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Institutions, Participation, and Protected Area Management in Western Amazonia

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Pyhala, Aili
Conference: The Commons in an Age of Globalisation, the Ninth Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of Common Property
Location: Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
Conf. Date: June 17-21, 2002
Date: 2002
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/1215
Sector: Forestry
Region: South America
Subject(s): IASC
common pool resources
Amazon River region
protected areas
local participatory management
institutional analysis
Abstract: "With the world's tropical forest cover, and the associated losses of biodiversity decreasing at alarming rates, there are still very powerful and persuasive arguments to designate large parts of Amazonia as protected areas. The past few decades have witnessed a transition in the approach of protected area implementation, from the traditional, exclusionary fortress parks approach commonly implemented in the 1970s and 80s towards an approach that seeks to directly link biodiversity conservation with local livelihoods. Although some conservationists remain reluctant about the idea of such a linkage, (Terborgh, 1999), many conservationists today believe that unless local livelihoods and conservation are made to be compatible, there is no future for conservation (McNeely and Miller, 1984; Western et al., 1994; Salafsky and Wollenberg, 2000). "Recent years have seen the emergence of 'integrated conservation and development programs' (ICDPs) and 'community-based conservation' (CBC) projects in many different parts of the world - approaches which seek to link environmental conservation with development. Such projects have prompted much discussion about the implications of the integration of human populations to the objectives of biodiversity preservation (Redclift, 1989; Robinson, 1993; Western et al., 1994). ICDPs and other projects have demonstrated that a range of factors need to be taken into account in order to achieve successful conservation performance. Amongst these, the participation of local populations has become recognised as a critical element in determining the success of any conservation or development project (West and Brechin, 1991; Ghai and Vivian, 1992; Wells and Brandon, 1993; Little, 1994; Pimbert and Pretty, 1995; Kothari et al., 1996; Hall, 1997; Warner, 1997). Despite widespread recognition, participation of local populations is a relatively new and foreign notion in conservation circles, and is proving to be more a myth than a local reality. As a result, many protected areas today remain little more than parks on paper, with few cases demonstrating effectiveness in preserving biodiversity and in enhancing human welfare. "This paper presents empirical data from the National Reserve of Allpahuayo-Mishana in North-eastern Peru to discuss the importance of participation in protected area design, planning, and management in achieving successful reserve management. The paper examines exactly what participation entails, who should be involved in the process, and argues that in order for it to be more effectively promoted, institutional conflicts and limitations must be addressed and overcome. This paper highlights the importance of institutions both in promoting participation, and in directly enhancing sustainable management of a protected area. Institutional arrangements are analysed at the national, regional and local level to diagnose the root causes of current shortcomings in protected area."

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