Environment, Development and Sustainability

, Volume 14, Issue 3, pp 407–424 | Cite as

Gender and community-oriented wildlife conservation: views from project supervisors in India

Article

Abstract

Many international agreements, such as the 1992 UN Convention on Biological Diversity, posit that successful community-oriented (community-based) wildlife conservation depends on partnerships with stakeholders of different class, ethnicity, and gender. Gender is of particular interest because it often relates to environmental use, attitudes, and knowledge and operates across other key categories. This study uses fieldwork, interviews, and a survey of 52 project heads in India to address two research questions: (1) How are gender issues viewed by supervisors of community-based wildlife conservation projects, in relation to their work? (2) What types of resources would be most useful to project heads seeking to promote gender equity through their conservation work? The results suggest that while there is widespread support for integrating gender equity issues into community-oriented wildlife conservation, many believe that gender may be a potentially distracting and secondary issue. Several reasons for the variation in views were identified including the following: the dearth of relevant empirical research about gender issues in wildlife conservation; ambiguities about the concept of gender itself; and a lack of opportunities to critically discuss the role of gender equity issues for conservation. These factors may contribute to a disconnection between international rhetoric and on-the-ground practice as it relates to gender and community-oriented wildlife conservation. Increased opportunities for professional capacity building among project supervisors and staff members, coupled with increased collaboration between social and natural scientists, will be important for strengthening the links between international conservation policy and on-the-ground practice.

Keywords

Community-based conservation (CBC) UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Wildlife conservation Participation Women India 

References

  1. Abramovitz, J. (1994). Biodiversity and gender issues: Recognizing common ground. In W. Harcourt (Ed.), Feminist perspectives on sustainable development (pp. 198–212). London: Zed.Google Scholar
  2. Agarwal, B. (1992). The gender and environment debate: Lessons from India. Feminist Studies, 18, 19–58.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Agarwal, B. (1994). A field of one’s own: Gender and land rights in South Asia. New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Agarwal, B. (2001). Participatory exclusions, community forestry, and gender: An analysis for South Asia and a conceptual framework. World Development, 29(10), 1623–1648.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Agarwal, B. (2009). Gender and forest conservation: The impact of women’s participation in community forest governance. Ecological Economics, 68(11), 2785–2799.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Agrawal, A., & Gibson, C. (2001). Communities and the environment: Ethnicity, gender and the state in community-based conservation. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press.Google Scholar
  7. Agrawal, A., & Redford, K. (2009). Conservation and displacement: An overview. Conservation and Society, 7(1), 1–10.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Badola, R., & Hussain, S. A. (2003). Conflict in paradise: Women and Protected areas in the Indian Himalaya. Mountain Research and Development, 23, 234–237.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bauer, H. (2003). Local perceptions of Waza National Park, northern Cameroon. Environmental Conservation, 30(2), 175–181.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Bennett, E. (2005). Gender, fisheries, and development. Marine Policy, 29(5), 451–459.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Berkes, F. (2004). Rethinking community-based conservation. Conservation Biology, 18(3), 621–630.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Bjerke, T., Reitan, O., & Kellert, S. (1998). Attitudes toward wolves in southeastern Norway. Society & Natural Resources, 11(2), 169–178.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Brechin, S., West, P., Wilshusen, P., & Fortwangler, C. (Eds.). (2003). Contested nature: Power, protected areas and the dispossessed. Albany: SUNY Press.Google Scholar
  14. Campbell, M. (2009). Proximity in a Ghanaian savanna: Human reactions to the African palm civet Nandinia binotata. Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography, 30(2), 220–231.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Campbell, M., & Alvarado, M. T. (2011). Public perceptions of jaguars Panthera onca, pumas Puma concolor and coyotes Canis latrans in El Salvador. Area, 43(3), 250–256.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Carney, J. (1996). Converting the Wetlands, engendering the environment. In R. Peet & M. Watts (Eds.), Liberation ecologies (pp. 165–187). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  17. Carr, S., & Tate, J. (1991). Differences in the attitudes of farmers and conservationists and their implications. Journal of Environmental Management, 32(3), 281–294.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). (1992). Preamble. http://www.cbd.int/convention/articles.shtml?a=cbd-00.
  19. Crewe, E., & Harrison, E. (1998). Whose development? An ethnography of aid. New York: Zed.Google Scholar
  20. Cutter, S. (1995). The forgotten casualties: Women, children, and environmental change. Global Environmental Change, 5(3), 181–194.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Dawson, E. (2005). Strategic gender mainstreaming in Oxfam GB. Gender and Development, 13(2), 80–89.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Deda, P., & Rubian, R. (2004). Women and biodiversity: The long journey from users to policy-makers. Natural Resources Forum, 28, 201–204.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Denton, F. (2002). Climate change vulnerability, impacts, and adaptation: Why does gender matter? Gender and Development, 10(2), 10–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Denzin, N., & Lincoln, Y. (2000). Handbook of qualitative research. Thousand Oaks: Sage.Google Scholar
  25. Elmhirst, R., & Resurrection, B. (2004). Gender, environment, and natural resource management: New dimensions, new debates. In B. Resurrection & R. Elmhirst (Eds.), Gender and natural resource management: Livelihoods, mobility and interventions. London: Earthscan.Google Scholar
  26. Elmhirst, R., & Resurrection, B. (2008). Gender, environment, and natural resource management: new dimensions, new debates. In B. Resurrection & R. Elmhirst (Eds.), Gender and natural resource management: Livelihoods, mobility and interventions (pp. 3–22). London: Earthscan.Google Scholar
  27. Environmental Information Centre on NGOs, Parliament, and Media (ENVIS) (2011). NGO database. http://www.wwfenvis.nic.in/ngo_database.asp. Accessed 10 Sept 2011.
  28. Flintan, F. (2003). Engendering Eden: Women, gender, and ICDPs in Africa. London: IIED.Google Scholar
  29. Flintan, F., & Tedla, S. (Eds.). (2010). Natural resource management: The impact of gender and social issues. Ottowa: International Development Research Centre.Google Scholar
  30. Fochingong, C. (2006). Expanding horizons: Women’s voices in community-driven development in the Cameroon grasslands. GeoJournal, 65(3), 137–149.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Fortmann, L. (1996). Gendered knowledge: Rights and space in two Zimbabwe villages. In D. Rocheleau, B. Thomas-Slayter, & E. Wangari (Eds.), Feminist political ecology: Global issues and local experiences. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  32. Ghimire, K. B., & Pimbert, M. P. (Eds.). (1997). Social change and conservation: Environmental politics and impacts of national parks and protected areas. London: Earthscan.Google Scholar
  33. Goetze, A. (Ed.). (1997). Getting Institutions right for women in development. New York: Zed.Google Scholar
  34. Green, C., Joekes, S., & Leach, M. (1998). Questionable links: Approaches to gender in environmental research and policy. In R. Pearson & C. Jackson (Eds.), Feminist visions of development: Gender analysis and policy. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  35. Guijt, I., & Shah, M. (Eds.). (1998). The myth of community: Gender issues in participatory development. London: Intermediate Technology Publications.Google Scholar
  36. Hawkins, R., & Seager, J. (2010). Gender and water in Mongolia. The Professional Geographer, 62, 16–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Hill, C. (1998). Conflicting attitudes towards elephants around the Budongo Forest Reserve, Uganda. Environmental Conservation, 25, 244–250.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Hunter, M., Hitchcock, R., & Wyckoff-Baird, B. (1990). Women and wildlife in Southern Africa. Conservation Biology, 4(4), 448–451.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) (2011). Member database. http://www.iucn.org/about/union/members/who_members/members_database/. Accessed 28 June 2011.
  40. Kaimowitz, D., & Shiel, D. (2007). Conserving what and for whom? Why conservation should help meet basic human needs in the tropics. Biotropica, 39(5), 567–574.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Kaltenborn, B., Bjerke, T., & Vitters, J. (1999). Attitudes toward large carnivores among sheep farmers, wildlife managers, and research biologists in Norway. Human Dimensions of Wildlife, 4(3), 57–73.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Karanth, K. K., & DeFries, R. (2010). Nature-based tourism in Indian Protected areas: New challenges for park management. Conservation Letters, 4(2), 137–149.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Karanth, K. K., Kramer, R., Qian, S., & Christensen, N. (2008). Examining conservation attitudes, perspectives and challenges in India. Biological Conservation, 141, 2357–2367.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Kellert, S., & Berry, J. K. (1987). Attitudes, knowledge, and behaviors towards wildlife as affected by gender. Wildlife Society Bulletin, 15, 363–371.Google Scholar
  45. Kennedy, J. (1985). Wildlife managers as a unique professional culture. Wildlife Society Bulletin, 13, 571–579.Google Scholar
  46. Kothari, A., Pandey, P., Singh, S., & Variava, D. (1989). Management of national parks and sanctuaries in India. New Delhi: Indian Institute of Public Administration.Google Scholar
  47. Koval, M., & Mertig, A. (2004). Attitudes of the Michigan public and wildlife agency personnel toward lethal wildlife management. Wildlife Society Bulletin, 32(1), 232–243.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Kurian, P. (2000). Engendering the environment? Gender in the World Bank’s environmental policies. London: Ashgate.Google Scholar
  49. Kuriyan, R. (2002). Insights and applications: Linking local perceptions of elephants and conservation: Samburu pastoralists in Northern Kenya. Society and Natural Resources, 15(10), 949–957.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Leach, M. (1992). Women’s crops in women’s spaces: Gender relations in Mende rice farming. In E. Croll & D. Parkin (Eds.), Bush base: Forest farm: Culture, environment and development (pp. 76–96). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  51. Martino, D. (2008). Gender and urban perceptions of nature and protected areas in Bañados del Este biosphere reserve. Environmental Management, 41(5), 654–662.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Mehta, M. (1996). Our lives are no different from that of our buffaloes: Agricultural change and gendered spaces in a central Himalayan valley. In D. Rocheleau, B. Thomas-Slayter, & E. Wangari (Eds.), Feminist political ecology: Global issues and local experiences (pp. 180–210). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  53. Momsen, J. (2007). Gender and agrobiodiversity: Introduction to the special issue. Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography, 28, 1–6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Moser, C., & Moser, A. (2005). Gender mainstreaming since Beijing. Gender and Development, 13(2), 11–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Nabane, N., & Matzke, G. (1997). A gender-sensitive analysis of a community-based wildlife utilization initiative in Zimbabwe’s Zambezi valley. Society and Natural Resources, 10(6), 519–535.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Nightingale, A. (2002). Participating or just sitting in? The dynamics of gender and caste in community forestry. Journal of Forest and Livelihood, 2(1), 17–24.Google Scholar
  57. Nuijten, E. (2010). Gender and management of crop diversity in The Gambia. Jounal of Political Ecololgy, 17, 42–58.Google Scholar
  58. Ogra, M. (2008). Human-wildlife conflict and gender in protected areas borderland: A case study of costs, perceptions, and vulnerabilities from Uttarakhand (Uttaranchal), India. Geoforum, 39(3), 1408–1422.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Peyton, R. B., & Langenau, E. (1985). A comparison of attitudes held by BLM biologists and the general public towards animals. Wildlife Society Bulletin, 13, 117–120.Google Scholar
  60. Porter, F., & Sweetman, C. (2005). Introduction [special issue on gender mainstreaming]. Gender and Development, 13(2), 2–10.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Resurreccion, B., & Elmhirst, R. (Eds.). (2008). Gender and natural resource management: Livelihoods, mobility and interventions. London: Earthscan.Google Scholar
  62. Rocheleau, D., Thomas-Slayter, B., & Wangari, E. (Eds.). (1996). Feminist political ecology: Global issues and local experiences. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  63. Sanctuary Asia. (2011). Useful contacts: List of government departments and NGO’s working in the conservation arena across the country. Cited June 28, 2011. Available from: http://www.sanctuaryasia.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=751&Itemid=272.
  64. Schroeder, R. (1999). Shady practices: Agroforestry and gender politics in the Gambia. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  65. Songorwa, A. (1999). Is Community-based wildlife management gender sensitive? Experiences from Selous conservation programme in Tanzania. Uongozi Journal of Management and Development Dynamics, 11(2), 145–166.Google Scholar
  66. Svarstad, H., Daugstad, K., Vistad, O., & Guldvik, I. (2006). New protected areas in Norway: Local participation without gender equality. Moutain Research and Development, 26(1), 48–54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Terry, G. (2009). No climate justice without gender justice. Gender and Development, 17(1), 5–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. The Energy Research Institute, India. (TERI). (2011). Directory of environmental NGO’s in India. http://edugreen.teri.res.in/explore/ngos.htm. Accessed 28 June 2011.
  69. Thomas-Slayter, B., & Rocheleau, D. (1995). Gender, environment, and development in Kenya: A grassroots perspective. Boulder: Lynne Rienner.Google Scholar
  70. Torri, M. (2010). Power, structure, gender relations, and community-based conservation: The Cawswe study of the Sariska Region, Rajasthan, India. Journal of International Women’s Studies, 11(4), 1–18.Google Scholar
  71. Treves, A., Wallace, R., Naughton-Treves, L., & Morales, A. (2006). Co-managing human-wildlife conflicts: A review. Human Dimensions of Wildlife, 11, 383–396.Google Scholar
  72. UN (2000). Millennium Development Goals. http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/. Accessed 10 Sept 2011.
  73. United Nations (1992a). Rio declaration on environment and development. Cited on September 10, 2011. Available from: http://www.un.org/documents/ga/conf151/aconf15126-1annex1.htm.
  74. United Nations (1992b). Agenda 21. Chapter 24. http://www.un.org/esa/dsd/agenda21/. Accessed 10 Sept 2011.
  75. United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (UNCSW). (2008). Gender perspectives on climate change: Issues paper. http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/csw/csw52/issuespapers/Gender%20and%20climate%20change%20paper%20final.pdf. Accessed 10 Sept 2011.
  76. United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). (2011). The biodiversity challenge: Supporting India’s ecosystems. http://www.undp.org.in/biodiversity-challenge-supporting-india%C3%A2%E2%82%AC%E2%84%A2s-ecosystems-0. Accessed 10 Sept 2011.
  77. Vencatesan, J. (2008). Gender and conservation: Some issues. Current Science, 94(9), 1120–1122.Google Scholar
  78. Vernooy, R. (Ed.). (2007). Social and gender analysis in natural resource management: Learning studies and lessons from Asia. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  79. Wendoh, S., & Wallace, T. (2005). Re-thinking gender mainstreaming in African NGOs and communities. Gender and Development, 13(2), 70–79.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. West, P., Igoe, J., & Brockington, D. (2006). Parks and peoples: The social impact of protected areas. Annual Review of Anthropology, 35, 251–277.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. Western, D., & Wright, R. (Eds.). (1994). Natural connections: Perspectives in community-based conservation. Washington, DC: Island Press.Google Scholar
  82. World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD). (2002). Plan of implementation. http://www.johannesburgsummit.org/html/documents/summit_docs/2309_planfinal.htm. Accessed 10 Sept 2011.
  83. Yang, N., Zhang, E., & Che, M. (2010). Attitudes towards wild animal conservation: A comparative study of the Yi and Mosuo in China. International Journal of Biodiversity Science, Ecosystem Services & Management, 6(1–2), 61–67.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Environmental Studies and Program in Globalization StudiesGettysburg CollegeGettysburgUSA
  2. 2.GettysburgUSA

Personalised recommendations