Research Items (18)
What are the known factors that improve resource governance and conservation when women have a say in the management of local forests and fisheries? We reviewed a large body of literature to address this question and identified 11 studies that compare the governance and conservation results of mixed-gender resource management groups with men-only or women-only groups. The assembled evidence, while neither wide nor deep, forms the basis for a preliminary theory of change as to how participation of women in resource management groups can result in improved resource governance and conservation. Compared to men-only or women-only resource management groups, mixed-gender groups in the included studies tend to have greater community compliance with resource use rules, more transparency and accountability, better conflict resolution, increased patrolling and enforcement, and greater equity of access to resources. They also tend to have more effective resource conservation. There are, however, a number of inclusionary and exclusionary factors that influence women’s participation in forest or fishery management, and the local context appears to be critical in enabling mixed-gender forest and fisheries management.
Background: Women often use natural resources differently than men yet frequently have minimal influence on how local resources are managed. An emerging hypothesis is that empowering more women in local resource decision-making may lead to better resource governance and conservation. Here we focus on the forestry and fisheries sectors to answer the question: What is the evidence that the gender composition of forest and fisheries management groups affects resource governance and conservation outcomes? We present a systematic map detailing the geographic and thematic extent of the evidence base and assessing the quality of the evidence, as per a published a priori protocol. Methods: We screened 11,000+ English-language records in Scopus, CAB abstracts, AGRIS, AGRICOLA, Google Scholar, and Google. The websites of 24 international conservation and development organisations, references of included articles, and relevant systematic reviews were also searched for possible documents. A number of groups and individuals were invited to submit documents through email 'call outs'. The inclusion criteria were that an article refers to women or gender, forests or fisheries, and a resource management group comparison in a non-OECD country plus Mexico and Chile. Results: Seventeen studies met the inclusion criteria. Four were qualitative and 13 were quantitative. Forest studies outnumbered fisheries studies 14-3. The majority of the studies came from India and Nepal and focused on forest management. All 17 studies identified improvements in local natural resource governance, and three identified conservation improvements when women participated in the management of the resources. Only two studies, however, were rated as high quality based on study design. Conclusions: For India and Nepal, there is strong and clear evidence of the importance of including women in forest management groups for better resource governance and conservation outcomes. Outside of India and Nepal, there are substantial gaps in the evidence base, but the South Asian evidence presents a compelling case for extending the research to other geographies to see if similar outcomes exist elsewhere and supports a theory of change linking the participation of women in forestry and fisheries management groups with better resource governance and conservation outcomes.
Background Women often use natural resources differently than men yet frequently have minimal influence on how local resources are managed. An emerging hypothesis is that empowering more women in local resource decision-making may lead to better resource governance and conservation. Here we focus on the forestry and fisheries sectors to answer the question: What is the evidence that the gender composition of forest and fisheries management groups affects resource governance and conservation outcomes? We present a systematic map detailing the geographic and thematic extent of the evidence base and assessing the quality of the evidence, as per a published a priori protocol. Methods We screened 11,000+ English-language records in Scopus, CAB abstracts, AGRIS, AGRICOLA, Google Scholar, and Google. The websites of 24 international conservation and development organisations, references of included articles, and relevant systematic reviews were also searched for possible documents. A number of groups and individuals were invited to submit documents through email ‘call outs’. The inclusion criteria were that an article refers to women or gender, forests or fisheries, and a resource management group comparison in a non-OECD country plus Mexico and Chile. ResultsSeventeen studies met the inclusion criteria. Four were qualitative and 13 were quantitative. Forest studies outnumbered fisheries studies 14–3. The majority of the studies came from India and Nepal and focused on forest management. All 17 studies identified improvements in local natural resource governance, and three identified conservation improvements when women participated in the management of the resources. Only two studies, however, were rated as high quality based on study design. Conclusions For India and Nepal, there is strong and clear evidence of the importance of including women in forest management groups for better resource governance and conservation outcomes. Outside of India and Nepal, there are substantial gaps in the evidence base, but the South Asian evidence presents a compelling case for extending the research to other geographies to see if similar outcomes exist elsewhere and supports a theory of change linking the participation of women in forestry and fisheries management groups with better resource governance and conservation outcomes.
Background: Alternative livelihood projects are used by a variety of organisations as a tool for achieving biodiversity conservation. However, despite characterising many conservation approaches, very little is known about what impacts (if any) alternative livelihood projects have had on biodiversity conservation, as well as what determines the relative success or failure of these interventions. Reflecting this concern, Motion 145 was passed at the Vth IUCN World Conservation Congress in 2012 calling for a critical review of alternative livelihood projects and their contribution to biodiversity conservation. This systematic map and review intends to contribute to this critical review and provide an overview for researchers, policy makers and practitioners of the current state of the evidence base. Methods: Following an a priori protocol, systematic searches for relevant studies were conducted using the bibliographic databases AGRICOLA, AGRIS, CAB Abstracts, Scopus, and Web of Knowledge, as well as internet searches of Google, Google Scholar, and subject specific and institutional websites. In addition, a call for literature was issued among relevant research networks. The titles, abstracts and full texts of the captured studies were assessed using inclusion criteria for the systematic map and the systematic review, respectively. An Excel spreadsheet was used to record data from each study and to provide a systematic map of the evidence for the effectiveness of alternative livelihood studies. The studies that met additional criteria to be included in the systematic review were described in more detail through a narrative synthesis. Results: Following full text screening, 97 studies were included in the systematic map covering 106 projects using alternative livelihood interventions. Just 22 of these projects met our additional criteria for inclusion in the systematic review, but one project was removed from the detailed narrative synthesis following critical appraisal. The 21 included projects included reports of positive, neutral and negative conservation outcomes. Conclusions: Our results show that there has been an extensive investment in alternative livelihood projects, yet the structure and results of most of these projects have not been documented in a way that they can be captured using standardised search processes. Either this is because there has been little reporting on the outcomes of these projects, or that post-project monitoring is largely absent. The implications of this review for policy, management and future research are provided in relation to this evidence gap.
- Jan 2011
The authors explore three problems confronting scientists working in the central African humid forest zone and show their interconnectedness in the context of the sociopolitical history of the area. These problems emerge from different domains at different spatial scales: agricultural development, natural resource management, and landscape scale conservation. Land and livelihoods are severely constrained in central Africa. Agriculture is rarely remunerative: prices are low, technology limited, land rights contested, and labor scarce. People turn to “illegal” activities such as hunting, mining, pit-sawing, whisky brewing, and joining militias to make a living. Animal husbandry does not present a widely viable option. Land use planning at “landscape” scale is mooted to protect forests and save animals but it is not likely to address livelihood or governance concerns. Without clear legal frameworks and transparent processes, conflict and landgrabbing will result. Investors and planners should rather concentrate on crafting rural development strategies that reflect both the constraints and the comparative advantage of the central African humid forest zone. Above all, the authors argue, the days of carving out large areas of the forest for private concessions and government use, leaving small contested spaces for the locals, must come to an end.
New conservation approaches challenge us to go beyond parks and protected areas to conservation in a matrix of land uses. Promoting the use of trees and woody species in landscapes and on farms is a frequently used but under-studied aspect of this approach. This article synthesizes recent field research at six sites in Africa on agroforestry in and around protected areas. It finds that the complex interactions among people, parks, and trees show that for agroforestry to contribute to conservation and livelihoods, policy, technology, and human rights issues have to be addressed.
Equitable interdisciplinary teamwork is easier said than done. For, it is not simply a matter of adding a “pinch” of social science into a larger interdisciplinary team, and stirring. Putting interdisciplinarity into action requires a more distilled and nuanced approach involving negotiation, bargaining and, sometimes, contestation and resistance between and among different domains of disciplinary actors, knowledge, meanings and understanding. The overarching goal for anthropologists and sociocultural scientists is to integrate theories, methodologies, and practices of the study of culture, politics, and social relations into agricultural and natural resource management research, as well as to integrate themselves into larger interdisciplinary teams on an equal footing. As McDonald argues in his call for a discussion on keeping the culture in agriculture, “by putting culture squarely at the center of any analysis of agriculture, we seek to “put people first” by exploring the complex ways that people conceptualize, give meaning to, and organize around agriculture” (McDonald 2005, p. 71). However, putting culture into the analysis of agriculture in research systems long dominated by biophysical scientists and approaches, such as within research centers of the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), is challenging. This chapter describes the various dilemmas, challenges, and opportunities encountered by sociocultural scientists in interdisciplinary projects within the CGIAR. It argues that to more effectively address the needs and realities of vulnerable women and men at the grassroots, agricultural research systems must take more steps to fully integrate social, cultural, and political lines of inquiry into their core mandates. KeywordsAgricultural research-Anthropology-CGIAR-Interdisciplinarity-Sociocultural science-Development-Anthropology of Science
In this paper, we first discuss various vantage points gained through the authors' experience of approaching conservation through a "cultural lens." We then draw out more general concerns that many anthropologists hold with respect to conservation, summarizing and commenting on the work of the Conservation and Community Working Group within the Anthropology and Environment Section of the American Anthropological Association. Here we focus on both critiques and contributions the discipline of anthropology makes with regard to conservation, and show how anthropologists are moving beyond conservation critiques to engage actively with conservation practice and policy. We conclude with reflections on the possibilities for enhancing transdisciplinary dialogue and practice through reflexive questioning, the adoption of disciplinary humility, and the realization that "cross-border" collaboration among conservation scholars and practitioners can strengthen the political will necessary to stem the growing commoditization and ensuing degradation of the earth's ecosystems.
Integrated ecosystem and landscape approaches to conservation are moving from concept to practice in many parts of the developing world. Agroforestry – the deliberate management of trees on farms and in agricultural landscapes – is emerging as one of the most promising approaches to enhance and stabilize rural livelihoods, while reducing pressure on protected areas, enhancing habitat for some wild species, and increasing connectivity of landscape components. For the potential of agroforestry to be effectively harnessed, however, the policy and institutional environment needs to provide farmers with clear incentives to plant and protect trees that contribute to both ecosystem function and rural livelihoods. This paper analyzes the policy terrain affecting agroforestry around protected areas in five very different contexts across Sub-Saharan Africa, finding both expected and unexpected similarities. Across the sites in Uganda, Cameroon and Mali, the study revealed a rough policy terrain for agroforestry – systemic market constraints, contradictions between development approaches and conservation objectives, and inconsistencies in institutional and regulatory frameworks. Making the conservation landscape approach more effective will require that both agriculturalists and conservation planners have much greater appreciation for the conservation and livelihood potential of agroforestry.
- Jun 2003
Some years ago there was a proliferation of bottom-up models for conservation under the rubric of community-based conservation. More recently there has been a resurgence of protectionist approaches to conservation, and conservation science has moved to large-scale modeling and planning under rubrics such as ecoregional planning, ecosystem management, and transboundary protected areas. Though recognizing that there are compelling reasons for these shifts, we believe that there are many possible paths to implementation and that it is necessary to maintain community and participation as central precepts of conservation. Our argument proceeds in three stages. First, we examine a series of key concepts and approaches in contemporary conservation that we consider problematic. Second, we describe three current research trajectories that we believe have considerable promise in contributing to the development of future approaches to conservation. Finally, we propose a number of specific measures that we believe will lead toward the implementation of conservation initiatives that are simultaneously more effective, just, and equitable. Central to our argument is the call for a social definition of conservation. We also stress the need for practitioners to devote more effort to building local constituencies for conservation. This approach validates and encourages small-scale, local conservation efforts, links conservation with issues such as soil fertility degradation and loss of traditional food crop varieties, and entails a new kind of relationship between grassroots groups and international organizations.
Research in common property, participatory resource management, and community development points to the central importance of organizational arrangements in conservation and development interventions. The dilemma facing contemporary conservation practitioners is how best to assist and facilitate such arrangements in support of participatory resource management and sustainable livelihoods, given the range of organizations, societal processes, and structures in which interventions might engage. This article presents some key findings from a study of stakeholder groups at 4 project sites, with information from a further 16 sites, in the Biodiversity Conservation Network: (1) Longstanding organizations had an established community niche, but could become bogged down in bureaucratic procedures; (2) poor communication between organizations was common and could undermine resource management; and (3) charismatic individuals and local elite interests could dominate groups, diminishing their representativeness. Based on these findings, the article argues that conservation professionals need to build their capacity as facilitators and negotiators, paying greater attention to how stakeholder groups form and function, their links to wider arenas, and the aims and positions of groups and individuals.
Environmental governance is in a state of change throughout the developing world. Power and author- ity are shifting from national offices to global and regional fora and to local user groups. Regulatory approaches to environmental management are gradually being augmented by incentive- and market- based approaches. Private organizations and firms are becoming more involved in the provision of such environmental goods as water, energy and timber, and environmental services like conservation and watershed protection. Forest conservation is no longer seen as the only appropriate means to achieve environmental conservationm, nor is afforestation seen as the only way to reverse environmental dam- age. Integrated approaches to ecosystem and landscape management, which include local residents as important partners, are being given more emphasis. These trends are creating new opportunities and constraints for agroforestry. While there are very few pieces of legislation or rural institutions that focus solely on agroforestry, there are many laws and rural institutions that shape farmers' incentives to plant and manage trees in their agricultural landscapes. This chapter reviews the five policy issues that have greatest impact on agroforestry: land and tree tenure, forest classification, biodiversity and forest con- servation, environmental service reward mechanisms, and global environmental governance. Targeted applied research and engagement in local policy processes increases the beneficial impacts of agro- forestry development within local policy terrains and contributes to policy reform at the national and global levels.