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Risk, Reciprocity and Retribution: Choosing to Extract Resources From a Protected Area

Catrina A. MacKenzie

Ecological Economics, 2018, vol. 143, issue C, 314-323

Abstract: Benefits for residents local to protected areas are often proposed to improve conservation attitudes and to reduce illegal resource extraction. In this paper I investigate the relationship between protected area-based benefits and losses and the admission of illegal resource extraction in households neighbouring Kibale National Park, in Uganda. Using focus groups, a household survey, and member-checking interviews with local council chairpersons, binary logistic models were created for the admission of illegal resource extraction from the park. The desire for park resources and proximity to the park were the strongest factors predicting admitted extraction. Reciprocity and retribution in response to park-based benefits and losses were small or non-existent with only loss due to personal injury or livestock predation by wild animals increasing the likelihood of extraction. Lower wealth households were more likely to admit extraction, supporting the conservation narrative that poverty constrains conservation. Also, the inability of park-based benefits to reduce the probability of resource extraction implies that benefits need to be more targeted to livelihood needs. Compensation for losses should only be considered for personal injury, and to a lesser extent livestock predation, because only these losses demonstrated potential retaliation through resource extraction.

Keywords: Conservation incentives; Crop-raiding; Predation; Benefit-loss perception; Resource poaching (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:143:y:2018:i:c:p:314-323