An expert-based approach to assess the potential for local people engagement in nature conservation: the case study of the Niassa National Reserve in Mozambique

Aires Afonso Mbanze, Natasha Sofia Ribeiro, Carina Vieira da Silva, José Lima Santos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Implementation of new conservation measures without consistent consultation with key stakeholders has resulted in multiple failures that have been replicated elsewhere. In this study, we propose and test an improved method to identify: (i) the role of conservation actors (including local people), in major threats to conservation in a particular Protected Area (PA); (ii) the underlying drivers for the involvement of local people in conservation-threatening practices; and, (iii) appropriate policies to address those drivers. The method was developed and tested in the context of the Niassa National Reserve (NNR), the third major PA for the conservation of Miombo woodlands, savannah keystones and umbrella species in Africa. Experts’ answers were grouped according to opinions related to threats for conservation and current and proposed compensation schemes to improve conservation in the NNR. The results show a high degree of consensus among experts in relation to the current practices that threaten conservation in the reserve (poaching, illegal logging and mining). Local people were held responsible for activities that they carry out to meet their daily needs. While, outsiders carrying out illegal activities, were also responsible for practices that represent the top threats to conservation. The proposed new incentives, such as assisting local people with conservation agriculture, providing alternative sources of animal protein and providing scholarships for their children, may greatly improve the support of local people for biodiversity conservation in the reserve.

Original languageEnglish
Article number125759
JournalJournal For Nature Conservation
Volume52
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019

Keywords

  • Conservation incentives
  • Conservation threats
  • Legal and illegal outsiders
  • Local people
  • Protected areas

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