Header

UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

Implementation of a participative conservation approach as seen from the viewpoint of the local population: A case study in the Kanchenjungha Conservation Area, Nepal


Kollmair, Michael; Müller-Böker, Ulrike (1999). Implementation of a participative conservation approach as seen from the viewpoint of the local population: A case study in the Kanchenjungha Conservation Area, Nepal. EcoSys : Beiträge zur Ökosystemforschung, 28:211-219.

Abstract

According to recent data from IUCN and FAO the extent of protected areas equals the aren of arable land worldwide. Nearly half of this area is located in developing countries and therefore in countries with cultural settings that differ from western societies. Almost all of these protected areas are populated or border densely populated regions. Modem concepts of conservation try to integrate the needs of the local population. The current participative management concepts are determined by the insight that sustainable conservation of nature is only possible with or in the best case through the local population. But still conflicts emerge between conservation and human needs. The analysis of these conflicts however rarely go beyond an investigation of land-use conflicts. Conflicts - a research hypothesis - increase because of different concepts of "nature'' and how it should be protected. It is obvious that mainly western constructs of nature, which could be seen as globalized, find their way into the international conservation agenda. As a consequence the "participation" of local people is restricted to a more or less consultative part in international conservation. These research assumptions were exemplified in the newly established Kanchenjunga Conservation Area (KCA) in Eastern Nepal, and they are based on field studies conducted in autumn 1998. The main objectives of this integrative conservation project are "to protect the unique environment of the Kanchcnjunga region" and "to help the local communities improve their standard of living". The KCA is jointly managed by the Nepalese Department for National Parks and Wildlife Conservation and the international NGO WWF. It was established in 1997 and covers an area of 2,035 sq km with a resident population of more than 5,700. The main conservation value is a sequence of high mountain ecosystems on the southern slopes of Mt. Kanchenjunga (8,586 m), the third highest mountnin of the world. It is the habitat of a diverse wildlife and flora including a number of endangered species like the red panda.
In the KCA an attempt was made to investigate the existing knowledge and expectations of the local population during the implementation period of a conservation project. In the focus of the research programme was the local populations' view of the main problems of the area, the existing traditional resource use systems, the performance and goals of the KCA project and whether it is necessary to protect nature and how it could be done. Results should show possibilities to deduce recommendations for participatory management concepts, which include and accept local concepts of what should be protected.
The results show that the majority or the local people believe that conservation of nature is necessary in their region and that it is only possible through the joint effort of all of them. Reasons to protect nature have a wide range: from "our children also need firewood" to "tourists want to see something nice" and religious reasons. On the other hand it was interesting to see, that nearly all interviewees had massive expectations about the future development the project will bring to them, but only a few people know about the conservation approach of the project. The name of the directly engaged WWF was known only to very few people, but none of them knew about the main objective of this organisation.
A conclusion of this investigation is that it is very important to consider in detail the culturally and society-specific
concepts of environment of all actors. For a successful implementation it is important not to neglect the local knowledge and the already established strategies of the local population. This is an important requirement in order to develop sustainable strategies to promote environmental conservation - a task, which is postulated frequently by international organizations and at conferences.

Abstract

According to recent data from IUCN and FAO the extent of protected areas equals the aren of arable land worldwide. Nearly half of this area is located in developing countries and therefore in countries with cultural settings that differ from western societies. Almost all of these protected areas are populated or border densely populated regions. Modem concepts of conservation try to integrate the needs of the local population. The current participative management concepts are determined by the insight that sustainable conservation of nature is only possible with or in the best case through the local population. But still conflicts emerge between conservation and human needs. The analysis of these conflicts however rarely go beyond an investigation of land-use conflicts. Conflicts - a research hypothesis - increase because of different concepts of "nature'' and how it should be protected. It is obvious that mainly western constructs of nature, which could be seen as globalized, find their way into the international conservation agenda. As a consequence the "participation" of local people is restricted to a more or less consultative part in international conservation. These research assumptions were exemplified in the newly established Kanchenjunga Conservation Area (KCA) in Eastern Nepal, and they are based on field studies conducted in autumn 1998. The main objectives of this integrative conservation project are "to protect the unique environment of the Kanchcnjunga region" and "to help the local communities improve their standard of living". The KCA is jointly managed by the Nepalese Department for National Parks and Wildlife Conservation and the international NGO WWF. It was established in 1997 and covers an area of 2,035 sq km with a resident population of more than 5,700. The main conservation value is a sequence of high mountain ecosystems on the southern slopes of Mt. Kanchenjunga (8,586 m), the third highest mountnin of the world. It is the habitat of a diverse wildlife and flora including a number of endangered species like the red panda.
In the KCA an attempt was made to investigate the existing knowledge and expectations of the local population during the implementation period of a conservation project. In the focus of the research programme was the local populations' view of the main problems of the area, the existing traditional resource use systems, the performance and goals of the KCA project and whether it is necessary to protect nature and how it could be done. Results should show possibilities to deduce recommendations for participatory management concepts, which include and accept local concepts of what should be protected.
The results show that the majority or the local people believe that conservation of nature is necessary in their region and that it is only possible through the joint effort of all of them. Reasons to protect nature have a wide range: from "our children also need firewood" to "tourists want to see something nice" and religious reasons. On the other hand it was interesting to see, that nearly all interviewees had massive expectations about the future development the project will bring to them, but only a few people know about the conservation approach of the project. The name of the directly engaged WWF was known only to very few people, but none of them knew about the main objective of this organisation.
A conclusion of this investigation is that it is very important to consider in detail the culturally and society-specific
concepts of environment of all actors. For a successful implementation it is important not to neglect the local knowledge and the already established strategies of the local population. This is an important requirement in order to develop sustainable strategies to promote environmental conservation - a task, which is postulated frequently by international organizations and at conferences.

Statistics

Downloads

6 downloads since deposited on 13 Jun 2017
6 downloads since 12 months
Detailed statistics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, not refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
Dewey Decimal Classification:910 Geography & travel
Language:English
Date:1999
Deposited On:13 Jun 2017 09:35
Last Modified:14 Jun 2017 03:09
Publisher:Verein zur Förderung der Ökosystemforschung
ISSN:1862-7714
Additional Information:Supplement Band
Related URLs:http://www.ecosystems.uni-kiel.de/verein3.html (Publisher)

Download

Preview Icon on Download
Content: Published Version
Filetype: PDF (Kopiertes, gescanntes Original) - Registered users only
Size: 2MB

TrendTerms

TrendTerms displays relevant terms of the abstract of this publication and related documents on a map. The terms and their relations were extracted from ZORA using word statistics. Their timelines are taken from ZORA as well. The bubble size of a term is proportional to the number of documents where the term occurs. Red, orange, yellow and green colors are used for terms that occur in the current document; red indicates high interlinkedness of a term with other terms, orange, yellow and green decreasing interlinkedness. Blue is used for terms that have a relation with the terms in this document, but occur in other documents.
You can navigate and zoom the map. Mouse-hovering a term displays its timeline, clicking it yields the associated documents.

Author Collaborations