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Assessment of Local Community Perceptions of Biodiversity Conservation in the 3S Rivers of Cambodia: Using a Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices (KAP) Approach

  • Seak SophatEmail author
  • Phat Chandara
  • Andrea H. Claassen
Chapter
Part of the Advances in Global Change Research book series (AGLO, volume 64)

Abstract

The Sekong, Sesan, and Srepok (3S) Rivers in Southeast Asia provide critical habitat for wildlife and support many threatened species. The Sesan and Sekong Rivers are regarded as Important Bird Areas, which recognizes their exceptional avian diversity and critical role in supporting waterbird populations. Additionally, these rivers provide diverse natural resources and ecosystem services that support the livelihoods of millions of people of riparian countries. However, the 3S Rivers are under severe threat from hydropower development, habitat destruction, economic land concessions, extractive industries, and illegal logging. In response to these threats, a community-based conservation program was implemented for waterbirds that utilized direct payments to communities for bird nest protection. Community participation is key to effective biodiversity conservation. However, few studies have assessed local perceptions of community-based conservation programs. Therefore, we conducted a knowledge, attitudes, and practices survey of selected communities along the 3S Rivers to understand community perceptions about the nest protection program. According to the local communities, waterbird populations increased and threats decreased as a result of the program. Overall, communities had positive impressions of the program and believed the program provided them with significant livelihood benefits. The results of this research will be used as educational and diagnostic tools to assess the effectiveness of the conservation program to meet community needs and to be able to improve this and other such community-based programs in the future.

Keywords

Biodiversity conservation KAP survey Payments for ecosystem services 3S Rivers 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We would like to thank all of our partner agencies and organizations. Specifically, we would like to thank the Cambodian Forestry and Fisheries Administrations and the Ministry of Environment, as well as the Stung Treng and Ratanakiri provincial Forestry and Fisheries Cantonments. Our heartfelt gratitude goes to local communities, district and commune authorities for administrative support and facilitation of project implementation. We are grateful to our partner organizations, including BirdLife International, 3S River Protection Network, Culture and Environment Preservation Association, and Wildlife Conservation Cambodia. Furthermore, we would like to thank the members of our project team, including Sok Samet, Yen Run, Ouch Mara, Pheung Sophea, and Leang Sovichea. This project would not have been possible without the support and participation of the local communities along the 3S Rivers. Funding for this project was generously provided by the MacArthur Foundation and the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Seak Sophat
    • 1
    Email author
  • Phat Chandara
    • 1
  • Andrea H. Claassen
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Natural Resource Management and DevelopmentFaculty of Development Studies, Royal University of Phnom PenhPhnom PenhKingdom of Cambodia
  2. 2.Department of Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation BiologyUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA

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