Examining marginalized communities and local conservation institutions: the case of Nepal's Annapurna Conservation Area.
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In developing countries, participatory conservation initiatives have been criticized for many reasons, mainly for excluding marginalized groups which have led to unequal benefits. Using concepts from the literature on participation, conservation, and political ecology, this research explored the participation of marginal groups, i.e., poor, women, lower caste, and landless, in management institutions in Nepal's Annapurna Conservation Area. Field work for this research was conducted through the use of interviews and participant observation during August-October 2010. Results show that although marginal groups were involved in local management institutions, their representation was minimal and had not led to meaningful participation or empowerment to influence the decisions being made in conservation and development programs. Our study findings indicate that the involvement of marginal groups in local initiatives is complex and influenced by several factors. The study concludes that the Annapurna Conservation Area Project needs to re-orient its conservation projects by adopting a more inclusive form of participation and move beyond the quota system.
author list (cited authors)
Dahal, S., Nepal, S. K., & Schuett, M. A.
complete list of authors
Dahal, Smriti||Nepal, Sanjay K||Schuett, Michael A