Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Factors influencing Local Community Participation in Wildlife Conservation Projects in Northeast India

Version 1 : Received: 18 July 2020 / Approved: 19 July 2020 / Online: 19 July 2020 (20:42:21 CEST)

How to cite: Banerjee, S.; Aiyadurai, A. Factors influencing Local Community Participation in Wildlife Conservation Projects in Northeast India. Preprints 2020, 2020070439 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202007.0439.v1). Banerjee, S.; Aiyadurai, A. Factors influencing Local Community Participation in Wildlife Conservation Projects in Northeast India. Preprints 2020, 2020070439 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202007.0439.v1).

Abstract

Participation by local communities in wildlife conservation projects have long been advocated since it is socially just and is effective to reach conservation and development goals. Socio–economic variables that drive participation and impact of participation have been studied, but the contextual process that stir up local community participation remains understudied. In this paper, we studied factors facilitating community participation in three wildlife conservation projects in Northeast India. Through ethnographic fieldwork at these sites we identified conservation actors and examined interactions between them.We found common modes of participation at these sites and these were related to gaining material incentives, providing labour, attending consultative workshops. Levels of interaction and coercion were found to be different in three sites. Three critical factors that drive participation were: (1) trigger, (2) negotiation and (3) sustenance. Trigger factors kickstart participation through establishment of a crisis narrative and facilitation by external actors. Negotiation factors emerge from day–to–day interaction between local community and external actors and involve effective entry stage activities, income opportunity, mediating voices within the community and intra–community dynamics. Sustenance factors affect the long term participation by community in the conservation project and involve tangible/intangible results, capability development of locals, funding and availability to critical information. In our paper we argue that investment of time and fund to understand the stakeholders and their concept of participation, periodic feedback sessions, capacity development of locals for self–mobilization, innovative information dissemination and securing long term funding are necessary for effective local community participation.

Subject Areas

Participation; Wildlife; Community–Based Conservation; India; Interaction; Northeast India

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