Biodiversity and Conservation

, Volume 19, Issue 4, pp 1175–1188 | Cite as

Local people value environmental services provided by forested parks

  • Navjot S. SodhiEmail author
  • Tien Ming Lee
  • Cagan H. Sekercioglu
  • Edward L. Webb
  • Dewi M. Prawiradilaga
  • David J. Lohman
  • Naomi E. Pierce
  • Arvin C. Diesmos
  • Madhu Rao
  • Paul R. Ehrlich
Original Paper


Garnering support from local people is critical for maintaining ecologically viable and functional protected areas. However, empirical data illustrating local people’s awareness of the importance of nature’s services is limited; hence possibly impeding effective ecosystem (environmental)-services based conservation efforts. Using data from five protected forests in four developing Southeast Asian countries, we provide evidence that local people living near parks value a wide range of environmental services, including cultural, provisioning, and regulating services, provided by the forests. Local people with longer residency valued environmental services more. Educated as well as poor people valued forest ecosystem services more. Conservation education has some influence on people’s environmental awareness. For conservation endeavors to be successful, large-scale transmigration programs should be avoided and local people must be provided with alternative sustenance opportunities and basic education in addition to environmental outreach to reduce their reliance on protected forests and to enhance conservation support.


Protected areas Ecosystem services Conservation Conservation education Livelihoods Southeast Asia 



NSS thanks Sarah and Daniel Hrdy Fellowship for support. TML thanks W. Jetz for his support. CHS thanks the Christensen Fund for support. DJL was supported by grant R-154-000-270-112 from the Singapore Ministry of Education. Surveys in Thailand were supported by a grant from the Asia Center of Harvard University. MR would like to acknowledge the support of the Wildlife Conservation Society, Asia Program and is grateful to U Than Zaw for data collection.

Supplementary material

10531_2009_9745_MOESM1_ESM.doc (214 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 215 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Navjot S. Sodhi
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Tien Ming Lee
    • 3
    • 4
  • Cagan H. Sekercioglu
    • 5
  • Edward L. Webb
    • 1
  • Dewi M. Prawiradilaga
    • 6
  • David J. Lohman
    • 1
    • 7
  • Naomi E. Pierce
    • 2
  • Arvin C. Diesmos
    • 8
  • Madhu Rao
    • 9
  • Paul R. Ehrlich
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Biological SciencesNational University of SingaporeSingaporeRepublic of Singapore
  2. 2.Department of Organismic and Evolutionary BiologyHarvard UniversityCambridgeUSA
  3. 3.Division of Biological SciencesUniversity of California, San DiegoLa JollaUSA
  4. 4.Department of Ecology and Evolutionary BiologyYale UniversityNew HavenUSA
  5. 5.Center for Conservation Biology, Department of BiologyStanford UniversityStanfordUSA
  6. 6.Division of ZoologyResearch Centre for Biology-LIPICibinongIndonesia
  7. 7.Department of Biology, The City College of New YorkThe City University of New YorkNew YorkUSA
  8. 8.Herpetology Section, Zoology DivisionNational Museum of the PhilippinesManilaRepublic of the Philippines
  9. 9.Wildlife Conservation Society Asia ProgramNew YorkUSA

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