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Conservation, human-wildlife conflict, and decentralised governance: complexities beyond incomplete devolution

By R. R. Hohbein, J. B. Abrams

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Decentralisation of environmental governance (DEG) proliferated around the world in the 1990s, inspired, in part, by theories of common-pool resource governance that argued that local communities could sustainably manage valuable but non-excludable resources given a set of proper institutional design principles. However, many species of wildlife, such as predators that consume livestock or herbivores that destroy crops, are considered undesirable by local communities; this challenges the applicability of DEG models for managing wildlife in these contexts. Numerous scholars have proposed methods to generate economic value from locally undesired wildlife species to incentivise their conservation, but the overall success of these approaches has been mixed. We explore the intersection of DEG and the management of wildlife entangled in human-wildlife conflict and challenge the assumption that simple models of devolution and decentralisation will lead to the successful governance of wildlife in such circumstances. We argue that conflict species governance is potentially compatible with DEG but requires a fuller consideration of institutions at multiple scales than is typically included in common-pool resource theory or decentralisation. Multiple mechanisms of accountability may be especially important in securing the conservation of wildlife in conflict scenarios.

Publication Title Conservation and Society
Volume 20
Issue 4
Pages 293-303
ISBN/ISSN 0972-4923
DOI 10.4103/cs.cs_20_97
Language English
Author Address Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia, USA.
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Accountability
  2. Agencies and organizations
  3. Animal ecology
  4. Anthrozoology
  5. Biodiversity
  6. Biological resources
  7. Business
  8. Communities
  9. Conservation
  10. Crops
  11. Ecology
  12. Environment
  13. Government
  14. Institutions
  15. Invertebrates
  16. Mathematics and statistics
  17. Methodologies
  18. natural enemies
  19. natural resources
  20. predators
  21. privatization
  22. Psychiatry and psychology
  23. Public administration
  24. Resources
  25. Science
  26. social anthropology
  27. Social psychology and social anthropology
  28. Social sciences
  29. Techniques
  30. Wild animals
  31. wildlife
  32. wildlife management
  33. Zoology