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Williams S.J.,Bangor University | Jones J.P.G.,Bangor University | Clubbe C.,Conservation | Gibbons J.M.,Bangor University
PLoS ONE | Year: 2012

Cultivation of wild-harvested plant species has been proposed as a way of reducing over-exploitation of wild populations but lack of technical knowledge is thought to be a barrier preventing people from cultivating a new species. Training programmes are therefore used to increase technical knowledge to encourage people to adopt cultivation. We assessed the impact of a training programme aiming to encourage cultivation of xaté (Chamaedorea ernesti-augusti), an over-harvested palm from Central America. Five years after the training programme ended, we surveyed untrained and trained individuals focusing on four potential predictors of behaviour: technical knowledge, attitudes (what individuals think about a behaviour), subjective norms (what individuals perceive others to think of a behaviour) and perceived behavioural control (self assessment of whether individuals can enact the behaviour successfully). Whilst accounting for socioeconomic variables, we investigate the influence of training upon these behavioural predictors and examine the factors that determine whether people adopt cultivation of a novel species. Those who had been trained had higher levels of technical knowledge about xaté cultivation and higher belief in their ability to cultivate it while training was not associated with differences in attitudes or subjective norms. Technical knowledge and perceived behavioural control (along with socio-economic variables such as forest ownership and age) were predictors of whether individuals cultivate xaté. We suggest that training programmes can have a long lasting effect on individuals and can change behaviour. However, in many situations other barriers to cultivation, such as access to seeds or appropriate markets, will need to be addressed. © 2012 Williams et al. Source


Benson E.E.,Conservation
Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.) | Year: 2012

Cryopreservation is the storage of viable bioresources at ultra-low temperatures in liquid nitrogen (LN). This chapter provides an overview of those protocols most commonly used to cryopreserve in vitro derived shoot tips and meristems; they are described generically, as sequential technical steps, including preparative and cryogenic treatments and the morphogenetic assessment of recovery. The importance of translating research-generated methods into formal Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) is considered. Source


Williams S.J.,Bangor University | Jones J.P.G.,Bangor University | Clubbe C.,Conservation | Sharrock S.,Botanic Gardens Conservation International | Gibbons J.M.,Bangor University
Biodiversity and Conservation | Year: 2012

International agreements and policies play an increasingly prominent role in strategies to combat biodiversity loss. However, conservation policies can only have a conservation impact if implemented. Identifying factors determining the influence of a policy on institutions could improve the process of policy development and communication. We examine how and why botanic gardens have responded to the first phase of a global conservation policy (the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation GSPC) using quantitative (questionnaires completed by 255 botanic gardens in 67 countries) and qualitative (in-depth interviews with five gardens in five countries) methods. We found that while the majority of gardens were aware of the GSPC, older gardens in the global north, and younger global south gardens are most influenced by the GSPC. Gardens that are members of a global botanic garden network and gardens with larger budgets are implementing more targets. Targets implemented tend to be aligned with existing institutional aims. Gardens highlighted an absence of a mechanism to feedback successes and failures. The GSPC has recently been reviewed and new targets for the period of 2011-2020 developed. To widen the influence of the GSPC, dissemination should include guidelines on how institutions could implement the policy, with particular focus on influencing younger global north gardens and older global south gardens. There are plans to develop a toolkit to help gardens better understand and implement the GSPC. We recommend the toolkit include a system for GSPC implementers to communicate with each other and to feedback to policy formulators. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V. Source


Williams S.J.,Bangor University | Gibbons J.M.,Bangor University | Clubbe C.,Conservation | Dibble A.,Asociacion Comunitaria para la Integracion Humana a la Naturaleza | And 2 more authors.
Economic Botany | Year: 2012

Who Harvests and Why? Characteristics of Guatemalan Households Harvesting Xaté (Chamaedorea ernesti-augusti). Cultivation of harvested species is frequently proposed as a conservation strategy to reduce wild harvesting pressure and improve local livelihoods. The success of this approach is likely to be influenced by harvesters' socioeconomic characteristics. Our study focuses on illegal harvesting of a palm species (Chamaedorea ernesti-augusti, locally known as xaté), by Guatemalans in the largely Belizean Greater Maya Mountains. We surveyed 222 households in nine Guatemalan villages close to the Belize/Guatemala border. With this sample we estimated the current intensity of illegal harvesting by Guatemalans in Belize, the characteristics of harvesting households, and their perceptions of the enforcement level of harvesting laws. We estimated that 26 % of households in the study area actively harvest. Harvesting households owned less land than non-harvesting households. Harvesters are aware that harvesting in Belize is illegal and of the sanctions for harvesting. However, incomes from xaté harvesting were favorable compared to alternative available activities and there were few barriers to entry. We conclude that successful conservation interventions promoting cultivation need to take account of existing harvester characteristics and constraints. Lack of secure land tenure means that cultivation is not a feasible alternative for many harvesting households. © 2012 The New York Botanical Garden. Source


Roux D.J.,International Water Center | Murray K.,Insight Modelling Services | Nel J.L.,South African Council for Scientific and Industrial Research | Hill L.,South African Council for Scientific and Industrial Research | And 2 more authors.
Ecology and Society | Year: 2011

The responsibility for managing and conserving freshwater ecosystems is typically shared by multiple organizations with sometimes conflicting policy mandates. However, scorecard-based approaches for measuring management effectiveness in natural resource management are usually confined to single organizations. This paper describes a social learning approach which acknowledges cooperation as an essential precondition for effective management and that encourages reflective coassessment of cooperative relationships. The approach was pilot tested with eight participating organizations in one water management area in South Africa. It specifically aimed to allow for a multiagency reflective assessment of issues determining cooperative behavior, allow context-specific adaptations, and be embedded in adaptive management. It involved development of a spreadsheet-based scorecard-type tool that can be used to facilitate a multiagency workshop. This workshop serves to bring parties face-to-face and helps them codiscover their interdependence, shortcomings, and strengths. The spreadsheet structures reflection on their respective roles and effectiveness while the reflective coassessment motivates participants to address shortcomings. Overall, insights that emerged included: cooperation should be an explicit component of each organization's operational strategy; facilitation of appropriate cooperative behavior could be very effectively achieved by external "bridging organizations"; the reflective assessment process must be followed by purposefully adaptive interventions; the ability of the scorecard to be contextually adaptive was important; and institutional readiness requires investigation as the approach does sit somewhat uncomfortably with much current practice. © 2011 by the author(s). Source

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