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Equity, Sustainability and Incentive-Based Conservation Measures. Community Reflections from Mt. Elgon, Uganda

Jeha, LJ (2016) Equity, Sustainability and Incentive-Based Conservation Measures. Community Reflections from Mt. Elgon, Uganda. PhD thesis, University of York.

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Abstract

Incentive-based measures are increasingly being employed as a strong motive to encourage conservation yet the evidence that they are generating sustainable resource-use, improving rural livelihoods or aiding biodiversity protection remains inconclusive. To provide empirical evidence to this discourse, in this study the McDermott et al (2013) equity framework is used to explore how different benefit-sharing arrangements have shaped twenty-five years of Integrated Conservation and Development projects (ICDP) neighbouring the Mt. Elgon National Park, Uganda. Applying a self-reported, post-hoc, quasi-experimental design, a time-series of participatory mapping activities revealed that despite the willingness of targeted groups to adopt ‘green’ technologies (distributional equity), maintaining and up-scaling these activities remained limited at the landscape level. Social network analysis uncovered that limited knowledge, restricted access (contextual equity) and the lack of inclusion in decision-making (procedural equity) impeded this development. Tracking the Mt. Elgon Regional Eco-System Conservation Programme (MERECP) as a specific case study, the analyses then showed that wealthier members of society and the political elite were the principle beneficiaries of conservation inputs. In the cases where these institutionalised hierarchies were purposely sidestepped (a measure to ensure marginalised stakeholders gained funds), cases of conflict and resentment arose. Overall, communities that had loose, expansive conservation networks adopted the greatest number of simple technologies. Nevertheless, those that have built a high level of trust both amongst one another and with supporting organisations resulted in the most socially equitable and biologically efficient outcomes. Portraying a future rich in sustainable land-use practises, communities do aspire to protecting their natural resources. Whilst this may be a time-consuming, expensive process, building sound adaptive ‘co-management’ relationships that respect cultural norms, provide suitable alternatives and maximises local knowledge is the key to implementing incentive-based conservation measures across Mt. Elgon.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of York > Environment (York)
Depositing User: MISS LJ Jeha
Date Deposited: 15 Nov 2016 16:22
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 16:22
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/15501

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