Bro. Erle Frayne Argonza
There were so many areas across countries that were declared as ‘protected areas’ in the past years. In my own country, the Philippines, no less than a separate bureau was created to focus on the matter of protected areas.
It is now time to evaluate the impact of the various intervention efforts focusing on protected areas and how they mitigate ecological problems for people.
Below is an example of a cross-national study that focuses precisely on protected areas.
[10 August 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila. Thanks to eldis.org database news.]
People, protected areas and global change: participatory conservation in Latin America, Africa, Asia and EuropeAuthors: Galvin,M.; Haller,T.Produced by: NCCR North South (2008)
This document compares findings from in-depth research on protected area (PA) management in Latin America Africa, Asia and Europe. It describes how PAs have been managed over the last 50-100 years and considers the ecological, social and economic benefits brought by enhanced participation.
The case studies presented in the book are from Bolivia, Argentina, Peru, Tanzania, Madagascar, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Switzerland, Indonesia, Nepal, and Vietnam. These individual studies look at the problems people face and at environmental issues from a variety of angles, including governance and institutions, different actors' interests and strategies, livelihoods and natural resources, and economic and political contexts.
The authors highlight lessons learnt, best practices, and potentials for mitigation of negative impacts with respect to conservation of landscapes and biodiversity. It is argued that relations between PAs and local people are difficult because perspectives on nature, natural resources and conservation are closely interlinked with restrictions and competition in land and resource use, as well as other rights.
The case studies highlight that the understanding of participation also varies greatly in all cases, as does the role of development.The basic lessons learnt from the literature and case studies are summarised as follows:
although most of the PAs studied are participatory in their formal structure, this does not translate into economic benefits for local people
power issues and issues of ideology are used strategically by all actors in order to structure governance and the underlying institutions for their own gain for local actors political gains may be an incentive to strategically subscribe to conservation goals, especially if they have ownership of the decision-making process.
Available online at: http://www.eldis.org/cf/rdr/?doc=38428&em=310708&sub=enviro