Reconciling Local Conservation Practice with Global Discourse: The Trouble with Sea Turtles

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"The traditional wildlife conservation narrative relies on the tragedy of the commons argument to explain wildlife depletion, and proposes guarded, people-free parks and protected areas as a solution to the problem. More recently, a conservation counternarrative proposes community- based conservation and sustainable use of wildlife as means to promote ownership of, and create financial incentives for, conservation by local people. Due to the charismatic nature of sea turtles, their global distribution, their long distance migrations and other biological characteristics, the relevance of the counternarrative for this species is contested. This paper analyses the debate about how best to conserve sea turtles, and specifically how this debate is constructed around issues of ownership at different scales. Case studies of sea turtle conservation in Costa Rica are used to illustrate the specific difficulties in pursuing community-based conservation and sustainable use at the local level, when dealing with a globally valued resource."



IASC, common pool resources--case studies, turtles, conservation--case studies, property rights, community participation, tourism