Management of Protected Areas: The Problems of Integration and Delimitation in Indigenous Societies

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With the exception of English-speaking and Scandinavian countries, as well as parts of the former Soviet Union populated mainly by people of European descent, protected areas are not generally well-received by local populations but, on the contrary, are considered a constraint imposed by public authorities. This reaction is almost universal in third world countries, most particularly in Africa, and also very often in Mediterranean Europe where protected zones are too often perceived as foreign tourist destinations without any consideration for the residents (Speedy, 1998). Consequently, poaching, illegal wood cutting, fraudulent prospecting and mineral extraction exist to various degrees. Worse still, small farmers also clear the land in various reserves of Africa and Latin America.

The preceding difficulties can be explained in part by insufficient oversight and the absence of volunteer associations dedicated to conservation and to the material interests of rural populations residing in protected zones (Peres and Terborgh, 1995).

In addition, numerous national parks and other similar reserves, in developed and developing countries, are not large enough to ensure the long term support of populations of large, sedentary mammals who live there. Thus, in the United States, even Yellowstone National Park, despite its large size, cannot currently meet these conservation goals for some large species of vertebrates, since they migrate outside the park boundaries (Wilcove and May, 1986).

Gestion des espaces protégés : le problème de l’intégration aux sociétés indigènes et de leur délimitation

François RAMADE

Eléments d’écologie” (published by Dunod), pp.721-722


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