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New Economic Models, climate change and conservation 
Natasha Constant (RSPB)
Sorrel Jones (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds)
Maarten Voors (Wageningen University)
Esther Mokuwa (Wageningen University)
Paul Richards (Njala University, Sierra Leone)
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Tuesday 26 October, 15:00-16:30

Short Abstract:

The panel explores the implications of incentive-based conservation programmes to support forest resource use and management and alternative livelihoods for local communities. We also discuss how local participation can lead to greater inclusion of local knowledge and values in forest conservation.

Long Abstract

Natural forests are under increasing global pressure due to economic and population growth and shifts in consumption patterns. It thus becomes important to design and implement conservation programmes to provide incentives to encourage participation in sustainable forest use and management, and to support local livelihoods. REDD+ is as a set of policies and activities implemented to prevent or slow deforestation and degradation, and increase forest carbon stocks for example, through agro-forestry and reforestation. Community-based natural resource management (CBNRM) schemes have also been developed to address solutions to biodiversity loss outside of protected areas, and in response to the failure of top-down conservation approaches, by devolving control of forest resources to local communities. Benefits from these programmes can include direct revenue from environmental protection, and the maintenance of ecosystem services such as watershed protection and livelihood diversification. However, many forest dependent communities may experience positive or negative changes to their livelihoods because of these schemes. Costs from these programmes can include displacement of local communities due to increased human-wildlife conflict, restricted access to natural and cultural resources, and changes in land tenure and resource use patterns. Significant costs can also be incurred by communities if management and institutional capacity is lacking, and issues of governance and tenure are not resolved. Involving local communities in the planning and implementation of forest conservation is important for integrating local voices in decision making, and ensuring that financial or other benefits are equitably shared to develop sustainable solutions to deforestation.

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