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How does protected area governance affect access to ecosystem services and local livelihoods? Insights from Madagascar

Ward, Caroline Frances Mattin (2018) How does protected area governance affect access to ecosystem services and local livelihoods? Insights from Madagascar. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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A global shift towards local community involvement in protected area (PA) governance and co-management has aimed to improve conservation-related equity by reducing costs and their uneven distribution, alongside meeting conservation aims. Co-managed PAs are more likely to achieve socio-economic and biological goals than other governance-types, yet this is not always the case. In order to improve PA-related equity, we need to understand why involvement of local communities in PA governance may not always meet its aims. This thesis explores the links between PA governance processes, access to ecosystem services and livelihood impacts. Integrating The Theory of Planned Behaviour model, IPBES framework, theory of access and Sustainable Livelihoods Framework, it takes a mixed methods approach, drawing on village focus groups, semi-structured interviews and household questionnaires. The case study is a PA in Eastern Madagascar, co-managed by a national NGO and 10 local community associations. Local community participation in governance associations was limited by miscommunication, perceived to have limited benefits and high costs, and these were unevenly distributed within and between communities. Respondents considered provisioning ecosystem services most important, but access was unevenly distributed and shaped by institutions and social identity. Perceived livelihood impacts were also distributed unevenly and the main drivers of this were restricting forest access and establishment of local community associations. This research demonstrates that involvement of local communities in co-managed protected areas does not necessarily reduce local costs, or improve their distribution. Findings from this study have useful and important implications for PA-related equity and meeting Aichi Target 11: (1) incorporating local cultural and social values; (2) ensuring meaningful local participation in decision making; (3) recognition of short-term costs and (4) mixed-methods approaches are vital in order to obtain a better picture of who is winning and losing out from conservation interventions and to inform solutions towards improved equity.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Related URLs:
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Environment (Leeds) > School of Earth and Environment (Leeds) > Sustainability Research Institute (Leeds)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.745601
Depositing User: Ms CFM Ward
Date Deposited: 29 Jun 2018 10:06
Last Modified: 18 Feb 2020 12:49
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/20739

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