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Non-material costs of wildlife conservation

  • Maasai huts protected from wildlife with stick fences in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA), Tanzania - traditional grazing grounds of the semi-nomadic Maasai people. In this particular area, the Maasai are permitted to take their animals down into the crater for water and grazing, but not to live or cultivate there.

    Maasai huts protected from wildlife with stick fences in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA), Tanzania - traditional grazing grounds of the semi-nomadic Maasai people. In this particular area, the Maasai are permitted to take their animals down into the crater for water and grazing, but not to live or cultivate there.

    Photo
    Pål Olav Vedeld

A broader social well-being approach is required to better manage the impacts of wildlife conservation for local people, according to a new multi-partner study with Noragric's Pål Vedeld.

Non-material costs of wildlife conservation

In assessments of the costs and benefits of wildlife conservation, conventional economic evaluation might not be adequate to address various non-tangible values, and may neglect social, cultural and political contexts of resources and their use.
 
Correspondingly, there seems to be much more focus on quantifying the economic, material benefits and costs of wildlife conservation, rather than the non-material aspects that also affect human well-being. In addition, current research on the costs of wildlife conservation tends to be discipline-focused, which constrains comparability. 


This new study contends that employing a broader social well-being approach
may provide better insights for managing the non-material impacts of wildlife conservation for local people. These non-material impacts may include negative physical or psychological experiences, trauma and feelings of fear and anxiety, which cannot be easily measured or converted to money, but that can negatively affect human well-being. Taking these impacts into account is therefore critical for the broader sustainability of wildlife conservation. 

Read the study in Biological Conservation
Non-material costs of wildlife conservation to local people and their implications for conservation interventions 
by Gladman Thondhlana, Stephen Redpath, Pål Vedeld, Lily van Eden, Unai Pascual, Kate Sherren & Chenai Murata

 

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Livestock income and community welfare in South Africa

Livestock income and community welfare in South Africa

Noragric teamed up with Rhodes University in South Africa to assess how income from livestock affects the welfare of communities living near a South African nature reserve. Pål Vedeld & colleagues in Environmental Development.

Published 8. May 2020 - 13:30 - Updated 8. May 2020 - 17:59