The process of institution building to facilitate local biodiversity management

The process of institution building to facilitate local biodiversity management

Do we expect too much from participatory approaches to conservation?

This paper examines theoretical approaches and practical experiences on local participation and the use of local institutions to improve biodiversity management. It summarises the development of various approaches to management over time and discusses new approaches on how to address problems of local participation and institutional involvement.

The author concludes that all participatory approaches examined have largely failed to improve biodiversity in part due to a fundamental “material and economic conflict between use and conservation of biodiversity and between users and conservationists” which participatory approaches have so far failed to address successfully. This is not, however, a reason to abandon participation entirely and return to the failed ‘fortress’ approaches to conservation. Instead practitioners must revise expectations of the speed of change and resources required and not expect that biodiversity management and conservation can solve general or larger issues of economic and social development in any country.

  1. How good is this research?

    Assessing the quality of research can be a tricky business. This blog from our editor offers some tools and tips.