Information for X181IIED
Parks, People and Professionals: Putting "participation" into Protected Area Management
Since the first establishment of protected areas of outstanding natural beauty or species and habitat uniqueness during the last century, there has been a remarkable expansion in numbers and area conserved. There are now close to 8500 major protected areas in 169 countries, covering some 5% of the world's land area. Many developing countries have more than 10% of their land area set aside for conservation purposes, and others are seeking to transform as much of their land as possible to strictly protected areas. The dominant ideology underpinning this conservation has been that people are bad for natural resources. Policies and practice have, therefore, sought to exclude people and so discourage all forms of local participation. This style of conservation has neglected local people, their indigenous knowledge and management systems, their institutions and social organisation, and the value to them of wild resources. The cost to conservation has been high. Social conflicts have grown in and around protected areas, and conservation goals themselves have been threatened.