Biodiversity & Conservation

, Volume 1, Issue 3, pp 143–154 | Cite as

Economic incentives for conservation: beekeeping and Saturniidae caterpillar utilization by rural communities

  • Simon M. Munthali
  • Daniel E. C. Mughogho


The economic viability of the wildlife based enterprises (bee-keeping and caterpillar utilization) in Malawi is discussed in relation to conventional agricultural enterprises (maize, beans and ground-nuts). A strong incentive emerges for rural people to adopt wildlife management as an adjunct to subsistence agriculture, and therefore, to promote conservation of natural ecosystems and wildlife habitats in the face of growing human population and demand for land. Dependence on agriculture has depleted the wildlife resource outside protected areas and has been less effective in improving the wealth and living standards of most rural people. This study illustrates that the Malawi Department of National Parks and Wildlife needs to introduce economic incentives that integrate biological conservation with economic development for the rural people. The management programme involves the adoption of a rotation burning policy that promotes vegetation coppicing, eases harvesting and promotes high caterpillar yields.


productivity burning gross margin public attitudes 


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Copyright information

© Chapman & Hall 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Simon M. Munthali
    • 1
  • Daniel E. C. Mughogho
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of National Parks and WildlifeLilongwe 3Malawi
  2. 2.Kasungu National ParkKasunguMalawi

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