Human Ecology

, Volume 31, Issue 3, pp 417–437 | Cite as

Participatory Development and Community-Based Conservation: Opportunities Missed for Lessons Learned?

  • Lisa M. Campbell
  • Arja Vainio-Mattila


This paper traces the evolution as well as key elements, and provides examples of implementation of participatory development and community-based conservation, two concepts that resemble distant cousins in the intersecting worlds of development assistance and environmental conservation. The paper examines the connections between the concepts, the implications of participatory development for community-based conservation, and the reasons for the differences in their conceptualization and implementation. The paper is based on a review of the literature in both fields and on the authors' research and experience with participatory development and community-based conservation. Several keys to understanding the disconnection between the concepts emerge; intellectual and pragmatic origins of and impetus for the concepts, the expertise and interests of their promoters, and the differing emphasis on participation as means versus end. Results may inform our understandings of why many participatory approaches to conservation have failed to achieve meaningful participation in practice.

conservation participatory development theory praxis 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Marine Laboratory, Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth SciencesDuke UniversityBeaufort
  2. 2.Centre for International StudiesHuron University CollegeLondonCanada

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