Community-Based Conservation Programs and Local People Willingness to Pay for Wildlife Protection: The Case of the Cotton-Top Tamarin in the Colombian Caribbean/Programas De Conservacion Basados En la Comunidad Y Disposicion a Pagar De Los Habitantes Locales Por la Conservacion Silvestre: El Caso del Mono Titi Cabeciblanco En El Caribe Colombiano

By Vargas, Andres; Diaz, David | Lecturas de Economia, July-December 2014 | Go to article overview

Community-Based Conservation Programs and Local People Willingness to Pay for Wildlife Protection: The Case of the Cotton-Top Tamarin in the Colombian Caribbean/Programas De Conservacion Basados En la Comunidad Y Disposicion a Pagar De Los Habitantes Locales Por la Conservacion Silvestre: El Caso del Mono Titi Cabeciblanco En El Caribe Colombiano


Vargas, Andres, Diaz, David, Lecturas de Economia


Les programmes conservation de la nature bases dans la communaute et la volonte de payer des gens locaux pour la conservation du tamarin a crete blanche dans la region des Caraibes de Colombie

--Introduction. --I. Contextual information. --II. Methods. --III. Results. --IV. Discussion. --Conclusion.

Introduction

A great deal of ecosystem stress and degradation takes place in the developing world, mostly in highly diverse areas, where local communities still depend on goods and services they consume directly from the natural environment. This dependency toward the natural environment may turn into a tragedy of the commons as communities get impoverished. For a long time, the mainstream of conservation strategies focused on protecting areas, mostly with low or none population, to sustain biodiversity of natural environments. In the face of intensive pressure of the population on valuable ecosystems in the tropics, conservation movements started trying new approaches that align biodiversity conservation with economic goals for community development (Berkes, 2004).

This new approach of linking conservation with development started in the mid-1960s with a FAO project in Zambia, and expanded rapidly among scholars and practitioners (Garnett, Sayer & Du Troit, 2007). Since then, efforts for integrating conservation and development have pointed to the need for developing economic and social institutions enabling the generation of income flows from conservation. The goal of projects following this approach is to sustain the natural-capital value of ecosystems while improving community welfare (Daily & Matson, 2008).

What differentiates so-called Community-Based Conservation (CBC) from other approaches is that CBC seeks to empower local people to actively participate and incorporate their knowledge and interest into the development of the conservation project (Souto et al., 2014). The CBC approach is centered on local people and, as such, its success is likely to depend on the interest and motivation that leads local communities to place biodiversity conservation as a priority. By providing alternative sources of income to forest-dependent people and gaining social acceptance through the participatory process, CBC approaches are expected to alleviate anthropogenic pressures, thus increasing the likelihood of achieving conservation targets. In other words, garnering support from local people is critical to successful conservation (Allendorf et al., 2006; Sodhi et al., 2010). Additionally, better understanding of people's preferences towards conservation is important to the design and implementation of conservation strategies that are both successful and legitimate (Kideghesho, Roskaft & Kaltenborn, 2007).

This study contributes to the literature by providing evidence on the effect of a particular CBC program over the preferences for conservation. It employs the contingent valuation method (CV) as a means to elicit values. It is worth nothing that even if the responses to the CV questions reveal attitudes rather than preferences (Kahneman & Sugden, 2005), its results are still relevant for our purpose, which is to find out whether the CBC program has made people more supportive of wildlife conservation. An advantage of the CV method is that it explicitly takes into account the costs of conservation-that is, attitudes are elicited with reference to the monetary cost accruing to respondents. We claim that this stresses, at the individual level, the conservation-development tensions and trade-offs that are present in the area of study.

The second section of the paper presents information about the study site and the CBC program. The third contains the methodology. The fourth section is dedicated to the results, which are discussed in the fifth section. The last section concludes.

I. Contextual information

In Colombia, tropical dry forests are in great danger of disappearing. …

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Community-Based Conservation Programs and Local People Willingness to Pay for Wildlife Protection: The Case of the Cotton-Top Tamarin in the Colombian Caribbean/Programas De Conservacion Basados En la Comunidad Y Disposicion a Pagar De Los Habitantes Locales Por la Conservacion Silvestre: El Caso del Mono Titi Cabeciblanco En El Caribe Colombiano
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