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Integrating Conservation and Development in the Peruvian Amazon

Catherine Kilbane Gockel, University of Washington; Environmental Studies Institute, Santa Clara University
Leslie C. Gray, Environmental Studies Institute, Santa Clara University


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Recent studies have critiqued integrated conservation and development projects for failing to attain either of their two major goals. This paper evaluates one such project in Peruís Pacaya Samiria National Reserve, which entailed community-based natural resource-management plans for palm and aquatic resources. We conducted semistructured interviews with reserve inhabitants (n=57) during May 2007, as well as key-informant interviews with state and non-governmental organization (NGO) staff. Monitoring data and reports from NGOs were important secondary sources in this study. The intervention has improved the status of targeted species and has improved the well-being of participants. This project worked well for a number of reasons, including the long-term commitment of the implementing organization, the social capital and legitimacy provided by participation in management groups, and the fact that local knowledge was incorporated into resource-management techniques.

Key words

Amazonia; community-based natural resource management; integrated conservation and development; Ribereños; tropical-forest conservation.
Ecology and Society. ISSN: 1708-3087