Participatory planning for biodiversity conservation in the high tropical andes: are farmers interested?
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The success of participatory conservation projects depends greatly on the interest shown by the local population and on the strategies used to incorporate all stakeholders from the initial stages. In the highly diverse region of the tropical Andean páramos, threats to ecosystem integrity come mainly from agriculture and cattle grazing. Approaches to biodiversity conservation have often been based on top-down regulations imposed by government agencies. The implementation of an alternative approach, incorporating local communities in the design of action plans for conservation, was the central objective during the design phase of the Andean Páramo Project. These plans will be executed in a network of key pilot sites along the South American páramos. Here we report on experience at the two Venezuelan sites, where the design process involved a series of participatory workshops. The multidisciplinary nature of the facilitation team was essential in addressing the complex links between biodiversity conservation, land use strategies, and human welfare. The success of the approach was associated with the local population's great interest in and detailed knowledge of the ecosystem, as well as with our emphasis on empowerment through incorporating local knowledge and views as the basis for planning.
|Descripción||Publicado en: Mountain Research and Development Vol. 25 Nº 3 Aug 2005. Pp 200–205|