Rumi Naito, Institute for Resources, Environment, and Sustainability, University of British Columbia
The current COVID-19 pandemic has added new challenges to biodiversity conservation. It has caused a global economic recession and created crises for all sectors. Because today’s conservation initiatives are firmly tied to the global economy, the pandemic has also negatively impacted many projects on the ground. This sheds light on an urgent need to rethink current practices in biodiversity conservation and transition to more sustainable approaches. Here, we present two cases of community-based biodiversity conservation projects in Indonesia. One is an example of a failed attempt, and the other demonstrates sustainable approaches. We critically discuss how each project was designed and implemented, what factors led to each outcome, and what we can learn from these experiences. Based on the data collected through semi-structured interviews, focus group discussions, field observations, and demographic records at these two sites, we highlight five key factors to sustainable outcomes in community-based biodiversity conservation: 1) strong support from local stakeholders, 2) effective communications, 3) community involvement and leadership, 4) clear benefit mechanisms, and 5) local-based socioeconomic development. Moreover, this study suggests an integrated approach to simultaneously achieving these factors by drawing insights from various disciplines including psychology and sociology. The implication of this study should apply to a wide range of conservation projects beyond regional and contextual boundaries.
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