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Conservation and Development: Challenges and Innovative Partnerships

Added on -2019-09-21

This article discusses the challenges of integrating conservation and development goals and the need for innovative partnerships. It highlights the importance of cross-scale institutional linkages for better outcomes. The article also provides examples of successful community-based conservation programs and the role of relationships and networks between actors in conservation and development intervention. The subject of the article is conservation and development, and the course code, course name, and college/university are not mentioned.
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1. 1 Background to the ResearchConservation and development have been organized and conducted in different forms. Often, thegoals of conservation were thought to be conflicting with the goals of development. Traditional,exclusionary approaches to protected areas using “fortress conservation” or “fences and fines”approaches have not met the conservation objectives effectively (Brown, 2002). Theseapproaches distance local resource users, perceiving as drain on the scarce resources of manycountries, impoverishing and marginalizing rural communities in poverty (Brown, 2002). Theexperiences of community-based conservation programs in the 1980s and 1990s have convincedresearchers and donor agencies that programs must be based on the active support of localresource users providing appropriate incentives, and institutional support (Mahanty, 2002). Theattempts to integrate development with conservation in the community-based approach, puttingpeople at the forefront, has achieved some success through the integrated conservation anddevelopment projects of the 1980s, community-based conservation of the 1990s and emergingtrends in resource management, wildlife use and extraction more recently. Some critics havepointed out that even these people-oriented approaches to conservation have largely failed toachieve their main goal: the protection of biological diversity (Wilshusen et al., 2002).Hence, the general trend had been that the results of community-based conservation had beenmixed. There are not enough community level successful cases that provide evidence tosubstantiate the claim that conservation and development efforts could be met simultaneously.Many researchers have cited different reasons for the failure of integrating conservation anddevelopment goals and one of them is the impracticality of the approaches used. Others havesuggested that conservation and development integration have failed since there aremisconceptions about community, participation, empowerment and sustainability (Brown, 2002).Participation and partnerships among different levels of government and community is emergingas a new approach ensuring sustainable management of biodiversity resources and promotingcommunity development and reducing poverty.Even for corporations (Waddock, 1988) and governments (Wildridge et al., 2004), especiallywith the modernization agenda and with the forces of globalization, it is no longer effective fororganizations to work alone. Within the public, private and voluntary sectors, the need forpartnerships working, often cross-sectoral working or working beyond the boundaries isrecognized as a vital component of success (Wildridge et al., 2004). Recognizing partnerships assignificant vehicle for implementing rural development policy in Britain scalar hierarchy of thestate has been influential in structuring the scales and territories of partnerships, and that, despitean apparent devolution of the public face of governance, the state remains crucial in governingthe process of governance through partnerships (Edwards et al., 2001). Brown (2002) using twocase studies of innovative initiatives in integrated conservation and development (ICD), a marineprotected area in the Caribbean, and extractive reserves in Brazilian Amazonia, concludes thatfundamental changes are necessary to institutions and management and decision-makingstrategies to address these issues and to effectively meet the goals of conservation anddevelopment. There are other cases, such as Small-scale fisheries management (Berkes, 2006),India Eco-development Project, Karnataka, which examined the role of relationships andnetworks between actors in conservation and development intervention (Mahanty, 2002).

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