What Scope for CMAs to Improve Environmental Income? The Case of Rwenzori Mountains National Park, Uganda

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2009

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Abstract

"Collaborative management agreements (CMAs) between communities and government agencies managing protected areas are widely promoted as an opportunity for rural households to benefit from their proximity to natural areas. However, such agreements often have high costs of negotiation and frequently yield limited substantive benefits at the household level. Using data from a detailed quarterly income survey undertaken in six communities adjacent to Rwenzori Mountains National Park in western Uganda, this paper addresses the question: do collaborative management agreements have substantive benefits for rural households living adjacent to protected areas? The focus of the analysis is on the role of forest income obtained from the harvesting of goods from within and outside the protected area. Households in communities with collaborative management agreements with the Uganda Wildlife Authority are compared with households in communities that do not have collaborative management agreements. A quasi-experimental research design is used: data collected in 2007 are compared with data collected in 2003 prior to the establishment of the CMAs."

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environmental economics, collaboration, co-management, rural affairs, harvesting, forest products, households

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