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Underhill, VT, United States

Chhatre A.,University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign | Lakhanpal S.,University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign | Larson A.M.,Center for International Forestry Research | Nelson F.,Maliasili Initiatives | And 3 more authors.
Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability | Year: 2012

We provide a synthesis of recent scholarship on social safeguards and co-benefits in REDD+ with a focus on debates on: first, tenure security, and second, effective participation of local communities. Scholars have explored both proximate and long-term co-benefits of REDD+ interventions, with an emerging trend that links safeguards to improved social co-benefits. Proximate co-benefits include improved rural livelihoods and lower costs of implementation. Long-term co-benefits include greater adaptive capacity of local communities and increasing transparency and accountability in forest governance. Our review suggests that greater tenure security and effective participation of local communities in management will not only prevent adverse social outcomes, but will also enable better forest outcomes and improved capacity for forest governance. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.

Boudreaux K.,George Mason University | Nelson F.,Maliasili Initiatives
Economic Affairs | Year: 2011

This paper examines the Community Based Natural Resource Management Programme in Namibia. It finds that the policy of transferring property rights to natural resources from the state to local communities has brought significant economic and environmental benefits. Though the system has been quite successful, there are lingering weaknesses. These include an incomplete devolution of management and use rights, problems related to human-wildlife conflict and continuing concerns with land tenure insecurity. © 2011 Institute of Economic Affairs. Published by Blackwell Publishing, Oxford.

Sachedina H.,University of Oxford | Sachedina H.,University of Kansas | Nelson F.,Maliasili Initiatives
ORYX | Year: 2010

Two issues of central importance to conservation are developing an improved understanding of the relative roles of state protected areas and local institutions and developing effective strategies for creating community-based incentives for conservation. We provide a case study of northern Tanzanias Maasai Steppe to explore these issues in the context of a savannah ecosystem where wildlife is mobile and depends extensively on community lands for seasonal habitats. We compare the impacts and outcomes of four approaches to developing local incentives for wildlife conservation on community lands: protected area benefit-sharing, trophy hunting donations, village-private tourism concession contracts, and a direct payment scheme for habitat conservation. Tourism and direct payment concession areas have resulted in large areas of community land being protected for wildlife by villages as a result of the conditional and contractual nature of these ventures. By contrast, other approaches that provide economic benefits to communities but are not conditional on defined conservation actions at the local level demonstrate little impact on wildlife conservation on community lands. In spatially extensive ecosystems where protected areas cover limited areas and wildlife relies heavily on community and private lands, strategies based on maximizing the direct income of communities from wildlife are fundamental to the sustainability of such systems. © 2010 Fauna & Flora International.

Nelson F.,Maliasili Initiatives | Foley C.,Wildlife Conservation Society | Foley L.S.,Wildlife Conservation Society | Leposo A.,Ujamaa Community Resource Trust | And 6 more authors.
Conservation Biology | Year: 2010

Payments for ecosystem services (PES) are an increasingly promoted approach to conservation. These approaches seek to develop financial mechanisms that create economic incentives for the maintenance of ecosystems and associated biodiversity by rewarding those who are responsible for provision of ecological services. There are, however, few cases in which such schemes have been used as a strategy for conserving wildlife in developing countries and very few operational examples of such schemes of any sort in sub-Saharan Africa. In savannah ecosystems, large mammal populations generally depend on seasonal use of extensive areas and are widely declining as a result of habitat loss, overexploitation, and policies that limit local benefits from wildlife. Community-based conservation strategies seek to create local incentives for conserving wildlife, but often have limited impact as a result of persistent institutional barriers that limit local rights and economic benefits. In northern Tanzania, a consortium of tourism operators is attempting to address these challenges through an agreement with a village that possesses part of a key wildlife dispersal area outside Tarangire National Park. The operators pay the community to enforce voluntary restrictions on agricultural cultivation and permanent settlement in a defined area of land. The initiative represents a potentially cost-effective framework for community-based conservation in an ecologically important area and is helping to reconcile historically conflicting local and national interests relative to land tenure, pastoralist livelihoods, and conservation. Wider adaptation of payments for ecosystem services approaches to settings where sustaining wildlife populations depends on local stewardship may help address current challenges facing conservation outside state-protected areas in savannah ecosystems in sub-Saharan Africa and other parts of the world. © 2009 Society for Conservation Biology.

The land management practices of pastoralist Maasai communities have a major bearing on landscapes and wildlife habitats in northern Tanzania and play a key role in maintaining habitat for one of the world's most spectacular assemblages of terrestrial large mammals. Pastoralists manage lands according to locally devised rules designed to manage and conserve key resources such as pastures and water sources. Dry season grazing reserves are an important part of traditional land management systems in many pastoralist communities, providing a ‘grass bank’ for livestock to consume during the long dry season when forage invariably becomes scarce and domestic animals are stressed for water and nutrients. Because of the scale and importance of northern Tanzania's wildlife-based tourism industry, and its indirect dependence on communal lands under the authority of pastoralists, these land use practices have an important economic dimension. By conserving large proportions of northern Tanzania's wildlife ecosystems, local pastoralist communities collectively make an important contribution to the national and regional economy. Using data regarding the degree to which wildlife depends on pastoralist lands in different ecosystems, and the relative importance of different areas in terms of generating revenue for the northern safari circuit, the annual value of pastoralist land uses to the wildlife-based tourism industry in northern Tanzania is estimated at approximately US $83.5 million. The economic value of pastoralists' contribution to wildlife conservation highlights the importance of Tanzanian policies in land, livestock, tourism, and wildlife sectors prioritizing measures that promote communal rangeland management and support traditional land use practices. © 2012, Nelson; licensee Springer.

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