Ranomafana, Madagascar

Local community perceptions of conservation policy: rights, recognition and reactions

Marketta Vuola, Aili Pyhälä

Abstract


Biodiversity conservation in post-colonial contexts typically takes a form of state-imposed protected areas. Such conservation strategies, especially when failing to involve local communities, have been observed to result in conflicts between protected area managers and local communities, thus also diminishing conservation effectiveness. This research examines local community institutions, perceptions, and involvement with regard to the management of Ranomafana National Park, South-Eastern Madagascar. The data for this research was collected in the end of 2014 in five case study villages around the park. Our findings indicate that imposed protected area regulations have provoked a wide range of mostly negative reactions amongst local villagers, largely due to lack of communication and negotiation on the part of protected area managers. What few attempts have been made to involve local communities in conservation and development activities have been met with local skepticism and have only served to reinforce existing power asymmetries within local communities. We argue that increasing local autonomy would help to boost local villagers’ self-esteem, and thereby also enable local communities to have a more equal playing field for future negotiations with conservation authorities. Furthermore, this would also likely trigger more local interest, initiative, and ownership with regards to conservation. Although the Ranomafana National Park area is currently regarded by many local villagers as illegitimate, there is widespread willingness across all five communities to collaborate with conservation authorities, presenting enormous potential for more successful conservation; potential that – at least to date – remains untapped.

 

Résumé

Conserver la biodiversité dans un contexte post-colonial se matérialise généralement sous forme de zones protégées établies par l’État. Cependant, ces stratégies de conservation mènent souvent à des conflits entre gestionnaires et communautés locales, affectant en retour leur soutien à la mise en place de zones protégées. Les conservationnistes reconnaissent donc de plus en plus l’importance de considérer l’engagement des communautés locales dans la prise de décisions et la mise en œuvre d’actions de conservation, afin notamment que ces actions soient efficaces. Cette étude se focalise sur les institutions des communautés locales, leurs perceptions et leur engagement concernant la gestion du Parc National Ranomafana, au Sud-Est de Madagascar. Les données furent collectées à la fin de l’année 2014 dans cinq villages situés autour du parc. Nos résultats indiquent que les réglementations imposées par le parc ont provoqué un large éventail de réactions, principalement négatives, de la part des villageois, dû à un manque de communication et de négociations de la part des gestionnaires du parc. Les quelques tentatives d’inclusion des communautés locales dans les patrouilles de surveillance du parc n’ont servi qu’à renforcer les asymétries de pouvoir pré-existantes. De même, seulement une petite partie des résidents locaux peuvent bénéficier de la gestion du parc. Les familles les plus vulnérables économiquement continuent à dépendre étroitement de ressources forestières dont l’exploitation est interdite, risquant des sanctions de la part des gestionnaires du parc qui perturbent encore plus la cohésion sociale à l’échelle locale. Les autorités sont en retour réticentes à accorder leur confiance aux villageois. Même si l’on ne peut pas s’attendre à ce que ce cycle de méfiance disparaisse soudainement, les tensions actuelles entre communautés locales et gestionnaires du parc doivent s’estomper si le but est d’obtenir une gestion durable du parc à long-terme. Nous nous prononçons en faveur d’une plus grande autonomie locale qui permettrait non seulement de développer l’estime de soi des membres de la communauté, mais susciterait également plus d’intérêt et d’appropriation envers les actions de conservation, permettant ainsi aux communautés locales d’être sur un pied d’égalité lors de futures négociations avec les autorités du parc. En conclusion, alors que la zone protégée est majoritairement perçue comme illégitime, il existe une volonté réelle de la part des cinq communautés de collaborer avec les autorités chargées de la conservation, présentant un potentiel énorme - qui reste pour l’instant inexploité - en terme d’amélioration des actions de conservation.


Keywords


Protected areas; local communities; co-management; governance; natural resources management; Madagascar

Full Text:

PDF

References


Adams, W. M. and Hutton, J. 2007. People, parks and poverty: political ecology and biodiversity conservation. Review. Conservation and Society 5, 2: 147–183.

Agrawal, A. and Gibson, C.C. 1999. Enchantment and disenchantment: the role of community in natural resource conservation. World Development 27, 4: 629–649. (www.dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0305-750X(98)00161-2)

Agrawal, A. and Redford, K. 2009. Conservation and displacement: an overview. Conservation and Society 7: 1–10. (www.dx.doi.org/10.4103/0972-4923.54790)

Balée, W. 1994. Footprints of the Forest: Ka'Apor Ethnobotany: The Historical Ecology of Plant Utilization by an Amazonian People. Columbia University Press, New York.

Barrett, C. B., Brandon, K., Gibson, C. and Gjertsen, H. 2001. Conserving tropical biodiversity amid weak institutions. BioScience 51, 6: 497–502. (www.dx.doi.org/10.1641/0006-3568(2001)051[0497:CTBAWI]2.0.CO;2)

Bazeley, P. 2013. Qualitative Data Analysis: Practical Strategies. Sage Publications, London.

Berkes, F. 2004. Rethinking community-based conservation. Conservation Biology 18, 3: 621–630. (www.dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1523-1739.2004.00077.x)

Brechin, S. R., Wilshusen, P. R., Fortwangler, C. L. and West, P. C. 2002. Beyond the square wheel: toward a more comprehensive understanding of biodiversity conservation as social and political process. Society and Natural Resources: An International Journal 15(1): 41–64.

Brockington, D. 2002. Fortress Conservation: The Preservation of the Mkomazi Game Reserve, Tanzania. Indiana University Press, Bloomington.

Brockington, D. 2004. Community conservation, inequality and injustice: myths of power in protected area management. Conservation & Society 2, 2: 411–432.

Brockington, D., Igoe, J. and Schmidt-Soltau, K. 2006. Conservation, human rights, and poverty reduction. Conservation Biology 20, 1: 250–252. (www.dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1523-1739.2006.00335.x)

Brosius, J. P. and Russell, D. 2003. Conservation from above: an anthropological perspective on transboundary protected areas and ecoregional planning. Journal of Sustainable Forestry 17, 1–2: 39–65. (www.dx.doi.org/10.1300/J091v17n01_04)

Castro A. P. and Neilson, E. 2001. Indigenous people and co-management: implications for conflict management. Environmental Science and Policy 4, 4–5: 229–239. (www.dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1462-9011(01)00022-3)

Colding, J. and Folke, C. 2001. Social taboos: “Invisible” systems of local resource management and biological conservation. Ecological Applications 11, 2: 584–600. (www.dx.doi.org/10.1890/1051-0761(2001)011[0584:STISOL]2.0.CO;2)

Cox, P.A. and Elmqvist, T. 1997. Ecocolonialism and indigenous-controlled rainforest preserves in Samoa. Ambio 26, 2: 84–89.

CVB (Centre ValBio). 2013. Rapport Annuel 2012 sur les Activités Relatives à l’Éducation Sanitaire. Tomady / Centre ValBio.

Ferraro, P. J. 2002. The local costs of establishing protected areas in low-income nations: Ranomafana National Park, Madagascar. Ecological Economics 43, 2–3: 261–275. (www.dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0921-8009(02)00219-7)

Fortwangler, C. L. 2003. The winding road: incorporating social justice and human rights into protected area policies. In: Contested Nature: Promoting International Biodiversity Conservation with Social Justice in the Twenty-First Century. S. R. Brechin, C. L. Fortwangler, P. R. Wilshusen and P. C. West (eds.), pp 25–40. Sunny Press, Albany, NY.

Geldmann, J., Barnes, M, Coad, L., Craigie, I. D., Hockings, M. and Burgess, N. D. 2013. Effectiveness of terrestrial protected areas in reducing habitat loss and population declines. Biological Conservation 161: 230–238. (www.dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2013.02.018)

Gezon, L. L. 2006. Global Visions, Local Landscapes: A Political Ecology of Conservation and Control in Northern Madagascar. AltaMira Press, Lanham, MD.

Hanson, P. W. 2012. Toward a more transformative participation in the conservation of Madagascar’s natural resources. Geoforum 43, 6: 1182–1193. (www.dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.geoforum.2012.03.005)

Igoe, J. and Brockington, D. 2007. Neoliberal conservation: a brief introduction. Conservation and Society 5, 4: 432–449.

Jones, J. P. G., Andriamarovololona, M. M. and Hockley, N. 2008. The importance of taboos and social norms to conservation in Madagascar. Conservation Biology 22, 4): 976–986. (www.dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1523-1739.2008.00970.x)

Kari, S. and Korhonen-Kurki, K. 2013. Framing local outcomes of biodiversity conservation through ecosystem services: a case study from Ranomafana, Madagascar. Ecosystem Services 3: e32–e39. (www.dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoser.2012.12.003)

Korhonen, K. 2006. The Rocky Road of Social Sustainability. The Impact of Integrated Biodiversity Conservation and Development on the Local Realities in Ranomafana National Park, Madagascar. Unpubl. Ph.D. thesis, University of Helsinki, Finland. Available at

Kothari, A., Camill, P. and Brown, J. 2013. Conservation as if people also mattered: policy and practice of community-based conservation. Conservation and Society 11, 1: 1–15. (www.dx.doi.org/10.4103/0972-4923.110937)

Kull, C. A. 2002. Empowering pyromaniacs in Madagascar: ideology and legitimacy in community-based natural resources management. Development and Change 33, 1: 57–78. (www.dx.doi.org/10.1111/1467-7660.00240)

Laurence W. F., Useche,D. C., Rendeiro, J., Kalka, BM., radshaw, C. J. A., et al. 2012. Averting biodiversity collapse in tropical forest protected areas. Nature 489: 290–294. (www.dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature11318)

Leach, M., Mearns, R. and Scoones, I. 1999. Environmental entitlements: dynamics and institutions in community-based natural resource management. World Development 27, 2: 225–247. (www.dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0305-750X(98)00141-7)

Maffi, L. 2005. Linguistic, cultural, and biological diversity. Annual Review of Anthropology 34: 599–617. (www.dx.doi.org/10.1146/annurev.anthro.34.081804.120437)

Martinez-Alier, J. 2013. The environmentalism of the poor. Geoforum 54: 239–241. (www.dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.geoforum.2013.04.019)

Miller, B., Soulé, M. E. and Terborgh, J. 2014. ‘New conservation’ or surrender to development? Animal Conservation 17, 6: 509–515. (www.dx.doi.org/10.1111/acv.12127)

MNP (Madagascar National Parks). 2014. Madagascar National Parks Protected Areas Network, Strategic Management Plan 2014–2024. Madagascar National Parks.

Mombeshora, S. and Le Bel, S. 2009 Parks-people conflicts: the case of Gonarezhou National Park and the Chitsa community in south-east Zimbabwe. Biodiversity and Conservation 18, 10: 2601–2623. (www.dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10531-009-9676-5)

Myers, N., Mittermeier, R.A., da Fonseca, G.A.B. and Kent, J. 2000. Biodiversity hotspots for conservation priorities. Nature 403: 853–858. (www.dx.doi.org/10.1038/35002501)

Naughton-Treves, L., Buck Holland, M. and Brandon, K. 2005. The role of protected areas in conserving biodiversity and sustaining local livelihoods. Annual Review of Environment and Resources 30: 219–252. (www.dx.doi.org/10.1146/annurev.energy.30.050504.164507)

Osei-Tutu, P., Pregernig, M. and Pokorny, B. 2014. Legitimacy of informal institutions in contemporary local forest management: insights from Ghana. Biodiversity and Conservation 23, 14: 3587–3605. (www.dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10531-014-0801-8)

Ostrom, E. 1990. Governing the Commons: The Evolution of Institutions for Collective Action. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Ostrom, E., Burger, J., Field, C.B., Norgaard, R.B. and Policansky, D. 1999. Revisiting the commons: local lessons, global challenges. Science 284, 5412: 278–282. (www.dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.284.5412.278)

Peters, J. 1998. Transforming the integrated conservation and development project (ICDP) approach: observations from the Ranomafana National Park Project, Madagascar. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 11, 1: 17–47. (www.dx.doi.org/10.1023/A:1007796628731)

Peters, J. 1999. Understanding conflicts between people and parks at Ranomafana, Madagascar. Agriculture and Human Values 16, 1: 65–74. (www.dx.doi.org/10.1023/A:1007572011454)

Pyhälä, A., Osuna Orozco, A. and Counsell, S. 2016. Protected Areas in the Congo Basin: Failing both People and Biodiversity? Rainforest Foundation UK, London. Available at

Redford, K. H. and Stearman, A. M. 1993. Forest-dwelling native Amazonians and the conservation of biodiversity: Interests in common or in collision? Conservation Biology 7, 2: 248–255. (www.dx.doi.org/10.1046/j.1523-1739.1993.07020248.x)

Robbins, P. 2012. Political Ecology: A Critical Introduction, 2nd Edition. Wiley-Blackwell.

Sarrasin, B. 2013. Ecotourism, poverty and resources management in Ranomafana, Madagascar. Tourism Geographies 15, 1: 3–24. (www.dx.doi.org/10.1080/14616688.2012.675512)

Scales, I. R. 2014. The future of conservation and development in Madagascar: time for a new paradigm? Madagascar Conservation & Development 9, 1: 5–12. (www.dx.doi.org/10.4314/mcd.v9i1.2)

Schlosberg, D. 2013. Theorising environmental justice: the expanding sphere of a discourse. Environmental Politics 22, 1: 37–55. (www.dx.doi.org/10.1080/09644016.2013.755387)

Schwartzman, S. and Zimmerman, B. 2005. Conservation alliances with indigenous peoples of the Amazon. Conservation Biology 19, 3: 721–727. (www.dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1523-1739.2005.00695.x)

Twinamatsiko, M., Baker, J., Harrison, M., Shirkhorshidi, M., Bitariho, R., et al. 2014. Linking Conservation, Equity and Poverty Alleviation: Understanding Profiles and Motivations of Resource Users and Local Perceptions of Governance at Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda. IIED Research Report, London. Available at

Vermeulen, S. and Sheil, D. 2007. Partnerships for tropical conservation. Oryx 41, 4: 434–440.

Watson, J. E. M., Dudley, N., Segan, D. B. and Hockings, M. 2014. The performance and potential of protected areas. Nature 515: 67–73. (www.dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature13947)

West, P., Igoe, J. and Brockington, D. 2006. Parks and peoples: the social impact of protected areas. The Annual Review of Anthropology 35: 251–277. (www.dx.doi.org/10.1146/annurev.anthro.35.081705.123308)

World Bank. 2016. Data by topic. accessed on 20 April 2016.




Madag. conserv. dev.
ISSN: 1662-2510