Local Participation in Nature Protection: Magic or Mistake?

By:
Dr Karoline Daugstad,
Dr Hanne Svarstad,
Dr Odd Inge Vistad
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Local participation is today often seen as important in nature protection processes and management of protected areas. Arguments in favour of local participation are not new, but they have been reinforced during the last years as a central feature of the present conservation discourse and also as a part of a general trend towards democratisation and subsidiarity. The idea of local participation in nature protection may be specified in various ways and implemented through different processes, institutions and mechanisms. Thus, the degree of influence by local actors may in some cases be very strong, while the implementation of more delimited types of local influence seems to be more usual. Furthermore, the type of actors and interests who are defined as acceptable “local participants” may vary. A large literature promotes and supports local participation. However, there are also critical voices being raised. A central aspect of the debate is whether or not local participation provides positive contributions to conservation. A partly overlapping question is whether or not implementation of local participation contributes to constitute area protection as positive and legitimate among local citizens. This paper aims at drawing main lines of arguments on the topic. The paper concludes by warning about some pit holes.


Keywords: nature protection, local participation, management, conflicts
Stream: Environmental Sustainability
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: Community-based Nature Protection


Dr Karoline Daugstad

Head of Research, Centre for Rural Research
Norway


Dr Hanne Svarstad

Researcher, Norwegian Institute for Nature Research
Norway


Dr Odd Inge Vistad

Researcher, Norwegian Institute for Nature Research
Norway


Ref: S06P0068