua New Guinea but have had limited success on the ground. Direct payments for conservation appeal to Western conservationists because they compete with the material benefits from resource extraction enterprises. Direct payments are also attractive to Melanesian villagers because they appear to be the beginning of socially appropriate reciprocal relationships with conservationists. Market-based conservation assumes exchange takes place between independent, self-interested actors, but Melanesian villagers assume that exchange takes place between morally obligated, interdependent actors. Such cultural differences led to contradictory expectations and friction between conservationists and villagers in Wanang Conservation, the particular ethnographic focus of this article. However, direct payments have simultaneously satisfied some expectations of both parties. Direct payments may be useful in conservation but for different reasons than expected. They succeed as part of a wider socially acceptable reciprocal relationship, but direct payments alone will likely fail.
  3,417 397 -
Participatory Monitoring and Management of Subsistence Hunting in the Piagaçu-Purus Reserve, Brazil
Marina Albuquerque Regina de Mattos Vieira, Eduardo Matheus von Muhlen, Glenn H Shepard
July-September 2015, 13(3):254-264
The Sustainable Development Reserve (RDS) model in Brazil provides legal context for monitoring wildlife with the involvement of local populations in gathering data and developing strategies for sustainable use. We present results of one year of self monitoring by hunters in five communities within the RDS-PP, discuss how the observed patterns reflect local hunting regulations, and suggest how this information could be incorporated into a formal management system. In addition to the offtake data, we interviewed hunters, inquiring about informal community hunting norms and agreements, and analysed the content of 19 rules in the reserve's management plan. 509 hunting events were recorded by 37 of the 104 families present (35%). Self monitoring permitted the evaluation of temporal and spatial fluctuations of hunting activities, notably regarding ease of canoe transport during the high-water season. Though communities have been apprehensive about developing regulations for subsistence hunting, one of the communities had developed a set of formal rules. Hunting for commercial sale to outsiders and restrictions on external hunters are concerns shared by the local population and the reserve management agencies. Such data and understanding are crucial to the management of protected areas in the Brazilian Amazon, where governance is often limited.
  3,272 512 -
Building Participation in Large-scale Conservation: Lessons from Belize and Panama
Jesse Guite Hastings
July-September 2015, 13(3):221-231
Motivated by biogeography and a desire for alignment with the funding priorities of donors, the twenty-first century has seen big international NGOs shifting towards a large-scale conservation approach. This shift has meant that even before stakeholders at the national and local scale are involved, conservation programmes often have their objectives defined and funding allocated. This paper uses the experiences of Conservation International's Marine Management Area Science (MMAS) programme in Belize and Panama to explore how to build participation at the national and local scale while working within the bounds of the current conservation paradigm. Qualitative data about MMAS was gathered through a multi-sited ethnographic research process, utilising document review, direct observation, and semi-structured interviews with 82 informants in Belize, Panama, and the United States of America. Results indicate that while a large-scale approach to conservation disadvantages early national and local stakeholder participation, this effect can be mediated through focusing engagement efforts, paying attention to context, building horizontal and vertical partnerships, and using deliberative processes that promote learning. While explicit consideration of geopolitics and local complexity alongside biogeography in the planning phase of a large-scale conservation programme is ideal, actions taken by programme managers during implementation can still have a substantial impact on conservation outcomes.
  2,835 716 -
Changing Fire Governance in Gabon's Plateaux Bateke Savanna Landscape
Gretchen Marie Walters
July-September 2015, 13(3):275-286
In many African savannas, anthropogenic fire regimes are changing for reasons that are poorly understood. However, these changes will likely impact landscapes. Using the case of the Teke-Alima people of Gabon's savannas, the transition from communal, annual hunting fires, organised by land chiefs, to semi-annual, hunting fires lit by individuals is explored through a fire governance analysis. The centralisation of authority over natural resources with the state was key in changing the fire regime in the 1960s. This shift resulted from the reduction of customary authority over fire use and was compounded by the introduction of guns, population movements, and the rise of the Bateke elite. Today, the state is considering co-management of some areas, and fire is being used to manage landscapes created by historic fire governance. Understanding the past regimes that created the current landscape, and engaging with the people who are still part of the remnant customary system will be critical for shaping future management decisions.
  2,583 296 -
Social Conflict, Economic Development and Extractive Industry: Evidence from South America
Matthew Himley
July-September 2015, 13(3):321-322
  1,781 280 -
Gender, Development and Environmental Governance: Theorizing Connections
Patrik Oskarsson
July-September 2015, 13(3):319-320
  1,416 209 -