How do indigenous hunters of the Colombian Amazon resolve trade-offs between conservation and development?

Ponta Nicole, Van Vliet Nathalie, Quiceno Mesa Maria Paula, Garcia Claude. 2016. How do indigenous hunters of the Colombian Amazon resolve trade-offs between conservation and development?. In : Tropical ecology and society reconciliating conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. Program and abstracts. Plinio Sist (ed.), Stéphanie Carrière (ed.), Pia Parolin (ed.), Pierre-Michel Forget (ed.). ATBC. Storrs : ATBC, Résumé, p. 256. Annual Meeting of the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation (ATBC 2016), Montpellier, France, 19 June 2016/23 June 2016.

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Abstract : Understanding the forces that drive decision-making by stakeholders is a crucial aspect in developing successful strategies for natural resource management. Empirical knowledge is only one of these drivers, as practices are also decided by individuals' beliefs, perceptions and interests, by the assets available and the institutions and norms dictating what is acceptable. Uncovering the underlying reasons for individual management decisions thus requires integrated approaches, and is particularly relevant to ensure the engagement of local communities and the effective implementation of community-based initiatives. Throughout the Colombian Amazon communities carry out subsistence as well as small-scale commercial bushmeat hunting. Overharvesting, together with habitat loss, poses a dual threat to biodiversity and to the people who depend on it for food and income: the hunters and their families. Having empirical knowledge and being aware of the high stakes if the resource crashes, hunters might have developed effective strategies for game management. Given this, we wanted to explore how hunters perceive and handle the well-known trade-off between biodiversity conservation and socio-economic development, particularly in the context of the Ticoya indigenous reserve in the Colombian Amazon. To this end, we used ReHab, a role-playing game that revolves around the management of a renewable resource. Players are either Harvesters that need to feed their families using the resource, or Park Managers seeking to protect a migratory bird sensitive to resource level and human disturbance. ReHab allows players to explore the concepts of natural resource management and sustainability when dealing with conflicting agendas and partial knowledge. The game has been played in multiple occasions in different contexts, creating a benchmark against which to compare sessions played within the culturally homogeneous group of the Ticoya hunters. We found a positive effect of communication and monitoring on the outcome indicators of conservation and development measured during the game sessions. Incomplete information and the lack of enforcement power did not prevent players to successfully resolve the trade-off and satisfy their contrasting agendas. Acknowledging the gains and losses imbedded in the decision-making process results in better designed and more resilient co-management strategies that take into account the individual and local communities' perceptions and expectations. (Texte intégral)

Classification Agris : P01 - Nature conservation and land resources
E14 - Development economics and policies

Auteurs et affiliations

  • Ponta Nicole, ETH (CHE)
  • Van Vliet Nathalie, CIFOR (IDN)
  • Quiceno Mesa Maria Paula, Fundación Science International (COL)
  • Garcia Claude, CIRAD-ES-UPR BSef (CHE) ORCID: 0000-0002-7351-0226

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