Recent studies in Asia and Australia found that community-managed areas can sometimes do better than traditional parks at preserving habitat and biodiversity. When it comes to conservation, maybe local people are not the problem, but the solution.
|Scooped by Leo Peters|
"To their surprise, they found fewer tigers and a decline in habitat quality inside the park. But habitat actually improved, particularly after 1999, on land where local communities had a say in the management." This article discusses how animal's interractions with local people actually preserve rather than destroy their populations. Possibly because of the animals adaptions to human contact, and that every organism has a contribution to the developement of their respective community. "Paradoxically, V. gouldii populations are higher where Aboriginal hunting is most intense," the co-authors write. It wasn’t human hunting that caused the extinction of small mammal species, they conclude, "but the loss of human hunting." And because of the local knowledge of ecological detail, "indigenous communities and community conservancies already control 40 percent of the land area in Namibia, 50 percent in Mexico, and 90 percent in Papua New Guinea. And the evidence increasingly suggests that they can succeed at achieving conservation goals. A recent analysis in the journal Forest Ecology and Management found that community managed forests in 15 tropical countries were actually more effective than traditional protected areas at reducing deforestation." Several reasons to why indigenous management is so benefitting to animal species is because of their regular contact with the environment and their willingness to contribute to aiding it. "For instance, Amboseli National Park in southern Kenya is too small for its elephant population. But the elephants have nowhere to go because of the growing human population outside the park. AWF believes community conservancies there have the potential to open a migratory corridor south to Mount Kilimanjaro and Arusha national parks in Tanzania" The example above shows how even though the national park is too small support the elephant population, the community conservancies can join together and create a larger area for migration for the elephants. As a concluding example, the article states that landscapes have evolved: "It might mean moving the fences in, in some cases, or moving them out in others," she says. "But it involves understanding that landscapes have evolved with people, and that what people do is important."