Advertisement

Biodiversity & Conservation

, Volume 14, Issue 11, pp 2507–2542 | Cite as

Monitoring Matters: Examining the Potential of Locally-based Approaches

  • Finn Danielsen
  • Neil D. Burgess
  • Andrew Balmford
Guest Editorial

Abstract

Monitoring of biodiversity and resource use by professional scientists is often costly and hard to sustain, especially in developing countries, where financial resources are limited. Moreover, such monitoring can be logistically and technically difficult and is often perceived to be irrelevant by resource managers and the local communities. Alternatives are emerging, carried out at a local scale and by individuals with little formal education. The methods adopted span a spectrum, from participatory monitoring where aims and objectives are defined by the community, to ranger-based monitoring in protected areas. What distinguishes these approaches is that local people or local government staff are directly involved in data collection and (in most instances) analysis. In this issue of Biodiversity and Conservation, 15 case studies examine whether these new approaches can address the limitations of professional monitoring in developing countries. The case studies evaluate ongoing locally-based monitoring schemes involving more than 1500 community members in 13 countries. The papers are based on a symposium held in Denmark in April 2004 (www. monitoringmatters.org). Here, we review how the case studies shed light on the following key issues concerning locally-based methods: cost, sustainability, their ability to detect true local or larger-scale trends, their links to management decisions and action, and the empowerment of local constituencies. Locally-based monitoring appears to be consistently cheap relative to the costs of management and of professional monitoring, even though the start-up costs can be high. Most local monitoring schemes are still young and thus their chances of being sustained over the longer term are not yet certain. However, we believe their chances of surviving are better than many professional schemes, particularly when they are institutionalised within existing management structures, and linked to the delivery of ecosystem goods or services to local communities. When properly designed, local schemes yield locally relevant results that can be as reliable as those derived from professional monitoring. Many management decisions emanate from local schemes. The decisions appear to be taken promptly, in response to immediate threats to the environment, and often lead to community-based actions to protect habitats, species or the local flow of ecosystem benefits; however, few local schemes have so far led to actions beyond the local scale. Locally-based monitoring schemes often reinforce existing community-based resource management systems and lead to change in the attitude of locals towards more environmentally sustainable resource management. Locally-derived data have considerable unexplored potential to elucidate global patterns of change in the status of populations and habitats, the services they provide, and the threats they face, but more effort is needed to develop effective modalities for feeding locally-derived data up to national and international levels.

Key words

2010 target Accuracy Biodiversity monitoring Citizen science Community-based monitoring Community-based natural resource management Conservation costs Conservation impact Decision-making Local constituencies Locally-based monitoring Participatory monitoring Ranger-based monitoring Sustainability Volunteer-based monitoring 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Andrianandrasana, H.T., Randriamahefasoa, J., Durbin, J., Lewis, R.E., Ratsimbazafy, J.H. 2005Participatory ecological monitoring of the Alaotra wetland in MadagascarBiodivers. Conserv.1427572774Google Scholar
  2. Bailenson, J.N., Shum, M.S., Atran, S., Medin, D.L., Coley, J.D. 2002A bird's eye view: biological categorization and reasoning within and across culturesCognition84153CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Balmford, A., Crane, P., Dobson, A.P., Green, R.E., Mace, G.M. 2005The 2010 challenge: data availability, information needs and extraterrestrial insightsPhil. Trans. R. Soc. London. B360221228CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Balmford, A., Gaston, K.J., Blyth, S., James, A., Kapos, V. 2003aGlobal variation in conservation costs, conservation benefits, and unmet conservation needsProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA10010461050CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Balmford, A., Green, R.E., Jenkins, M. 2003bMeasuring the changing state of natureTrends. Ecol. Evol.18326330CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Balmford, A., Whitten, T. 2003Who should pay for tropical conservation, and how could the costs be met?Oryx37238250CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Barrett N., Edgar G. and Morton A. 2002. Monitoring of Tasmanian inshore reef ecosystems. An assessment of the potential for volunteer monitoring programs and a summary of changes within the Maria Island Marine Reserve from 1992–2001. Tasmanian Aquaculture and Fisheries Institute Technical Report Series 53 pp.Google Scholar
  8. Becker, C.D., Agreda, A., Astudillo, E., Constantino, M., Torres, P. 2005Community-based surveys of fog capture and biodiversity monitoring at Loma AltaEcuador enhance social capital and institutional cooperationBiodivers. Conserv.1426952707Google Scholar
  9. Bennun, L., Matiku, P., Mulwa, R., Mwangi, S., Buckley, P. 2005Monitoring Important Bird Areas in Africa: towards a sustainable and scaleable systemBiodivers. Conserv.1425752590Google Scholar
  10. Bibby, C., Burgess, N.D., Hill, D., Mustoe, S. 2000Bird Census Techniques2Academic PressLondon, UK350Google Scholar
  11. Blyth, R.E., Kaiser, M.J., Edwards-Jones, G., Hart, P.J.B. 2002Voluntary management in an inshore fishery has conservation benefitsEnviron. Conserv.29493508CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Boudreau, S.A., Yan, N.D. 2004Auditing the accuracy of a volunteer-based surveillance program for an aquatic invader BythotrephesEnviron. Monit. Assess.911726CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Brandon, A., Spyreas, G., Molano-Flores, B., Carroll, C., Ellis, J. 2003Can volunteers provide reliable data for forest vegetation surveys?Nat. Area. J.23254262Google Scholar
  14. Brandon, K., Wells, M. 1992Planning for people and parks: design dilemmasWorld Dev.20557570CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Brashares, J.S., Arcese, P., Sam, M.K. 2001Human demography and reserve size predict wildlife extinction in West AfricaProceedings of the Royal Society of London, Series B26824732478Google Scholar
  16. Brashares, J.S., Sam, M.K. 2005How much is enough? Estimating the minimum sampling required for effective monitoring of African reservesBiodivers. Conserv.1427092722Google Scholar
  17. Bray, G.S., Schramm, H.L.,Jr. 2001Evaluation of a statewide volunteer angler diary program for use as a fishery assessment toolN. Am. J. Fish. Manage.21606615CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Caldecott, J. 1998Designing Conservation ProjectsCambridge University PressCambridge, UK334Google Scholar
  19. Convention on Biological Diversity 2005. The 2010 Biodiversity Target – Indicators. www.biodiv. org/2010-target/indicators.aspx.Google Scholar
  20. Côté, I.M., Gill, J.A., Gardner, T.A., Watkinson, A.R. 2005Measuring coral reef decline through meta-analysisPhil. Trans. R. Soc. Lond. B.360385395CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Danielsen, F., Balete, D.S., Poulsen, M.K., Enghoff, M., Nozawa, C.M., Jensen, A.E. 2000A simple system for monitoring biodiversity in protected areas of a developing countryBiodivers. Conserv.916711705CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Danielsen, F., Mendoza, M.M., Alviola, P., Balete, D.S., Enghoff, M., Poulsen, M.K., Jensen, A.E. 2003aBiodiversity monitoring in developing countries: what are we trying to achieve?Oryx37407409CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Danielsen, F., Mendoza, M.M., Tagtag, A., Alviola, P., Balete, D.S., Enghoff, M., Poulsen, M.K., Jensen, A.E. 2003bOn participatory biodiversity monitoring and its applicability – a reply to Yoccoz et al. and RodríguezOryx37412CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Danielsen, F., Jensen, A.E., Alviola, P.A., Balete, D.S., Mendoza, M.M., Tagtag, A., Custodio, C., Enghoff, M. 2005Does monitoring matter? A quantitative assessment of management decisions from locally-based monitoring of protected areasBiodivers. Conserv.1426332652Google Scholar
  25. Darwall, W.R.T., Dulvy, N.K. 1996An evaluation of the suitability of non-specialist volunteer researchers for coral reef fish surveys. Mafia IslandTanzania: A case studyBiol. Conserv.78223231CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Dubois, O., Lowore, J. 2000The Journey Towards Collaborative Forest Management in Africa: Lessons Learned and Some Navigational AidsIIED Forestry and Land Use series 15. IIEDLondon, UK110Google Scholar
  27. Engel, S.R., Voshell, J.R. 2002Volunteer biological monitoring: can it accurately assess the ecological condition of streams?Am. Entomol.48164177Google Scholar
  28. Ericsson, G., Wallin, K. 1999Hunter observations as an index of moose Alces alces population parametersWildlife Biol.5177185Google Scholar
  29. European Council 2001. Presidency Conclusions, Goteburg Council, 15 and 16 June 2001. SN/200/1/01 REV1, 8 pp.Google Scholar
  30. Fore, L.S., Paulsen, K., O’Laughlin, K. 2001Assessing the performance of volunteers in monitoring streamsFreshwater Biol.46109123CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Gaidet, N., Fritz, H., Nyahuma, C. 2003A participatory counting method to monitor populations of large mammals in non-protected areas: a case study of bicycle counts in the Zambezi Valley, ZimbabweBiodivers. Conserv.1215711585CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Genet, K.S., Sargent, L.G. 2003Evaluation of methods and data quality from a volunteer-based amphibian call surveyWildlife Soc. Bull.3703714Google Scholar
  33. Gray, M., Kalpers, J. 2005Ranger based monitoring in the Virunga-Bwindi Region of East-Central Africa: a simple data collection tool for park managementBiodivers. Conserv.1427232741Google Scholar
  34. Green, R.E., Balmford, A., Crane, P.R., Mace, G.M., Reynolds, J.D., Turner, R.K. 2005A framework for improved monitoring of biodiversity: responses to the World Summit on Sustainable DevelopmentConserv. Biol.195665CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Greenwood, J.J.D. 2003The monitoring of British breeding birds: A success story for conservation science?Sci. Total Environ.310221230CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  36. Gregory, R.D., van Strien, A., Vorisek, P., Meyling, A.W.G., Noble, D.G., Foppen, R.P.B., Gibbons, D.W. 2005Developing indicators for European birdsPhil. Trans R. Soc. Lond. B.360269288CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Hellier, A., Newton, A.C., Gaona, S.O. 1999Use of indigenous knowledge for rapidly assessing trends in biodiversity: a case study from Chiapas, MexicoBiodivers. Conserv.8869889CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Hockley, N.J., Jones, J.P.G., Andriahajaina, F.B., Manica, A., Ranambitsoa, E.H., Randriamboahary, J.A. 2005When should communities and conservationists monitor exploited resources?Biodivers. Conserv.1427952806Google Scholar
  39. Hoyer, M.V., Winn, J., Canfield, D.E.,Jr. 2001Citizen monitoring of aquatic bird populations using a Florida lakeLake Reserv. Manage.178289Google Scholar
  40. Hulme, D., Murphree, M. 1999Communities, wildlife and the ‘new conservation’ in AfricaJ. Int. Develop.11277286CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Janzen, D.H. 2004Setting up tropical biodiversity for conservation through non-damaging use: Participation by parataxonomistsJ. Appl. Ecol.41181187CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Jeanrenaud, S. 2002aChanging people/nature representations in international conservation projectsIDCS Bull.33111122Google Scholar
  43. Jeanrenaud, S. 2002bPeople-orientated Approaches in Global Conservation: Is the Leopard Changing its Spots?Institutionalising Participation Series, IIEDLondon, UK80Google Scholar
  44. Jenkins, M., Green, R.E., Madden, J. 2003The challenge of measuring global change in wild nature: are things getting better or worse?Conserv. Biol.1714CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Kapos, V., Jenkins, M., Loh, J. 2004Rising to the Biodiversity Challenge. The role of Species Population Trend Indices such as the Living Planet Index in Tracking Progress Towards Global and National Biodiversity TargetsWorld BankWashington, D.C., USAGoogle Scholar
  46. Kerr, M., Ely, E., Lee, V., Mayio, A. 1994A profile of volunteer environmental monitoring: national survey resultsLake Reserv. Manage.914Google Scholar
  47. Kremen, C., Merenlender, A.M., Murphy, D.D. 1994Ecological monitoring: a vital need for integrated conservation and development programs in the tropicsConserv. Biol.8388397CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Lawrence, A., Elphick, M. 2002Summary reportLawrence, A.Elphick, M. eds. Policy Implications of Participatory Biodiversity Assessment. ETFRN International Seminar for Policy-Makers and Implementers, London, UKETFRN Environmental Change InstituteOxford, UK33Google Scholar
  49. Loh, J., Green, R.E., Ricketts, T., Lamoreux, J., Jenkins, M., Kapos, V., Randers, J. 2005The Living Planet Index: using species population time series to track trends in biodiversityPhil. Trans. R. Soc. Lond. B.360289295CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Margoluis, R., Salafsky, N. 2001A guide to threat reduction assessmentBiodiversity Support ProgramWashington, DCGoogle Scholar
  51. Marks, S.A. 1994Local hunters and wildlife surveys: a design to enhance participationAfr. J. Ecol.32233254Google Scholar
  52. McLaren, M.A., Cadman, M.D. 1999Can novice volunteers provide credible data for bird surveys requiring song identification?J. Field Ornithol.70481490Google Scholar
  53. Mumby, P.J., Harborne, A.R., Raines, P.S., Ridley, J.M. 1995A critical assessment of data derived from Coral Cay Conservation volunteersBull. Mar. Sci.56737751Google Scholar
  54. NORDECO and DENR2002DENR Biodiversity Monitoring System. Implementation Results from Eight Protected Areas January 1999–June 2001, the PhilippinesDepartment of Environment and Natural ResourcesManilathe Philippines67Google Scholar
  55. Noss, A.J. 1999Censusing rainforest game species with communal net huntsAfr. J. Ecol.37111CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Noss, A.J., Oetting, I., Cuéllar, R.L. 2005Hunter self-monitoring by the Isoseño-Guaraní in the Bolivian ChacoBiodivers. Conserv.1426792693Google Scholar
  57. Obura, D.O., Wells, S., Church, J., Horrill, C. 2002Monitoring of fish and fish catches by local fishermen in Kenya and TanzaniaMar. Freshwater Res.53215222CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Penrose, D., Call, S. 1995Volunteer monitoring of benthic macroinvertebrates: regulatory biologists’ perspectivesJ. North Am. Benthol. Soc.14203209Google Scholar
  59. Pomeroy, D. 1992Counting Birds. Technical Handbook No. 6AWF: African Wildlife FoundationNairobi, KenyaGoogle Scholar
  60. Poulsen, M.K., Luanglath, K. 2005Projects comeprojects go: lessons from participatory monitoring in southern LaosBiodivers. Conserv.1425912610Google Scholar
  61. Rijsoort, J., Jinfeng, Z. 2005Participatory resource monitoring as a means for promoting social change in Yunnan, ChinaBiodivers. Conserv.1425432573Google Scholar
  62. Rodríguez, J.P. 2003Challenges and opportunities for surveying and monitoring tropical biodiversity – a response to Danielsen et  alOryx37411CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Roberts, R.L., Donald, P.F., Fischer, I.J. 2005Wordbirds: developing a web-based data collection system for the global monitoring of bird distribution and abundanceBiodivers. Conserv.1428072820Google Scholar
  64. Roe, D., Jack, M. 2001Stories from Eden: case-studies of community-based wildlife management. IIED Evaluating Eden Series 9IIEDLondon, UK66Google Scholar
  65. Royal Society2003Measuring Biodiversity for Conservation. Policy Document 11/3The Royal SocietyLondon, UKGoogle Scholar
  66. Schmitt, E.F., Sullivan, K.M. 1996Analysis of a volunteer method for collecting fish presence and abundance data in the Florida KeysBull. Mar. Sci.59404416Google Scholar
  67. Sheil, D. 2001Conservation and biodiversity monitoring in the tropics: realities, priorities and distractionsConserv. Biol.1511791182CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Sheil, D., Lawrence, A. 2004Tropical biologists, local people and conservation: new opportunities for collaborationTrends Ecol. Evol.19634638CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Steinmetz, R. 2000Ecological Surveys, Monitoring and the Involvement of Local People in Protected Areas of Lao P.D.R. IIED Evaluating Eden Series Discussion Paper 13IIEDLondon, UK38Google Scholar
  70. Stolton, S., Hockings, M., Dudley, N., MacKinnon, K., Whitten, T. 2003Reporting Progress in Protected Areas: A Site-level Management Effectiveness Tracking ToolWWF and World BankWashington, DCGoogle Scholar
  71. Stuart-Hill, G., Diggle , R., Munali, B., Tagg, J., Ward, D. 2005The event book system: a community based natural resource monitoring system from NamibiaBiodivers. Conserv.1426112631Google Scholar
  72. Sutherland, W.J., Pullin, A.S., Dolman, P.M., Knight, T.M. 2004The need for evidence-based conservationTrends Ecol. Evol.19305308CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Ticheler, H.-J., Kolding, J., Chanda, B. 1998Participation of local fishermen in scientific fisheries data collection: a case study from the Bangweulu Swamps, ZambiaFish. Manage. Ecol.58192CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Topp-Jørgensen, E., Poulsen, M.K., Lund, J.F., Massao, J.F. 2005Community-based monitoring of natural resource use and forest quality in montane forests and miombo woodlands in Iringa DistrictTanzaniaBiodivers. Conserv.1426532677Google Scholar
  75. Townsend W.R., Borman A.R., Yiyoguaje E. and Mendua L. 2005. Cofán Indians’ monitoring of freshwater turtles in ZábaloEcuador. Biodivers. Conserv. 14: 2743–2755.Google Scholar
  76. United Nations 2000. United Nations Millenium Declaration. General Assembly resolution 55/2.Google Scholar
  77. United Nations Environment Programme 2002. Report on the Sixth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (UNEP/CBD/COP/6/20/Part 2) Strategic Plan Decision VI/26.Google Scholar
  78. United Nations Environment Programme 2004. Decisions Adopted by the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity at its Seventh Meeting (UNEP/CBD/COP/7/21/Part 2) Decision VII/30 (Convention on Biological Diversity, 2004). http://www.biodiv.org/decisions/dfault.aspx?m=COP-07&id = 7767&lg =0.Google Scholar
  79. Uychiaoco A.J., Arceo H.O., Green S.J., De la Cruz M.T., Gaite P.A. and Aliño P.M. 2005. Monitoring and evaluation of reef protected areas by local fishers in the Philippines: tightening the adaptive management cycle. Biodivers. Conserv. 14: 2775–2794.Google Scholar
  80. Wells, M.P., McShane, T.O. 2004Integrating protected area management with local needs and aspirationsAmbio33513519PubMedGoogle Scholar
  81. Wiens, J.A. 1989Spatial scaling in ecologyFunctional Ecol.3385397Google Scholar
  82. World Bank1996Field guides: Useful tools in environmental planning and managementEnviron. Dept. Dissemination Notes5114Google Scholar
  83. Yoccoz, N.G., Nichols, J.D., Boulinier, T. 2001Monitoring of biological diversity in space and timeTrend Ecol. Evol.16446453CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  84. Yoccoz, N.G., Nichols, J.D., Boulinier, T. 2003Monitoring of biological diversity – a response to Danielsen et alOryx37410CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Finn Danielsen
    • 1
  • Neil D. Burgess
    • 2
    • 3
  • Andrew Balmford
    • 2
    • 4
  1. 1.NORDECO (Nordic Agency for Development and Ecology)CopenhagenDenmark
  2. 2.Conservation Biology Group, Department of ZoologyUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeUK
  3. 3.Conservation Science Programme, World Wildlife Fund-USAWashington, DCUSA
  4. 4.Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology, University of Cape TownRondeboschSouth Africa

Personalised recommendations