Community-based conservation: Intrinsic versus extrinsic values


Ingle, M (2006), Community-based conservation: Intrinsic versus extrinsic values, in New Contree, vol. 51: 115-131.



This article commences with an examination of the reasons for the enormous increase in areas under state protection worldwide, and proceeds to discover two incompatible value systems that inform this expansion. The tension between these value systems informs the entire discussion and the article closes with an attempt to gauge the degree to which they can be reconciled.

After a brief look at what is entailed by the conventional approach to conservation the focus shifts to the tension between the ‘haves’ and the ‘havenots’ which seems, partially, to provide the rationale for the community-based conservation (CBC) philosophy having arisen.

Parks authorities are sometimes presented as being held hostage by local communities, metaphorically if not literally, and their response to this situation is found to consist in either one of two options. Each of these options carries a set of implications which are spelt out. The underlying motives and modus operandi for CBC are subjected to a variety of criticisms which suggest that CBC should only be implemented, if at all, with considerable circumspection.

After an examination of rights, entitlements and priorities, the two sets of conflicting values are examined in greater depth, as are the practicalities and logistics of community participation in conservation. The discussion closes with a critical analysis of what really drives CBC and finds that it is not necessarily in accord with the long term interests of conservation. It is suggested that, before serious consideration be given to establishing partnerships with communities, these communities first supply some evidence of their conservationist bona fides within their own villages and territories. It is also suggested that local authorities, with the assistance of conservation personnel, should do all within their power to educate communities accordingly.
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