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Research Report

STORIES FROM EDEN: Case studies of Community-Based Wildlife Management

Dilys Roe
Margaret Jack
Copyright Date: Apr. 1, 2001
Pages: 68
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Table of Contents

  1. (pp. 1-4)

    The Evaluating Eden initiative evolved from a previous study in 1994 by IIED which reviewed mainly African wildlife management literature and CWM initiatives and analysed top-down and participatory approaches. The study was published as “Whose Eden? An Overview of Community Approaches to Wildlife Management”. Whose Eden? highlighted the fact that most donors accept CWM as the ‘right’ approach, but that this support is often based on untested assumptions and in response to a) the realisation that most countries lack the resources to enforce conservation laws; b) a generally increasing recognition that top-down approaches are morally unacceptable; c) a search for...

  2. (pp. 5-12)

    Central and West Africa covers a vast area with a correspondingly wide array of agro-climatic conditions: from coastal plain and inland delta to desert and highland tropical forest. This variety is reflected in the range of habitats and wildlife found throughout the region. The region also supports a large and heterogeneous mix of ‘communities’, incorporating a range of different groups and interests according to wealth, access to land, authority, gender, age etc. The region’s vast rural population, together with their governments in many areas, depends on a declining natural resource base. Wildlife use and conversion of forests to agricultural land,...

  3. (pp. 13-20)

    The East African Region is one of great biological richness. A range of climatic and geographical characteristics give rise to habitats ranging from coral reefs to miombo woodlands, and afro-montane forests to deserts. The semi-arid areas support spectacular wildlife populations for which Kenya and Tanzania are famous internationally. The spread of agriculture into these area has taken up space formerly available to wildlife, and has resulted in habitat change and the truncation of important ecosystems. Such closure threatens the well being of these spectacular populations and the ecosystems themselves. There are many other threats to the region’s biodiversity, including the...

  4. (pp. 21-32)

    In Southern Africa, a variety of factors have played a key role in shifting conservation policy and practice away from state-controlled protectionism and towards CWM. These include:

    The pressure to promote development by using wildlife in rural areas.

    A lack of resources for law enforcement inside protected areas and the desire to conserve wildlife populations outside protected areas.

    Pressure for land reform.

    Political expediency and a recognition by governments that rural voters are important.

    The model that has emerged entails:

    Allowing communities access to natural resources from which they previously had been barred.

    Sharing revenue from the use of natural...

  5. (pp. 33-46)

    CWM in South Asia is, in a sense, natural resource management come full circle -from a traditional regime of community management based on customary practices and knowledge, to one in which the state and/or private sector forces took over common property, to one in which the community has once again come to play a major role.

    All the countries of the region have gone through a history of state take-over of common property resources. Though this had started happening with the increasing dominance of centralised rulers centuries back, it was greatly consolidated during the colonial regimes that held sway in...

  6. (pp. 46-52)

    Long-established traditional uses of wildlife by indigenous groups historically occurred throughout much of South East Asia and forest wildlife continues to contribute an important source of protein and revenue for many that live in and around the forests of the region. This is particularly so in Indochina and parts of Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. In most parts of the region, these activities have been much curtailed by recent land use changes, forest loss and by social and demographic changes.

    Social disruption caused by such conflict and mass migration of peoples have often undermined the fundamental premises on which community-based...

  7. (pp. 53-56)

    While most of Central America has a tropical climate, its altitudinal range and two distinctive rainfall regimes generate a variety of ecological zones and ecosystems, which give rise to the astonishing biodiversity of the region. Abroad division can be made between the Pacific Basin which is characterised by dry tropical forests and the Caribbean basin which is mostly rainforest. The higher population density in the Pacific basin has meant considerable environmental degradation such that remnants of the dry primary tropical forests can only be found in a small number of protected areas.

    Throughout the region there has been a high...

  8. (pp. 57-64)

    The great latitudinal span of South America, which stretches from 10º North to 55º South, provides one of the most diverse environmental ranges on the planet, offering tropical, subtropical and temperate climates. The wide climatic variability is further enhanced by the great Andes range along the western edge of the continent, which reaches altitudes of more than 6.000 meters above sea level. These factors all results in high environmental heterogeneity, such that almost every natural habitat in the world is found within the borders of the region.

    Pre-Hispanic indigenous societies achieved high levels of population density. Many of them, in...