The Botanical Review

, Volume 76, Issue 2, pp 140–164 | Cite as

The Importance of a Social Science Research Agenda in the Management of Protected Natural Areas, with Selected Examples

Article

Abstract

The advent of the modern protected area movement began in 1872 with the creation of Yellowstone National Park in the United States. For a century thereafter, as more nations began to set up protected area systems, the movement was largely western-dominated and adhered to ‘fences and fines’ forms of conservation. As many more developing nations gained independence in the latter half of the twentieth century, it was increasingly recognized that strict forms of conservation based on western ideals of nature could not be sustained in the long term. Specifically, many rural people in developing countries are dependent on local natural resources, and the conservation rules put into place in many protected areas frequently forbade all extraction and in many cases all entry except for tourism or research. This created a climate of increasing park-people conflicts that in many cases compromised conservation goals and led to a refocus in protected areas management and research in the social sciences worldwide. Here I describe survey and non-survey based protocols developed to study the effectiveness of protected areas in the societal realm. Policy gap analyses, rapid rural appraisals, key informant and focus group surveys and structured and semi-structured social surveys are described. Such studies can allow managers to plan for interventions where needed and can aid in designing appropriate local development projects in an effort to ameliorate park-people conflicts. I finish with a preliminary social research protocol, tested in May, 2009, for Yachang Orchid Reserve, Guangxi Province, the People’s Republic of China.

Keywords

Focus Group Surveys Key Informant Interviews Protected Areas Management Rapid Rural Assessments Policy Gap Analysis Social Surveys 

Notes

Acknowledgements

I thank Professor Hong Liu for asking me to present this paper—decidedly out of context from the others—at the Guangxi International Orchid Symposium. I also thank all other Symposium participants, both international and Chinese, for their patience and interest in a topic that is admittedly removed from their core interests in orchid ecology, physiology, evolution, genetics and cultivation. I heartily thank the Guangxi Forestry Bureau and the Director of Yachang Orchid Reserve for hosting the Conference and for so graciously hosting my later stay at Yachang, and the Vice-Governor of Guangxi Province for having the foresight to fund this initiative. I also thank the large number of rural residents and Guangxi Forestry Bureau staff who participated in one or more survey exercise in and around Yachang. Finally, I am very much indebted to Ms. Wuying Ling who served so ably as my translator and interpreter in the field. Her core interests, like the other participants, are in Botany. But I hope to make a social scientist out of her yet.

Literature Cited

  1. Abbot, J. I. O., D. H. L. Thomas, A. A. Gardner, S. E. Neba & M. W. Khen. 2001. Understanding the links between conservation and development in the Bamenda Highlands, Cameroon. World Dev. 29(7): 1115–1136.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Allendorf, T. D. 2007. Residents’ attitudes toward three protected areas in southwestern Nepal. Biodiv. Conserv. 16(7): 2087–2102.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. ———, K. K. Swe, T. Oo, Y. Htut, M. Aung, K. Allendorf, L. A. Hayek, P. Leimgrubek & C. Wemmer. 2006. Community attitudes towards three protected areas in upper Burma. Environ. Conserv. 33(4): 344–352.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Alexander, S. E. 2000. Resident attitudes towards conservation and black howler monkeys in Belize. Environ. Conserv. 27(4): 341–350.Google Scholar
  5. Bajracharya, S. B., P. A. Furley & A. C. Newton. 2006. Impacts of community-based conservation on local communities in the Annapurna Conservation Area, Nepal. Biodiv. Cons. 15(8): 2765–2786.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bandara, R. & C. Tisdell. 2003. Comparison of rural and urban attitudes to the conservation of Asian elephants in Sri Lanka. Biol. Conserv. 110(3): 327–342.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Baral, N. & J. T. Heinen. 2007. Resource use, conservation attitudes, managerial intervention and park-people relations in the Western Terai Landscape of Nepal. Environ. Conserv. 34(1): 64–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. ———, M. J. Stern & R. Bhattarai. 2008. Contingent valuation of ecotourism in Annapurna Conservation Area, Nepal: Implications for sustainable park finances and local development. Ecological Economics 66(2–3): 218–227.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. ———, ——— & J. T. Heinen. 2007. Integrated conservation and development project life cycles in the Annapurna Conservation Area, Nepal. Biodivers. Conserv. 16(10): 2903–2917.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Bhat, M. G. 2003. Application of non-market valuation to the Florida keys marine reserve management. J. Environ. Management 67(4): 315–325.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Bookbinder, M. P., E. Dinerstein, A. Rijal, H. Cauley & A. Rajouria. 1998. Ecotourism’s support of biodiversity conservation. Conserv. Biol. 12: 1399–1404.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Bookhout, T. A. (ed). 1994. Research and management techniques for wildlife and habitats, ed. 5th. The Wildlife Society, Bethesda. 740pp.Google Scholar
  13. Borgerhoff Mulder, M. & P. Coppolillo. 2006. Conservation: Linking ecology, economics and culture. Princeton University Press, Princeton.Google Scholar
  14. Bruyere, B. L., A. Beh & G. Lelngula. 2009. Differences in perceptions of communication, tourism benefits and management issues in a protected area in rural Kenya. Environ. Management 43(1): 49–59.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Campbell, L. M. & A. Vainio-Mattila. 2003. Participatory development and community-based conservation: Opportunities missed for lessons learned? Human Ecol. 31(3): 417–437.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Chape, S., M. Spalding & M. Jenkins (eds). 2008. The world’s protected areas: Status, values and prospects for the 21st century. University of California Press, Berkeley.Google Scholar
  17. De Boer, W. F. & D. S. Baquete. 1998. Natural resource use, crop damage and attitudes of rural people in the vicinity of Maputo Elephant Reserve, Mozambique. Environ. Cons. 25(3): 208–218.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Debrot, A. O. & I. Nagelkerken. 2000. User perceptions on coastal resource state and management in Curacao. Revista de Biologia Tropical 48(1): 95–106.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Dong, S. K., H. W. Gao, G. C. Xu, X. Y. Hou, R. J. Long, M. Y. Kang & J. P. Lassioe. 2007. Farmer and professional attitudes to the large-scale ban on livestock grazing of grasslands in China. Environ. Conserv. 34(3): 246–254.Google Scholar
  20. Durrant, J. O. & J. M. Shumway. 2004. Attitudes toward wilderness study areas: A survey of six southeastern Utah counties. Environ. Management 33(2): 271–283.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Durrant, M. B. & J. O. Durrant. 2008. The influence of location on local attitudes toward community conservation on Mount Kilimanjaro. Society & Natural Resources 21(5): 371–386.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Faasen, H. & S. Watts. 2007. Local community reaction to the ‘no-take’ policy on fishing in the Tsitsikamma National Park, South Africa. Ecol. Econ. 64(1): 36–46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Fiallo, E. A. & S. K. Jacobson. 1995. Local communities and protected areas: Attitudes of rural residents towards conservation and Machalilla National Park, Ecuador. Environ. Cons. 22(3): 241–249.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Fu, B. J., K. L. Wang, Y. H. Lu, K. M. Ma, L. D. Chen & G. H. Liu. 2004. Entangling the complexity of protected area management: The case of Wolong Biosphere Reserve, southwestern China. Environ. Management 33(6): 788–798.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Gillingham, S. & P. C. Lee. 2003. People and protected areas: A study of local perceptions of wildlife crop damage conflict in an area bordering the Selous Game Reserve, Tanzania. Oryx 37(3): 316–325.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Groom, R. & S. Harris. 2008. Conservation on community lands: The importance of equitable revenue sharing. Environ. Conserv. 35(3): 242–251.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. He, G. M., X. D. Chen, W. Liu, S. Bearer, S. Q. Zhou, L. Y. Q. Cheng, H. M. Zhang, Z. Y. Ouyang & J. G. Liu. 2008. Distribution of benefits from ecotourism: A case study of Wolong Nature Reserve for giant pandas in China. Environ. Management 42(6): 1017–1025.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Heinen, J. T. 1993. Park-people relations in Kosi Tappu Wildlife Reserve, Nepal: A socio-economic analysis. Environ. Conserv. 20(1): 25–34.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. ——— 1995. Thoughts and theory on incentive-based programs to promote endangered species conservation in the United States. Wildl. Soc. Bull. 23(3): 338–345.Google Scholar
  30. ——— 1996. Human behavior, incentives and protected area management. Cons. Biol. 10(2): 681–684.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. ——— & J. N. Mehta. 1999. Conceptual and legal issues in the designation and management of conservation areas in Nepal. Environ. Conserv. 26(1): 21–29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. ———. 2000. Emerging issues in legal and procedural aspects of buffer zone management with case studies from Nepal. J. Environ. Devel. 9(1): 45–67.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. ——— & S. Rayamajhi. 2001. On the use of goal-oriented project planning in Nepalese protected area management. Environ. Practice 3(4): 227–236.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. ———, & R. J. Shrivastava. 2009. A demographic and socio-economic analysis of conservation attitudes and awareness around Kaziranga National Park, Assam, India: Implications for conservation and development. Pop. Environ. 30(6): 261–274.Google Scholar
  35. Holmes, C. M. 2003a. The influence of protected area outreach on conservation attitudes and resource use patterns: A case study from Tanzania. Oryx 37(3): 305–315.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. ——— 2003b. Assessing the perceived utility of wood resources in a protected area in Western Tanzania. Biol. Cons. 111(2): 179–189.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Ite, U. E. 1996. Community perceptions of the Cross River National Park, Nigeria. Environ. Cons. 23(4): 351–357.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Jones, S. 2007. Tigers, trees and Tharu: An analysis of community forestry in the buffer zone of Royal Chitwan National Park, Nepal. Geoforum 38(3): 558–575.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Kaltenborn, B. P., J. W. Nyahongo, J. R. Kidegesha & H. Haaland. 2008. Serengeti and its neighbors: Do they interact? J. Nature Cons. 16(2): 96–108.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Lai, P. H. & S. K. Nepal. 2006. Local perceptions of ecotourism development in Tawushan Nature Reserve, Taiwan. Tourism Management 27(6): 1117–1129.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Lepp, A. 2007. Residents’ attitudes towards tourism in Bigodoi village, Uganda. Tourism Management 28(3): 876–885.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. ——— & S. Holland. 2006. A comparison of attitudes toward state-led conservation and community-based conservation in the village of Bigodi, Uganda. Society & Natural Resources 19(7): 609–623.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Maikhuri, R. K., S. Nautiyal, K. S. Rao, K. Chandrasekhar, R. Gavali & K. G. Saxena. 2000. Analysis and resolution of protected area-people conflicts in Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve, India. Environ. Cons. 27(1): 43–53.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. McClanahan, T., J. Davies & J. Maina. 2005. Factors influencing resource user and manager perceptions towards marine PAs in Kenya. Environ. Cons. 32(1): 42–49.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. McCleave, J., S. Espiner & K. Booth. 2006. The New Zealand park-people relationship: An exploratory model. Society & Natural Resources 19(6): 547–561.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Mehta, J. N. & J. T. Heinen. 2001. Does community-based conservation shape favorable attitudes among locals? Environ Management 28(2): 165–177.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. ——— & S. R. Kellert. 1998. Local attitudes toward community-based conservation programmes in Nepal: A case study of Makalu-Barun Conservation Area. Environ. Conserv. 25(4): 320–333.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Moorman, M. 2006. Benefits of local residents visiting La Selva Biological Station. Costa Rica. Environ. Cons. 33(2): 89–99.Google Scholar
  49. Nyaupane, G. P. & B. Thapa. 2006. Perceptions of environmental impacts of tourism: A case study of ACAP. Nepal. Int’l J. Sustain. Devel. World Ecol. 13(1): 51–61.Google Scholar
  50. Nyhus, P. J., R. Sumianto & R. Tilson. 2003. Wildlife knowledge among migrants in southern Sumatra: Implications for conservation. Environ. Conserv. 30(2): 192–199.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Olupot, W., R. Barigyira & C. A. Chapman. 2009. The status of anthropogenic threat at the people-park interface of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda. Environ. Cons. 36(1): 41–50.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Primack, R. B. 2006. Essentials of conservation biology, ed. 4th. Sinaur, Sunderland.Google Scholar
  53. Redford, K. H. & S. E. Sanderson. 2000. Extracting humans from nature. Conserv. Biol. 14(5): 1362–1364.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Sah, J. P. & J. T. Heinen. 2001. Wetland resource use and conservation attitudes among indigenous and migrant peoples in Ghodaghodi Lake area, Nepal. Environ. Cons. 28(4): 345–356.Google Scholar
  55. Schwartzman, S., A. Moreira & D. Nepstad. 2000. Rethinking tropical forest conservation: Perils in parks. Conserv. Biol. 14(5): 1351–1357.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Sherman, P. B. & J. A. Dixon. 1990. Economics of protected areas: A new look at costs and benefits. Island Press, Washington.Google Scholar
  57. Shrestha-Acharya, R. & J. T. Heinen. 2009. Emerging policy issues in plant conservation and utilization in Nepal. Himalaya 26(1–2): 51–54.Google Scholar
  58. Shrivastava, R. J. & J. T. Heinen. 2007. A microsite analysis of communities around Kaziranga National Park, India: Implications for conservation and development. J. Environ. Dev. 16: 207–216.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Spiteri, A. & S. K. Nepal. 2006. Incentive-based conservation programs in developing countries: A review of some key issues and suggestions for improvement. Environ. Manage. 37(1): 1–14.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  60. Straede, S. & F. Helles. 2000. Park-people conflict resolution in Royal Chitwan National Park, Nepal: Buying time at high cost? Environ. Conserv. 27(4): 368–381.Google Scholar
  61. ——— & T. Treue. 2006. Beyond buffer zone protection: A comparative study of park and buffer zone products’ importance to villagers living inside Royal Chitwan National Park and to villagers living n the buffer zone. J. Environ. Manag. 78(3): 251–267.Google Scholar
  62. Ter-Ghazaryan, D. & J. T. Heinen. 2006. Reserve Management during transition: The case of Issyk-kul Reserve, Kyrgyzstan. Environ. Pract. 8(1): 11–22.Google Scholar
  63. Torn, A., P. A. Siikamaki, A. Tolvanen, P. Kauppila & J. Ramet. 2008. Local people, nature conservation and tourism in Northeastern Finland. Ecol. Soc. 13: 8.Google Scholar
  64. Walpole, M. J. & H. J. Goodwin. 2001. Attitudes towards conservation and tourism around Komodo National Park, Indonesia. Environ. Conserv. 28(2): 160–166.Google Scholar
  65. Wang, S. W., J. P. Lassoie & P. D. Curtis. 2006. Attitudes towards conservation in Jigme Singye Wangchuk National Park, Bhutan. Environ. Conserv. 33(2): 148–156.Google Scholar
  66. Weaver, D. B. & L. J. Lawton. 2008. Perceptions of a nearby exurban protected area in South Carolina, United States. Environ. Manage. 41(3): 389–397.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  67. White, P. C. L., N. V. Jennings, A. R. Renwick & N. H. L. Barker. 2005. Questionnaires in ecology. J. Appl. Ecol. 42(3): 421–430.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Wittemyer, G., P. Elsen, W. T. Bean, A. Coleman, O. Burton & J. S. Brashares. 2008. Accelerated human population growth at protected area edges. Science 321(5885): 123–126.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  69. Yuan, J. Q., L. M. Dai & Q. L. Wang. 2008. Ecotourism development and nature conservation: A case study of the Changbai Mountain Biosphere Reserve, China. Ecol. Soc. 13(2): 55.Google Scholar
  70. Xu, J. Y., L. D. Chen, Y. H. Lu & B. J. Fu. 2006. Local people’s perceptions as decision support for protected area management in Wolong Biosphere Reserve, China. J. Environ. Management 78(4): 362–372.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The New York Botanical Garden 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Earth and EnvironmentFlorida International UniversityMiamiUSA

Personalised recommendations