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Where Communities Care. Community Based Wildlife and Ecosystem Management in South Asia

Ashish Kothari, Neema Pathak, Farhad Vania

Book/Report, 238 pages

Where Communities Care is the full regional review of community wildlife management in South Asia. It provides in-depth country studies covering Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka describing the history of conservation, the move to CWM and 18 key project case studies.
These country studies and the main themes that arise together with the impacts of CWM and its constraints and challenges are then discussed. Impacts are gauged at four levels: ecological, economic & livelihood, social/political and policy. It is suggested that there is ‘overwhelming evidence’ to indicate positive ecological impacts due to CWM in the region and in addition it has ‘helped to enhance the livelihood security of communities’. This has been supported by enabling policies and developmental inputs. In many CWM sites in India, for example, communities have taken back virtual control over the surrounding natural resources, and many indirect as well as direct benefits have been seen.
Despite this, a large number of constraints and challenges to the development of CWM remain including the difficulty of identifying key stakeholders; social differences between and within communities; insecure tenure and unclear rights to resources; weak mechanisms for ensuring ecological sustainability; a poor balance between costs and benefits; inadequate or inappropriate institutions; and a hostile political and economic environment.

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