Use of Single Large or Several Small Policies as Strategies to Manage People–Park Interactions


Biodiversity conservation has been criticized for undermining or ignoring social well-being. Currently efforts to mutually promote social justice, rural development, and biodiversity conservation, which have been contentious and yielded mixed results, continue to spread despite a general dearth of effective management strategies. We contend that social and economic concerns should be integral to conservation planning and propose that the scale of these phenomena is also critical. To evaluate the merit of this proposal, we adopted and expanded a conservation management strategy framework developed by Joel Heinen and examined how population density, economic disparity, and ethnic heterogeneity vary spatially surrounding 2 contrasting protected areas in East Africa: Kibale National Park in Uganda and Tarangire National Park in Tanzania. Analyses of demographic, wealth, and ethnicity data from regional censuses and household surveys conducted in 2009 and 2010 indicated that choice of scale (landscape or community) changed the management strategies recommended by the model. Therefore, “several small” people‒park management strategies varying around a given protected area may be more appropriate than a “single large” people–park strategy applied across an entire protected area. Correspondingly, scale adjusted Heinen recommendations offered new strategies for effective conservation management within these human landscapes not incorporated in current in situ management plans.



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Conservation Biology



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