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Body of Knowledge

Beyond fences: Seeking social sustainability in conservation. Vol. II - Cross-cultural communication and local media
by Ricardo Ramirez

Understanding peoples' knowledge of their environment and learning about their aspirations for the future is a communication task which conservation efforts cannot disregard. For something as vague and long-term as conservation to make sense to rural folk, it must provide them with options from an economic, social and ecological point of view. This is especially important as conservation activities and proposals for nature reserves are so often initiated by organisations and policy makers outside the community. It is therefore not surprising that many conservation programmes often seek to inform and convince rural folk to follow their proposals and accept their conditions. Many well intended communication programmes of this sort turn out to be efforts at manipulation which, not surprisingly, lead to little or no participation by rural communities. Conservation efforts can only be sustained by the very communities who derive a livelihood from their environment. They are both the beneficiaries and the ultimate decision-makers of a conservation programme.

Publication Type: Article / Chapter / Essay: 3 pages
Publisher: IUCN (1997)
Location: Gland, Switzerland
Language: English
ISBN: 2-8317-0341-7

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