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BNELIT - Datenbank zu Bildung für nachhaltige Entwicklung: wissenschaftliche Literatur und Materialien
Bildung für nachhaltige Entwicklung: wiss. Literatur und Materialien (BNELIT)
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The illusion of participatory forest management success in nature conservation.
Zeitschriftenausgabe (-> Ref.Nr):
Biodiversity and Conservation
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Participatory forest management (PFM) is a major approach towards the reconciliation of biodiversity conservation and human livelihood needs. PFM was implemented around the Arabuko-Sokoke Forest (ASF), the largest remaining forest block of the East African coastal forest of southern Kenya, during the early 1990s. While forest cover has remained stable, there is evidence for persistent selective logging with subsequent reduction of habitat quality and a steady decline in biodiversity. We conducted structured surveys and semi-structured expert interviews to investigate the efficiency and acceptance of PFM by the local community. Hereby we considered two ethnic groups: The Waatha, the first known occupiers of the ASF, and the Giriama, recent settlers. We assessed the level of local awareness based on indigenous and modern ecological knowledge, peoples´ attitudes towards forest conservation, and their willingness to apply good environmental practices. Our quantitative analysis revealed low awareness of the uniqueness of biodiversity in ASF. Male respondents and those with higher formal education or indigenous knowledge, and long-term residents show significantly higher awareness. Majority (80%) of participants perceive the forest as being of high socioeconomic relevance and is a very important ecosystem service provider. However, less than half of the respondents express personal responsibility towards the conservation of this forest. The Waatha people show significantly higher scores on traditional ecological knowledge, willingness and personal responsibility towards forest conservation than the recent settlers, the Giriama. This study underlines that successful PFM depends on inter-ethnic relations and the history of the local people living in the ecosystem.
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