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Biodiversity Conservation and Local Peoples

Research reports

Despite high global investment in projects designed to combine conservation with local development, successful examples were still difficult to find at the time this paper was written. In a wide-ranging review, the author identified the factors responsible for the disappointing progress: unfounded optimistic assumptions, inadequate evaluation and failure to involve local people fully. He recommended that our overall approach to conservation and development projects should be more cohesive, a large-scale and long-term process of adaptive learning, in which individual projects were deliberately focused on testing methods of systematic change rather than solving site-specific problems. Necessary features of these projects included true devolution of decision-making and thorough collaboration among NGOs, governments and professional researchers.

Michael P Wells