New Publication: Tourism and community-based conservation

New Publication (Sub-project A01-Future Carbon Storage): Initiatives to promote community-based natural resource management (CBNRM) have been evaluated with mixed results in socio-economic and ecological outcome dimensions. In Namibia, community conservancies are being established since the 1990s mainly to reconcile wildlife conservation and rural development. As Namibia gears up for participation in Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+), land use and land cover change and related biomass carbon dynamics may become increasingly important additional outcome indicators for the country’s approach to CBNRM. Based on a social-ecological conceptual framework, we identify spatially heterogeneous local context factors that may drive positive and negative effects of CBNRM on vegetation cover in Namibia’s Zambezi region. We test our theoretical predictions using panel data in a spatially explicit, quasi-experimental evaluation design and find that, on average, CBNRM somewhat increased elephant presence, but had a negative effect on woodland cover. Heterogeneous treatment effect analysis indicates that CBNRM does work for woodland conservation when communities are located in and around wildlife corridors, which provide tourism income opportunities. Despite success in stabilizing wildlife populations in the region, our results suggest that complementary conservation incentives may be required to make Namibia’s CBNRM model fit for REDD+.

The article is available on open access.

Meyer. M., Klingelhoeffer. E., Naidoo. R., Wingate. V., Börner. J., (2020): Tourism opportunities drive woodland and wildlife conservation outcomes of community-based conservation in Namibia’s Zambezi region. Ecological Economics, Volume 180, February 2021, 106863. Access Link.

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