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New Article: Protected area co-management and perceived livelihood impacts


  • Perceived livelihood impacts were distributed unevenly between social groups.
  • The majority of respondents perceived negative livelihood outcomes.
  • Respondents reporting negative outcomes lived in remote villages, were poorer or more reliant on forest resources.
  • Main drivers of negative outcomes were protected area related rules and restrictions on forest access.
  • Main drivers of positive outcomes were improved agricultural yields and increased community cohesion.

Creation of protected areas to conserve biodiversity can have both positive and negative impacts, with impacts unequally distributed within local communities. A global shift towards local community involvement in protected area governance and co-management has aimed to reduce costs of protected area establishment and their uneven distribution. Yet, there is mixed evidence to support whether such initiatives are succeeding. Here, a protected area in Madagascar is used as a case study to explore how co-management governance processes impact upon livelihood strategies and outcomes, and how these impacts are distributed within and between villages.

Focus groups, interviews and questionnaires were conducted in 2015/16 with households surrounding a protected area, co-managed by local community associations and a national NGO. Data analysis was framed around the Sustainable Livelihoods Framework.

Journal of Environmental Management Volume 228, 15 December 2018, Pages 1-12