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People, protected areas and ecosystem services: a qualitative and quantitative analysis of local people’s perception and preferences in Côte d’Ivoire

Ariane Amin (), Julie G. Zaehringer, Gudrun Schwilch and Inza KONé
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Julie G. Zaehringer: CDE - Centre for Development and Environment [Bern] - UNIBE - Universität Bern [Bern]
Gudrun Schwilch: CDE - Centre for Development and Environment [Bern] - UNIBE - Universität Bern [Bern]
Inza KONé: CSRS - Centre Suisse de Recherches Scientifiques - UFHB - Université Félix Houphouët-Boigny

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Abstract: The long-term integrity of protected areas (PAs), and hence the maintenance of related ecosystem services (ES), are dependent on the support of local people. In the present study, local people's perceptions of ecosystem services from PAs and factors that govern local preferences for PAs are assessed. Fourteen study villages were randomly selected from three different protected forest areas and one control site along the southern coast of Côte d'Ivoire. Data was collected through a mixed-method approach, including qualitative semi-structured interviews and a household survey based on hypothetical choice scenarios. Local people's perceptions of ecosystem service provision was decrypted through qualitative content analysis, while the relation between people's preferences and potential factors that affect preferences were analyzed through multinomial models. This study shows that rural villagers do perceive a number of different ecosystem services as benefits from PAs in Côte d'Ivoire. The results based on quantitative data also suggest that local preferences for PAs and related ecosystem services are driven by PAs' management rules, age, and people's dependence on natural resources.

Keywords: Biodiversity; conservation; ecosystem services; perceptions; preferences; choice models; West Africa (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2015
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Published in Natural Resources Forum, 2015, 39, pp.97-109

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