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The Actor-Interface Case of Development Intervention in the Conservation of Mount Cameroon National Park, Buea, Cameroon
Södertörn University, School of Natural Sciences, Technology and Environmental Studies.
2013 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Critics of Integrated Conservation and Development Projects (ICDPs) have argued that participatory approachesand trade-offs are key to effective development interventions for rural populations living adjacent to protected areas. Based on an actor-interface framework, this thesis explores among other things, the discontinuities and/or linkages between those formalized narratives surrounding the creation andmanagement of Mount Cameroon National Park (MCNP), and their actual implementation, where there are multiple actors with divergent rationalities and interests. Specifically, this thesis examines the experiences and perceptions of the Park’s rural populations vis-à-vis the participatory-driven socio-economic development of their rurality. Interview results show that while the socio-economic potentials of the Park’s conservation to the rural poor have been touted, the fragmented and ad hoc nature of these benefits seriously undermine their poverty-alleviating capacity for marginalized communities. Furthermore, this thesis shows that while participatory approaches may constitute a major technique for involving rural populations in decision-making processes that affect their lives, the benefits fall largely to influential local elites, and that community participation is sometimes sought only for less important decision-making activities. This thesis concludes that in order for ICDPs to contribute effectively to eliminating poverty traps for marginalized communities, development interventions must not only be the result of rural people’s expressed priorities, but development practitioners must also have the necessary training to understand poverty traps and development problems as nested issues that must be addressed in a comprehensive and holistic manner. The paper also suggests that ICDPs must develop rural people’s capacity in conservation activities such that they can benefit from ecotourism and other conservation-related employment, in meaningful ways. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. , 69 p.
Keyword [en]
Development project, actor-interface analysis, Mount Cameroon National Park, participant observation, interviews, community development, rural participation, collaborative management
National Category
Natural Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-19702OAI: diva2:647370
Subject / course
Environment and development
2013-06-05, Södertörns Högskola, Alfred Nobels Alle 7, Huddinge, 09:00 (English)
Life Earth Science
Available from: 2013-09-12 Created: 2013-09-11 Last updated: 2014-01-31Bibliographically approved

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