Just conservation? On the fairness of sharing benefits
Taylor and Francis
Introduction Biodiversity conservation has become a global priority due to the unprecedented rate of species extinction, the associated threat to ecosystem services, and the potential consequences for the welfare of current and future people. Addressing this priority has often involved the production of injustices because the costs of conservation typically fall on a small constituency of current local people, whilst the benefits accrue to a large global constituency of both current and future people. An ecosystem services perspective contributes to a particular way of understanding such unfairness, by guiding us to look at the range and value of benefits that flow from ecosystem functions, and providing a conceptual basis for fairer sharing of these benefits as well as their associated responsibilities. The sharing of benefits from protected areas is intended to reconcile the tension between the imperative to secure goods for the many and that to protect the entitlements of the few. Benefit sharing can help to ensure that conservation interventions such as compulsory restrictions on resource harvesting, are accompanied by safeguards that seek to compensate for the inevitable livelihood disruptions to some local people. This chapter asks whether systems to distribute the costs and benefits of protected areas in the tropics provide an effective means of reconciling biodiversity conservation with social justice objectives. We focus here on the example of tourist revenue sharing schemes, a fairly common form of benefit sharing in which local people are compensated for the costs arising from loss of access and the menace of wild animals, or stated more positively, are rewarded for their role in sustaining the landscape and biodiversity services that form the tourism attraction. [...]
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from Taylor & Francis via the DOI in this record.
In: The Justices and Injustices of Ecosystem Services, edited by Thomas Sikor, pp. 69 - 91
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