Experience with community-based biodiversity conservation programs in the 1980s and 1990s contributed to the conviction among donor agencies and researchers that such programs must be based on the active support of local resource users, appropriate incentives, and institutional support. Yet the continuing struggles of practitioners to implement conservation interventions that are socially and ecologically sustainable point to difficulty in realizing these principles on the ground. Actor-oriented research in rural development and actor network theory emphasize that the capacity of facilitators to engage effectively in negotiation processes and establish strong networks with key actors is critical in mediating intervention outcomes. Drawing on the case of the India Ecodevelopment Project at Rajiv Gandhi (Nagarahole) National Park in Karnataka, India, this paper explores the role of relationships and networks between actors in a conservation and development intervention, finding that practitioners need to focus on negotiation and network building as a central rather than subsidiary part of the intervention process. Associated with this is the need for change in the way donor and implementing agencies conduct themselves, to promote communication and greater flexibility in intervention processes.
World Development – Elsevier
Published: Aug 1, 2002
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