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Putting People in Parks: a case study on the impact of community involvement in conservation 2011

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Putting People in Parks: A case study on the impact of community involvement in conservation Richtersveld Transfrontier Park, bordering Namibia and South Africa, and Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve, British Columbia, Canada April Connolly April 12, 2010 CONS 498 April Connolly CONS 498   1 Abstract Traditional methods of conservation involving the development of strict park boundaries have proven ineffective on a global scale as they do not take into consideration the needs and desires of local communities. This paper demonstrates that incorporating community involvement into the management of conservation areas is a more effective means of developing local-specific and sustainable conservation programs than the traditional park system. These community-based conservation projects have been adopted in both developed and developing countries worldwide. By comparing two case study community-based conservation projects in a developed (Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve in Canada) and a developing (Richtersveld Transfrontier Park in South Africa) country, this paper reveals differences and similarities that can be applied to the incorporation of community involvement in conservation as a whole. The main difference between community-based conservation in developing and developed countries is the emphasis placed on rural development over conservation as a management goal; with developing countries emphasizing rural development and developed countries emphasizing conservation. Despite differences in the importance of rural development, many similarities lie between community-based conservation in developing and developed countries, such as the mindset of local people and the human rights issues involving land claims. The similarities and differences between community-based conservation in developing and developed countries are necessary to better adapt conservation to local needs and the long-term sustainability of natural resources. April Connolly CONS 498   2 An Introductory Exposure I first became interested in community involvement as a means of addressing conservation issues in the classroom. While I had grown up knowing that I was living on native land, it was at the University of British Columbia that I learned of the struggle First Nations are currently undergoing to gain the management rights of their ancestral land. I learned that their oral histories and ancient relationship with the land promoted a conservation-minded attitude towards natural resource management. This relationship was not understood by the colonialists who first came to Canada and they imposed management strategies that were inappropriate to this new environment due to differences in how these new ecosystems reacted compared to those with which they were familiar. Once they had realized their mistakes, they created parks to prevent further resource use and environmental degradation. Over time, parks became the status-quo means to both prevent resource use and inhibit environmental degradation. Living in South Africa for a year enabled me to recognize the parallels between the aftermath of apartheid in South Africa and colonialism in Canada with regard to the land rights of indigenous people. Both political phenomena displaced indigenous people from their ancestral land and, in doing so, indirectly affected the conservation principles put into practice. In both cases, colonialists brought with them a Western view of conservation, in which excluding people from resource use was deemed the only means to conserve those resources. I had the opportunity to visit the Dwesa-Cwebe region of the Eastern Cape in South Africa and speak with the chief of a tribe in that region. The people of his tribe used to have access to the fruit and fuel wood resources in a nearby forest. This forest, now Cwebe reserve, has since been fenced off and the local people deterred from entering and using the forest‟s plentiful resources. While an element of control is integral to any management scheme for natural resources, the injustice of a relegated role for local people in that management and in separating them from resources necessary for their social, economic, and cultural development does not appear to be an effective or sustainable means to define the element of control. These experiences sparked the question, which I hope to answer in this paper: what impact does community involvement have on the long term success of natural resource management and conservation? April Connolly CONS 498   3 Table of Contents 1. Introduction ....................................................................................................................... 4 1.1. The importance of community-based conservation .................................................. 4 1.2. Supporting theories ................................................................................................... 6 1.3. Criticisms of community-based conservation ........................................................... 7 2. History of community-based conservation ..................................................................... 10 2.1. Southern Africa (focus on South Africa) ................................................................ 10 2.2. Canada..................................................................................................................... 11 3. Case studies ..................................................................................................................... 12 3.1. Richtersveld Transfrontier Park (Namibia and South Africa) ................................ 13 3.2. Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve (British Columbia, Canada) ........................ 15 4. Difficulties and successes of community-based conservation ........................................ 16 4.1. Richtersveld Transfrontier Park .............................................................................. 17 4.1.1. Environmental degradation .................................................................... 17 4.1.2. Social equity........................................................................................... 18 4.2. Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve ..................................................................... 21 4.2.1. Environmental degradation .................................................................... 21 4.2.2. Social equity........................................................................................... 22 5. Case study similarities .................................................................................................... 25 6. Case study differences .................................................................................................... 28 7. Conclusions ..................................................................................................................... 32 8. References ....................................................................................................................... 34  April Connolly CONS 498   4 1. Introduction 1.1. The importance of community-based conservation Ecosystem conservation is an important aspect of land management on a global scale. Increasingly, communities are being encouraged to participate in the conservation of their local areas. With the signing of The Durban Accord in 2003, national park departments and international organizations began encouraging the co-management of natural resources with local people (Colchester 2004). In this paper, I hope to determine the efficacy of community- based conservation projects in Canada and South Africa, as well as the viability their success in the long-term. I wish to look at the impact community involvement has on the efficacy of conservation projects in developed and developing countries, as represented by Canada and South Africa respectively. The idea of community-based conservation originally stems from the concept of ethnoecology, which outlines that local people have valuable ecological knowledge that should not be disregarded by modern science (Nazarea 1999).  It attempts to unify these two sources of information by applying scientific analysis to ecological information gathered by local people, who are seemingly „uneducated‟ in ecology (Nazarea 1999). In doing so, researchers have found many parallels between traditional ecological knowledge and modern scientific knowledge, as well as areas in which they can learn from each other (Nazarea 1999). Conservation efforts can benefit from the incorporation of traditional ecological knowledge because it provides long-term information that is locally specific. In this way, it fills a gap that modern science has been unable to accomplish due to its short history. Traditionally, issues of conservation and maintaining biodiversity have been dealt with via the creation of parks, which limit access by people and prevent the use of natural April Connolly CONS 498   5 resources. This traditional form of conservation is ineffective for two main reasons. First, although it is simple to set aside an area of land as a park on paper, many national governments do not have the financial or human resources to implement such a plan (Bromley 1999). They may not have the resources to enforce the area‟s designation as a park or they may not be able to hire the people necessary to properly manage the park resources. Secondly, the plentiful resources in the park may tempt people living adjacent to the park to an extent that enforcement is ineffective in preventing illegal resource use in the park (Bromley 1999). Bromley (1999) points out that the creation of parks often takes place in areas adjacent to those of severe resource degradation as there is a desire to protect the ecosystem from further degradation. This makes it difficult to enforce park boundaries, since the hypothetical line of the boundary is the only thing separating local people living on degraded land from the basic necessities for life. Communities become interested in community-based conservation projects because they are not losing access to their resources (Boonzaier 1995). Furthermore, conservationists can ensure that resources are not over- exploited by subsidising resources use with profits from tourism in the newly created parks (Boonzaier 1995). The main problem associated with community-based natural resource management of any kind is the fear that it will devolve into a “Tragedy of the Commons” situation, where no distinct management occurs and individuals over-consume resources based on their own best interests at that point in time (Nazarea 1999; Bromley 1999; Spinage 1998; Adams and Hulme 2001). However, it is important to remember that a distinction lies between community-based management and the open access system described as a tragedy of the commons. Community-based management does not denote that everyone has unlimited April Connolly CONS 498   6 access to all the resources in a given area, it means that an exclusive community has some level of control over how these resources are managed (Bromley 1999). South Africa and Canada were selected for comparison due to the author‟s familiarity with both countries and due to their similar history in terms of the displacement of indigenous people from their native land and the role this displacement played in historical natural resource conservation. Within these two countries, the Richtersveld Transfrontier Park (Richtersveld) and the Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve (Gwaai Haanas) were chosen because of the amount of information readily available on them. Both of these parks are examples of contractual parks. Contractual parks are managed by a contractual agreement between the agency wishing to develop the area for conservation purposes and the landowners or local community (Fabricius et al. 2004). This contract outlines the management goals in the area, in addition to the responsibilities of the involved parties (Fabricius et al. 2004). Although, they are not pure community-based conservation projects, they do contain some level of community involvement, as defined in the contract. 1.2. Supporting theories Due to the inherent variability in community-based conservation, the concept of conservation in this context needs to have a broad definition. Thus, conservation is defined as the management of land in a way that will maintain the ecological integrity of the managed land. This means that a conservation management strategy does not exclude the use of natural resources, but their use must be managed in a way that will not degrade the natural resources for current or future generations. The traditional idea of conservation is one where land is set aside as a park and use is limited or restricted altogether  in an attempt to prevent further degradation of the land and April Connolly CONS 498   7 promote the recovery of natural resources. This concept was created in developed countries and imposed on developing countries. This imposition was unsuccessful due to the greater importance of natural resource use in developing countries compared to developed countries. This direct dependence on natural resources in developing countries is one of the defining differences between developed and developing counties. By limiting the use of these resources, the traditional park system put already poor people in a more compromised position. There can be many levels of community involvement in any kind of land management plan. This can range from the community being informed of decisions once they have been made to decisions being made by the community with no external interference. Forsyth et al. (2010) provide a very detailed description of the varying levels of community involvement. However, most management plans lie somewhere in the middle of this spectrum. Based on the definitions of community involvement and conservation, a community- based conservation project can incorporate a wide variety of community involvement as well as many ideas of conservation. The defining characteristics of this concept are that there must be some level of direct community participation in the management of the conservation area and the resources must be sustainably used so they are not degraded for current or future generations. 1.3. Criticisms of community-based conservation The idea of community-based conservation has come under much scrutiny since its inception as a formal resource management strategy. The main criticism that appears in community-based conservation literature is that community involvement is incompatible April Connolly CONS 498   8 with conservation because of the theory of the “Tragedy of the Commons” (Nazarea 1999; Spinage 1998; Adams and Hulme 2001). However, this criticism confuses the concepts of open access and community-based conservation. An open access system has the potential to result in the “Tragedy of the Commons” because there is no means of preventing over- exploitation (Hardin 1968). Community-based conservation differs from an open access system in that it is a formal natural resource management strategy (Fabricius et al. 2004; Berkes et al. 1989). In this way, there must be checks and balances within its management plan to ensure over-exploitation and an open access system do not occur (Berkes et al. 1989). Another criticism of community-based conservation is the idea that development and conservation are mutually exclusive and cannot be incorporated into the same plan. However, this is not always the case. As long as extremes in both development and conservation are avoided, which should be a goal in any management plan, development and conservation can work well together, even to the point of complementing each other (Milder et al. 2008). By closely involving local people in the management of conservation areas, it is possible to recognize when these extremes are being reached and correct for areas of a management plan that are unsuccessful. This is an issue that is difficult to notice as quickly in a traditional park system that does not have people in close contact with the environment on a daily basis. Consequently, community involvement can correct for conflicts between development and conservation goals within a park system. The lack of clear definitions is a common area of criticism that accompanies community-based conservation (Adams and Hulme 2001). The all-encompassing nature of community-based conservation means that the definition of community, conservation, community participation and natural resource use will vary between management projects. April Connolly CONS 498   9 While this is an important issue within the realm of community-based conservation management, it is the role of the individual management plan to define these concepts as they relate to that specific conservation area and community. Land claims are still undecided in most cases, so the idea that the community has a right to be involved in this management can be regarded as an unproven assumption (Spinage 1998; Adams and Hulme 2001). However, this criticism is unfounded as governments are unlikely to enter into a contract to manage a conservation area if the community they are entering into this contract with has little legitimate claim to the land. Thus, the fact that a government is willing to cooperate with a community itself legitimizes community land claims. Finally, the idea of a well-defined community can be elusive in some cases. Members of the same community may have different values in terms of natural resource management or politics and thus have varying management goals in the conservation area. This can cause conflicts within the community, which may lead to a destabilization of the formal management plan (Spinage 1998). On a similar note, differences in the worldviews of outsiders and locals can cause conflicts between these two groups in regards to the management of natural resources (Spinage 1998; Adams and Hulme 2001). However, both of these ideas work under the assumption that a community is unable to control itself. While this may be the case for some community groups, the historical existence of cohesive community groups demonstrates that this is not a universal characteristic of communities and, thus, it would be wrong to assume it is. April Connolly CONS 498   10 2. History of community-based conservation 2.1. Southern Africa (focus on South Africa) The first national parks in South Africa were established in the first half of the 20 th  century, with Kruger National Park being the first ( 2004). The creation of parks throughout South Africa gained momentum after this and the establishment of national parks was used for conservation of the natural resources and to encourage tourism in South Africa, the majority of which came from developed countries (Reid et al. 2004). However, the majority of local people were denied access to the parks due to high entrance fees and these parks became recreational grounds for the elite (Reid et al. 2004). Since the end of apartheid in 1994, more South African communities are choosing to work with governmental and private organizations in conserving land through community- based conservation projects (Reid et al. 2004). Parks became more accessible to local people due to reduced entrance fees for South Africans as compared to international visitors. Most of the community-based conservation in South Africa is developed in the form of contractual national parks (Fabricius et al. 2004). Contractual national parks are managed by a joint management committee, made up of representatives from the community, landowners, and the conservation authority, which outlines the goals of the national park and the responsibilities of the parties involved in its management (Reid et al. 2004). The following paragraph summarizes the findings of Fabricius et al. (2004) in regards to the factors leading up to the incorporation of community involvement in natural resource management in South Africa. The development of community-based conservation projects gained momentum in the late 1980s and 1990s as a manifestation of peace in the area after the apartheid destabilization in southern Africa. In addition to the end of the political conflict, April Connolly CONS 498   11 traditional ideas of conservation and the drought that hit the area emphasized the need to diversify the economy in rural areas, thus encouraging the use of community-based resources management. While debates with the international community on issues of animal conservation worked counter to these other factors by hindering the development of community-based conservation projects, other forces were stronger in shifting the focus to community involvement. The inadequately defined relationship between the provincial and federal governments, due to changes in the political structure of South Africa after apartheid, resulted in contention about who had the authority to make decisions regarding resource management. Government departments had much to contend with after apartheid ended and were unable to provide the necessary resources for traditional conservation. This meant that the South African government tended towards community conservation as a natural resource management solution, but it also meant that community conservation was not well-defined. 2.2. Canada The end of the 19 th  century saw the establishment of the first national park in Canada with the creation of Banff National Park (Binnema and Niemi 2006, 724-750). Banff National Park was established under the pretence of conservation, but it is debated that this park and others were created with the direct intention of excluding First Nations from the economic activities, such as hunting and tourism, occurring with in the park boundaries (Binnema and Niemi 2006). While the creation of national parks began earlier in Canada than South Africa, the popularity of park creation worldwide peaked after the Second World War. The creation of national parks in Canada is complicated as land belongs to the provincial governments, but a national park would be under the jurisdiction of the federal April Connolly CONS 498   12 government. As outlined in the Canada National Parks Act, the federal government must negotiate with the provincial government in order to establish a national park (Government of Canada 2000). Until the point at which the provincial government agrees to formally relinquish control of the land, the designated area is known as a national park reserve. Additionally, the term national park reserve is given to a national park that is created on land with unsettled aboriginal land claims. A national park reserve is akin to a national park in all ways, except that its status as a conservation area can be taken away at any time if the provincial government so chooses. Within Canada, community-based conservation projects have mainly focused around First Nations land claims. The formal incorporation of First Nations involvement into land management began with the 1982 amendment to the Canadian Constitution. The Constitution Act, 1982 included Section 35 in which “existing aboriginal and treaty rights of the aboriginal people of Canada [were] recognized and affirmed” (Government of Canada 1982). This Act encouraged consultation with the First Nations and helped initiate a move towards community-based conservation. As community-based conservation in Canada is a relatively new idea, it is likely that communities other than First Nations will begin to participate in the conservation and management of their local lands. However, western notions of conservation are constantly changing, which makes it difficult to define community-based conservation efforts (Silvertown and Sarre 1991). 3. Case studies The purpose of using case studies to look at the impact of community involvement on the success of conservation projects is to examine this impact in depth and demonstrate the complexity of community involvement. As has been outlined previously, many criticisms April Connolly CONS 498   13 surround the practicality of initiating community-based conservation projects. The main fear is that the community will not be educated enough in natural resource management and that there will be no clear leadership or structure to enforce management goals. By looking at these issues from the view of two case studies that appear to contradict such generalizations, we will be able to determine the validity of these fears. These two particular case studies, the Richtersveld and Gwaii Haanas, were chosen because they were both established at around the same time and have similar levels of community involvement. Both case studies are examples of a contract park. A contract park is a park managed as a joint venture between any combination of land owners, local communities, government and investors. The contract provides a useful tool for the comparison of these community-based management strategies as it is a constant characteristic of both case studies. The existence of these similarities suggests that it will be easier to compare the impact of community involvement on the success of their management goals, despite these parks occurring in countries with differing economic statuses. The presence of enough similarities to enable comparison and differences to provide a contrast is an important aspect of using case studies. 3.1. Richtersveld Transfrontier Park (Namibia and South Africa) Richtersveld Transfrontier Park (Richtersveld) was established in 1991 and was the second contract park to be established in South Africa (Boonzaier 1995; Fabricius et al. 2004). As a contract park, it is jointly managed by a government body that manages parks in South Africa, called South Africa National Parks (SANParks), and the local people living just outside of the park boundaries, Nama-speaking herders (Boonzaier 1995). There are approximately 6000 Nama people living in four villages to the south and west of the park April Connolly CONS 498   14 boundaries (Fabricius et al. 2004). The contract between them and SANParks lasts 24 years at which point the community has the opportunity to renegotiate or cancel the contract within 6 years from when the contract ends (Fabricius et al. 2004). The Richtersveld covers 162, 445 hectares of land located in the northwest corner of the South African province of the Northern Cape and spans across the border into southwest Namibia (Fabricius et al. 2004). This area encompasses a unique ecosystem and is of great botanical importance as it is one of the most species-rich arid-land zones in the world with 608 identified plant species almost half of which have not been analyzed (Fabricius et al. 2004; Rutherford et al. 1999). Consequently, environmental protection has been used as justification for every land management plan that has been proposed on this land in the last century. From the 1960s to the 1980s the South African government proposed dividing the area into economic units in an attempt to encourage commercial farming (Boonzaier 1987). These plans dissolved due to acts of civil disobedience from the local people, as commercial farming would encroach on their land (Boonzaier 1995). The next idea was to designate that area as a national park. In 1989, the local people opposed the creation of the park, as its creation would remove grazing land and their access to natural resources (Boonzaier 1995). Furthermore, the creation of a park implies that the local people are unable to successfully manage their land. As a result of these protests, the park was renegotiated to be a contract park with limited access to resources by local people and involving significant input in how it is managed on the part of locals (Boonzaier 1995). April Connolly CONS 498   15 3.2. Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve (British Columbia, Canada) The Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve is located on the southern tip of the Queen Charlotte Islands, also known as Haida Gwaii, in the Canadian province of British Columbia (Archipelago Management Board 1996). It is a terrestrial and marine reserve covering 1470 km 2  of land and approximately 2500 km 2  of sea (Archipelago Management Board 1996). Although the land issues in this area were not settled prior to the establishment of this park and development of a management plan, the Canadian government and Haida Nation found common ground in their decision to conserve this area (Government of Canada and CHN 1993). As outlined in the Canada National Parks Act, the provincial government was consulted and agreed to the creation of a national park that would be managed by the Canadian government, which then chose to involve the Haida Nation (Government of Canada 2000). In 1985, the Haida Nation delineated the area that is roughly the current park boundaries and, with the assistance of non-governmental conservation organizations, attempted to prevent logging in this area (Archipelago Management Board 1996). A year later, Gwaii Haanas was established, but the Gwaii Haanas agreement stating that both parties are interested in protecting this area was not signed until 1993 (Archipelago Management Board 1996; SCBD 2004). The Canadian government and the Haida Nation have agreed to an Archipelago Management Board (AMB), which is responsible for managing Gwaii Haanas (Archipelago Management Board 1996; Government of Canada and CHN 1993). The AMB is comprised of equal representation from the government and the Haida Nation, with each party having two representatives (Government of Canada and CHN 1993). April Connolly CONS 498   16 4. Difficulties and successes of community-based conservation The purpose of community-based conservation projects can be separated into two main goals, namely to reduce or prevent environmental degradation and biodiversity loss; and to increase community involvement, develop rural areas and promote social equity or the “fair distribution of benefits” (Berkes 2004). Therefore, the difficulties and successes with which each park is faced are to be evaluated according to these two common goals. It is important to remember that conservation may impose a cost onto the community and, likewise, resource use by the community may impose a cost onto biodiversity conservation if these goals conflict (Fabricius et al. 2004). Due to these two main goals, community-based conservation projects require cooperation between the social and environmental aspects of both science and government. The problems associated with implementing community-based conservation projects often stem from the reluctance of different governmental and research departments to work together (Blaustein 2007). Social scientists and conservation biologists regularly disagree about what should be preserved when both environmental and social issues are at stake (Blaustein 2007). However, finding common ground between social and environmental studies is crucial as they are interconnected in regards to successful conservation. Another difficulty with community-based conservation is that many projects are assessed for their success at the early stages of implementation (Newmark and Hough 2000). While this is generally because these projects are still relatively new, this early evaluation may be limited in determining the long-term potential of a project (Newmark and Hough 2000; Baral et al. 2007). In order to ensure the longevity of a successful community-based April Connolly CONS 498   17 conservation system, the ability of this system to meet goals needs to be assessed regularly as the project ages. As has been previously noted, the goals of a community-based conservation plan will vary depending on the ecosystem and community needs being managed. Therefore, the relative success or failure of a plan needs to be measured against its own goals and to what extent those goals fulfil the desires of the rights holders. In the case that these desires do not meet international standards of social equity and environmental protection, these international goals should also be considered in an attempt to hold the success of a management plan to a higher standard. 4.1. Richtersveld Transfrontier Park 4.1.1. Environmental degradation From the point of preventing environmental degradation there has been only moderate success as a result of community involvement in the management of Richtersveld. The emphasis on rural development in the Richtersveld management plan has, to a certain extent, inhibited the progress of the plan in terms of preventing environmental degradation. The greatest risk of environmental degradation is caused by the incorporation of diamond mining into the park management. Mining has been the main source of employment and income for people in the Richtersveld, since it began in the early 1900s, and the community has become dependent on this industry (Odendaal and Suich 2007). Under the management plan, mining companies are still allowed to operate within the boundaries of the Richtersveld (Fabricius et al. 2004). Alexkor, the diamond mining company that has operated in this area since the late 1920s, is contemplating handing over terrestrial mining rights to the Richtersveld community, as the company will still have the more lucrative marine mining April Connolly CONS 498   18 rights on the nearby coast (Mpofu and Capel 2009). Even if this negotiation takes place, the Richtersveld Mining Community has plans to continue mining in this area and, thus, the associated environmental degradation will continue (Mpofu and Capel 2009). Historically, the park land was used as a grazing ground for cattle owned by the Nama people (Williamson 1995). Since the development of the Richtersveld as a national park, the numbers of livestock grazing in this area have decreased (Boonzaier 1995). However, there is some debate as to whether or not the number of livestock currently grazing within the park boundaries is still greater than the ecosystem can sustain without further degradation (Fabricius et al. 2004). A success, in terms of environmental degradation, is that the conservation efforts in the Richtersveld have brought some species, especially unique flora, in the area back from near extinction (Fabricius et al. 2004). This is a very sensitive ecosystem and contains many species that are not found anywhere else in the world (Fabricius et al. 2004). Therefore, the preservation of these unique species is crucial to the conservation of biodiversity on a global scale and ecosystem integrity on a local scale. 4.1.2. Social equity The main difficulty, in terms of social equity, is the uneven distribution of social benefits within the Richtersveld community. While 16 of the Nama people have employment within the park, this does not solve the problem of unemployment at the level of the whole community (Boonzaier 1995; Fabricius et al. 2004). Since the park is small and has a very unique and sensitive ecosystem, there are few tourists allowed into the park on a daily basis (Boonzaier 1995). This means that the profits from tourism in the park are not likely to play a large role in the total economy of the community. Boonzaier (1995) points out that the park April Connolly CONS 498   19 creation, also, restricts other employment possibilities in the area by limiting what is allowed to happen within the park boundaries, such as farming. Similarly, the economic benefit of the park for each member of the community may appear greater than it actually is per household due to the uneven distribution of benefits (Fabricius et al. 2004). While those 16 people working within the park may have a high wage and secure position, the other people in the community may not receive the same benefits. The distribution of park wealth throughout the community can make a difference in terms of the success or failure of meeting social equity goals. A disparity in income distribution has the potential to decrease cooperation within the community, which is already a problem due to ethnic and political differences within the Richtersveld community (Fabricius et al. 2004). Despite the fact that tourism does not and likely will never provide a very large income to the Richtersveld community, the park does play an important role in the view the Nama people have for their future. The park acts as a safety net in times of economic uncertainty or environmental disturbance, when natural resources outside of the park may be scarce (Fabricius et al. 2004). In times of drought, the park is used as an alternative grazing area for livestock and, consequently, gives additional security to the local community in uncertain times and helps to alleviate poverty in the area (Fabricius et al. 2004). This grazing can complicate conservation as was discussed in the previous section, although the impact of grazing has been reduced since the creation of the park. Therefore, while the people may not have significant gains on an economic level, their land and resources were not taken away as they would have been if a traditional park system had been implemented (Fabricius et al. 2004). April Connolly CONS 498   20 Another social benefit of community involvement in the Richtersveld is that it empowers the local community in both land management and other aspects of their lives (Fabricius et al. 2004). By obtaining control over the management of their land and natural resources, they gain some level of independence from the national government and can fight for their rights and desires in other areas. This has been seen in the creation of the Richtersveld Mining Community and the steps taken to gain control of the influential mining industry in the area (Mpofu and Capel 2009). Becoming involved in the management of local land, especially at the scale occurring in the Richtersveld, helps to cement the community‟s claims over that land (Fabricius et al. 2004). By the South African government acknowledging local input by the Nama people, it is indirectly admitting the legitimacy of these legal claims. While land claims have already been formally acknowledged in the case of the Richtersveld, they are not upheld in practice as the park land legally belongs to the South African government (Fabricius et al. 2004). Therefore, their involvement in the management of the Richtersveld will strengthen these land claims. The park management itself has experienced both difficulties and successes in its implementation. The joint management committee in charge of managing the park meets regularly several times a year, but consultation with the rest of the community does not occur on a regular basis (Fabricius et al. 2004). Furthermore, the representatives from SANParks dominate these meetings because the community representatives do not have the resources to educate members of the community in resource management issues (Fabricius et al. 2004). This results in low community participation external to the community members on the joint management committee. Furthermore, while a management plan for the Richtersveld has April Connolly CONS 498   21 been developed, it has not yet been approved by the South African government (Fabricius et al. 2004). Until the time when a management plan is approved, SANParks is legally able to manage the Richtersveld according to its own criteria (Fabricius et al. 2004). This means that the level of community involvement may appear more equitable than it is in practice. Overall, the situation in the Richtersveld is seen as an improvement by the local people, who have approved of the changes to land management (Boonzaier 1995). While the attitudes of community members towards the park can be difficult to determine and quantify, it appears that the Nama people are generally content with their involvement in and the management of the Richtersveld (Boonzaier 1995). Furthermore, many members of the community hold the improvements to their livelihoods and sense of community in higher regard than they would any increase in economic benefit directly from employment within the park (Fabricius et al. 2004). 4.2. Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve 4.2.1. Environmental degradation Due to the greater emphasis placed on conservation than rural development in the Gwaii Haanas management plan, the park‟s success in regards to environmental degradation was relatively high. One difficulty associated with environmental degradation is that, while over half of the park area is a marine reserve, the AMB has not yet developed a management plan for the marine ecosystem (Archipelago Management Board 1996). However, there is a well-developed terrestrial management plan, currently, and it is important to note that the terrestrial ecosystem is likely to be more directly involved with tourism than the marine environment. Furthermore, within the Gwaii Haanas Agreement there is a rough outline of resource use, which states that fur-bearing animals can be trapped and trees can be cut down April Connolly CONS 498   22 solely for ceremonial and artistic purposes of the Haida people (Government of Canada and CHN 1993). While this is not a detailed management plan, it does provide guidelines that managers are able to follow in lieu of a marine management plan. Furthermore, the local economy has shifted from one based on logging to one including tourism (SCBD 2004). This has taken a great deal of pressure off of the natural ecosystem and increased the biodiversity in the area. Due to the environmental improvements in Gwaii Haanas as a result of community involvement in the management plan, this area has become a hotspot for marine ecosystem research in British Columbia (Brodo and Sloan 2004; Salomon et al. 2002). It provides a unique ecosystem that is recovering from the impact of humans, which increases its importance in a research setting. 4.2.2. Social equity As there is less of an emphasis on rural development in the Gwaii Haanas management plan, job creation for the Haida people is less of a priority than in the Richtersveld. Even so, as of 2004, over half of the park employees are Haida (SCBD 2004). Not only are a high portion of the people employed in the park of Haida descent, but the Archipelago Management Board, whose members are half Haida, have the opportunity to help decide who is employed within the park (Government of Canada and CHN 1993). It is preferred that these park employees have some knowledge of Haida culture, in order to effectively manage for cultural uses of the park‟s natural resources (Government of Canada and CHN 1993). This is a very large success in terms of social equity as compared to the Nama people who have only 16 people employed in the Richtersveld Park. The Archipelago Management Board itself is both a success and potential difficulty of this community-based management project. A success of the Archipelago Management April Connolly CONS 498   23 Board is that it has equal representation from Parks Canada and the Haida Nation, with two representatives from each party (Government of Canada and CHN 1993; SCBD 2004). Furthermore, the Board is flexible in that each member of the Archipelago Management Board can have an alternate to work in their stead if they are unavailable (Government of Canada and CHN 1993). However, the number of people representing either party is subject to change under the negotiation of both parties in case it is determined that the parties require varying levels of representation (Government of Canada and CHN 1993). This could transpire because the Haida Nation has fewer resources available to help in their management of Gwaii Haanas and participation in the Archipelago Management Board. However, to date, there have been few attempts to improve the resources available to the Haida Nation or alter representation within the Archipelago Management Board. The Agreement does state that both parties must have equal access to all documents pertaining to the management of Gwaii Haanas (Government of Canada and CHN 1993). While access to these documents is important, the Haida Nation does not have the financial or human resources to review and compile key information from these documents. An appendix was included in the Gwaii Haanas Agreement that addressed this issue. It stated that any costs associated with the AMB would be negotiated between the Minister of the Environment and the Council of the Haida Nation in an attempt to coordinate fair payment from both parties (Government of Canada and CHN 1993). This negotiation is an attempt to level the balance of power between Parks Canada and the Haida Nation and thus increase the level of community involvement incorporated into the management of Gwaii Haanas. A success of the Gwaii Haanas Agreement is that in order for decisions to be made, the vote needs to be unanimous between both parties (Government of Canada and CHN April Connolly CONS 498   24 1993). If a decision cannot be reached, an independent third party will be called upon to help mediate the disagreement (Government of Canada and CHN 1993). However, there is a loop hole in regards to this issue, as the Gwaii Haanas Agreement states that “in the case of an emergency” a decision does not have to be reached (Government of Canada and CHN 1993). While the Gwaii Haanas Agreement states that either party may do what it deems necessary to handle this emergency, the provincial government of British Columbia still legally owns the land and thus has the jurisdiction to reject decisions made by the Archipelago Management Board and potentially abolish Gwaii Haanas all together (Government of Canada and CHN 1993). Thus, as with the Richtersveld management plan, the level of social equity is more balanced in principle than it is in practice. Monitoring the efficacy of the Gwaii Haanas management plan is another aspect of the Gwaii Haanas Agreement that adds to the success of community involvement in resource management. The Gwaii Haanas Agreement outlines that it will be evaluated at regular intervals to determine its efficacy in reaching the management goals of Gwaii Haanas and fulfilling the desires of both parties involved in its management (Government of Canada and CHN 1993). These evaluations were scheduled to take place two years after the Gwaii Haanas Agreement is implemented and every five years following the first review (Government of Canada and CHN 1993). In addition to this regular evaluation, the use of resources for Haida cultural activities is monitored and the management of cultural sites and commercial licenses is done on a case-by-case basis (Government of Canada and CHN 1993). The careful monitoring of aspects of the management plan at regular intervals is an attempt to solve social and environmental problems before they become severe enough to April Connolly CONS 498   25 negatively impact the ecosystem and people involved. Consequently, it is a success in the management of both environmental degradation and social equity goals. 5. Case study similarities Both the Nama and the Haida peoples have a similar view on conservation. They understand the importance of using natural resources sustainably and managing them so that they are not degraded for future generations. These clear definitions ensure that these values will be both easy to uphold and enable the community or other rights holders to be held accountable if they are not followed (Bromley 1999). Furthermore, by taking the existing conservation values of these communities and turning them into policy, they community will feel a sense of ownership of the policy and, consequently, be more inclined to uphold them (Bromley 1999). Furthermore, Canada and South Africa divide their methods of attaching value to resources in the same way, although these categories have a different weighting of importance in each country. According to these two countries, natural resources have value from their direct-use, indirect-use, and passive-use (Fabricius et al. 2004). The direct-use of natural resources consists of all instances where the resources themselves are used, such as harvesting or livestock production (Fabricius et al. 2004). Indirect-uses are the environmental processes supported by a healthy ecosystem, and passive-use is the intrinsic value of these resources as well as their cultural and spiritual importance (Fabricius et al. 2004). The maintenance and management of these resource values for future generations composes the conservation-minded viewpoint of the Nama and Haida peoples. The most apparent similarity between the case studies is the histories behind these areas and the human rights issues surrounding these histories. Both Canada and South Africa have been enveloped in controversy regarding human rights and land claims (Timko and April Connolly CONS 498   26 Satterfield 2008). In Canada, the First Nations were displaced from their lands during colonialism and to this day have unsettled land claims over the entire country. The indigenous people in South Africa faced similar violations of human rights during apartheid when they lost control of the management of their ancestral lands. The governments of the time then imposed top-down preservation of land and, by doing so, implied that the indigenous people were ineffective at managing their lands. Thus, these community-based conservation projects were initiated by displaced people in an attempt to compromise with the governments and gain some influence in the management of their local lands. In this way, the increasing development of community-based conservation projects cannot be detached from the struggle for human rights in Canada and South Africa (Fabricius et al. 2004). Although community-based conservation projects are local in nature, they cannot be disconnected from international influences and events. Generally, global pressure on the national government plays a role in the initial development of these conservation projects (Fabricius et al. 2004). This is partially due to the connection between community-based conservation projects and human rights issues (Fabricius et al. 2004). In the Richtersveld case study, this international pressure coincided with the promotion of human rights during and after the breakdown of the apartheid system, and in Canada it followed the implementation of Constitution Act, 1982. In these cases, global pressure was necessary to support the local people in developing a community-based management strategy in order to further motivate the local governments to change the way in which land is managed. Besides international pressure to uphold human rights, a strong community is necessary for the success of a community-based conservation project. The people of the community need to demonstrate that they have the social structure necessary to manage and April Connolly CONS 498   27 enforce the sustainable use of natural resources. In both case studies, the indigenous people were able to demonstrate the cohesive social structure necessary to evoke support from the international community. Furthermore, the community needs to be willing and able to fight for its land rights (Fabricius et al. 2004). In this regard, the indigenous people of Gwaii Haanas and Richtersveld had legally enforceable land claims to the area of their respective parks, which helped them garner international support of these claims. If a people have no legitimate claim to the land or no cohesive, defined community, it is unlikely they will gain the outside support necessary to convince the local government to develop management plans encouraging community involvement (Fabricius et al. 2004). As elementary as it sounds, in order for the community involvement to be effective, the community has to want to be involved. It needs to incorporate the devotion of the entire community, not just a few leaders, to ensure that all the needs of the people and the ecosystem are met. Finally, the incorporation of traditional ecological knowledge into management plans is another similarity between these two contract parks. In both Richtersveld and Gwaii Haanas, colonialists used management plans that were inappropriate for the land, simply because they were unfamiliar with the ecosystem processes. Once they realized the mistakes they had made, governments in these two countries resorted to preservation, by the creation of exclusionary parks, in an attempt to decrease environmental degradation. Recognition of the value of traditional ecological knowledge is crucial to the development of these community-based conservation projects. Traditional ecological knowledge is passed down through generations and adjusted to be suitable to specific ecosystems (Gragson and Blount 1999). This process is known as adaptive management and is one of the strengths of incorporating community involvement into natural resource management (Fabricius et al. April Connolly CONS 498   28 2004). One of the weaknesses of modern science is the lack of long term data. However, traditional ecological knowledge is not without faults of its own. As traditional ecological knowledge stems from long-term trial and error observation, it does not adapt quickly to changes in the ecological systems (Fabricius et al. 2004). Therefore, it is important not to rely solely on one method of data collection or the other. By using traditional ecological knowledge in conjunction with modern science, Richtersveld and Gwaii Haanas have been managed with detailed and ecosystem-specific management plans developed through the cooperation of all involved (Gooneratne and Obudho 1997). An important feature of any type of successful management plan is the inclusion of a feedback mechanism within the plan (Bromley 1999). The Gwaii Haanas and Richtersveld case studies both included a feedback mechanism in the form of dictating that monitoring and evaluations of the plan must occur at regular intervals (Archipelago Management Board 1996; RCCFG unpublished). Feedback mechanisms, such as these, enable the managers to determine if the management plan is successfully meeting the goals it has laid out. Regular evaluations and revisions of the plan will ensure that it is kept current and is able to meet the social needs of the people and the ecological needs of their environment at the present time, while managing for future generations. Therefore, this similarity between the case studies is an important characteristic of their potential for successful, long term community-based management. 6. Case study differences Due to the local-centric nature of community-based conservation projects, there are many differences in how Richtersveld and Gwaii Haanas are managed. However, the main difference is their emphasis on rural development as a management goal. In South Africa, April Connolly CONS 498   29 there is a greater need for the diversification of rural economies. Currently, rural people have a high dependence on natural resources, the availability of which can vary substantially between years (Fabricius et al. 2004). This differs from the situation in Canada because there are fewer people living in the rural areas of Canada that are solely dependent on natural resources. Although the rural Haida people are also in need of employment, the availability of government support programs in Canada means that their dependence on natural resources is moderate compared to the Nama people. Consequently, rural development is of greater importance as a management goal in the Richtersveld management plan than that of Gwaii Haanas. Another difference between community-based conservation in Canada and South Africa lies within their respective processes of assigning value to resources. In Canada, an economic value is assigned to the passive-use of resources. Through environmental tourism, people are directly using and assigning a monetary value to what were formerly passive uses, such as appreciating the intrinsic value of nature. While different people will assign value to natural resources in varying ways within Canada, the current evaluation of the intrinsic value of nature is incorporated into resource management on some level. However, in rural areas of South Africa people do not have the economic resources to invest in the intrinsic value of nature. Similarly, resources developed on communal land are not considered as valuable as those managed on state land in South Africa (Fabricius et al. 2004). This is due to the perception that they will be poorly managed and not as productive (Fabricius et al. 2004). Consequently, there is less government funding to support these projects (Fabricius et al. 2004). Thus, the difference here is that Canadians have the economic luxury to invest in April Connolly CONS 498   30 passive uses of nature, whereas this type of value is not as readily applied to natural resources in South Africa.  While the people initiating community-based conservation projects in Richtersveld and Gwaii Haanas share a similar history, the political motivations to initiate these projects are very different. In South Africa, the switch from top-down to bottom-up management was partially the result of a lack of resources for law enforcement (Fabricius et al. 2004). In order to enforce the boundaries of a park from encroachment by local people, the government must spend large sums of money on people to patrol the park boundary. This is because the areas surrounding parks generally suffer from high resource degradation, so people will encroach on the park to use the abundant resources within its boundaries. Another political motivation in South Africa is to cushion against the effects of globalization (Gooneratne and Obudho 1997). As developing countries enter into the global market, they become susceptible to the instability and fluctuations of that market. Diversifying rural communities will help them to compete in the global market and reduce further economic decline (Gooneratne and Obudho 1997). Alternatively, the main political motivation to develop community-based conservation projects in Canada and other developed countries is the trend towards the decentralization of government (Gooneratne and Obudho 1997). Increasingly, economic control in developing countries is moving away from government towards private companies and towards community or local control. These political motives are an important difference between the development of community-based conservation in Canada and South Africa. A more local- scale political motive is seen as the opposition on the part of the Haida and Nama people to development on their traditional land in the form of logging and commercial farming operations respectively. Although this is a similarity between these two case studies, the April Connolly CONS 498   31 overarching political motivations that enabled the success of these protests by indigenous people were very different in each case, as outlined previously. A final difference between community-based conservation in Canada and South Africa is the level of acknowledgement of indigenous people‟s land claims. The Nama people have settled their land claims and their rights have been acknowledged by the South African government (Fabricius et al., 2004). Whereas, in Canada, the land claims of the Haida people are still being negotiated (Timko 2008). However, this difference may only be superficial. While the land claims of the Nama people have been formally acknowledged, the documentation recognizing this has not yet been processed (Fabricius et al. 2004). Until it is processed, the Nama people are still living on state land and are, thus, subject to the similar restrictions as the Haida people in Canada. These differences can be linked back to the initially outlined difference of the varying importance of rural development. While rural development plays a role in the management plans of both Richtersveld and Gwaii Haanas, it is emphasized in the management of the Richtersveld, whereas Gwaii Haanas puts a greater emphasis on conservation goals. This difference exists because the varying social, economic, political, and ecological characteristics mean that each country requires a different approach to local natural resource management. Since these differences exist, a management plan which caters to these differences should be effective in managing them sustainably. As demonstrated with the case studies, community-based conservation projects can successfully manage for both social and conservation factors when carefully developed to suit the community and ecosystem. April Connolly CONS 498   32 7. Conclusions The biggest issue facing community-based conservation projects is reconciling its two goals of conserving biodiversity and encouraging rural development. This is especially difficult when analyzing the differences between community involvement in developed and developing countries. The main difference between the impact of community involvement on conservation in developing and developed countries is that developing countries put a higher level of importance on rural development as a management goal. This is to be expected as there is a greater need for rural development and a higher direct dependence on natural resources in developing countries. Despite this difference, many similarities lie between community-based conservation in developing and developed countries. The most apparent of these being the conservation- based viewpoint of the local communities involved in management and the human rights issues surrounding land claims that are common to the initiation of many community-based conservation projects globally. The later of these similarities is an important benefit to the community from community-based conservation projects. This is because it empowers the community to fight for land ownership in addition to other rights outside of direct conservation issues, which can improve rural livelihoods in additional ways and thus indirectly improve conservation issues. While community-based conservation is marketed as a win-win situation for all parties involved, it is important to remember that the success of these projects depends on the situation in which they are developed. The type of project to be implemented should vary to suit the community and time period for which it is there to aid. Consequently it is difficult to extrapolate to other situations and the success of a project needs to be measured against its April Connolly CONS 498   33 own goals. Acknowledgement of similarities and differences in the goals of the Richtersveld and Gwaii Haanas management plans demonstrates the potential of these community-based conservation projects for long-term success. The support of the local community, and the long-term sustainability that accompanies that support, demonstrate that community-based conservation projects are more effective at fulfilling conservation goals than the traditional park system in the case studies presented. Thus, the generalization that communities are not well-organized enough for successful community-based management and the fear that community involvement will result in a tragedy of the commons situation are unfounded in the management of Richtersveld and Gwaii Haanas.  April Connolly CONS 498   34 8. References Adams, W. M., and David Hulme. 2001. If community conservation is the answer in africa, what is the question? Oryx 35, (3): 193-200. Archipelago Management Board. 1996. Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve and Haida Heritage Site: Management plan for the terrestrial area. Baral, Nabin, Marc J. Stern, and Joel T. Heinen. 2007. Integrated conservation and development project life cycles in the Annapurna conservation area, Nepal: Is development overpowering conservation? Biodiversity and Conservation 16, (10): 2903-2917. Berkes, F. 2004. Rethinking community-based conservation. Conservation Biology 18: 621-630. Berkes, F., D. Feeny, B. J. McCay, and J. M. Acheson. 1989. 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Odendaal, F., and H. Suich. 2007. Richtersveld: The land and its people. Cape Town: Hew Holland Publishing. April Connolly CONS 498   36 Reid, Hannah, David Fig, Hector Magome, and Nigel Leader-Williams. 2004. Co-management of contractual national parks in South Africa: Lessons from Australia. Conservation and Society 2, (2): 377-409. Richtersveld Community Conservancy Reference Group (RCCFG). unpublished. Management plan: Richtersveld community conservancy. Rutherford, M. C., L. W. Powrie, and R. E. Schulze. 1999. Climate change in conservation areas of South Africa and its potential impact on floristic composition: A first assessment. Diversity and Distributions 5, (6): 253-62. Salomon, Anne K., Nigel P. Waller, Cariad McIlhagga, Regina L. Yung, and Carl Walters. 2002. Modeling the trophic effects of marine protected areas zoning policies: A case study. Aquatic Ecology 36, (1): 85-95. Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (SCBD). 2004. Biodiversity issues for consideration in the planning, establishment and management of protected area sites and networks. Montreal. Silvertown, Jonathan, and Philip Sarre. 1991. Environment and society. London: Hodder and Stoughton. People and parks in South Africa. 2004 [cited 19 November 2009 2009]. Available from Spinage, Clive. 1998. Social change and conservation misrepresentation in Africa. Oryx 32, (4): 265- 276. Timko, Joleen A., and Terre Satterfield. 2008. Seeking social equity in national parks: Experiments with evaluation in Canada and South Africa. Conservation and Society 6, (3): 238-254. Williamson, Graham. 1995. The Richtersveld National Park. Pretoria: National Parks Board. 


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