Roundtable Conserving Tropical Biodiversity amid Weak Institutions CHRISTOPHER B. BARRETT, KATRINA BRANDON, CLARK GIBSON, AND HEIDI GJERTSEN ropical-biodiversity conservation has changed them will therefore require greater commitments of financial Tradically over the past generation. Until the early 1980s, and technical assistance at both the international and na- conventional wisdom held that central governments should tional levels. manage all conservation efforts in developing countries. Over the past 15 years or so, scholars, conservation practitioners, The appeal of community-based natural and policymakers have advocated an alternative approach resource management based on bottom-up direction by local communities in re- Conventional wisdom holds that the fences-and-fines sponse to real or perceived government malfeasance, mis- approach to protected-area management, which vests au- feasance, or nonfeasance under the previous top-down model. thority over natural resources in the hands of the central Now that some of the pitfalls of community authority over government, has not worked in low-income countries. Un- conservation decisions have become apparent, the question der this approach, the empowered government writes and en- is what, if any, best-bet strategies exist if the institutions of both forces laws prohibiting or severely limiting human use of a re- government agencies and communities are ill equipped
BioScience – Oxford University Press
Published: Jun 1, 2001
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