Mediating forest transitions: ‘grand design’ or ‘muddling through’?

"Present biodiversity conservation programmes in the remaining extensive forest blocks of the humid tropics are failing to achieve outcomes that will be viable in the medium to long term. Too much emphasis is given to what we term ‘grand design’—ambitious and idealistic plans for conservation..."

Sweet potatoes garden on the slopes of Arfak Mountains, West Papua

"Such plans implicitly oppose or restrict development and often attempt to block it by speculatively establishing paper parks. Insufficient recognition is given to the inevitable long term pressures for conversion to other land uses and to the weakness of local constituencies for conservation. Conservation institutions must build their capacity to engage with the process of change. They must constantly adapt to deal with a continuously unfolding set of challenges, opportunities and changing societal needs. This can be achieved by long term on-the-ground engagement and ‘muddling through’. The range of conservation options must be enlarged to give more attention to biodiversity in managed landscapes and to mosaics composed of areas with differing intensities of use. The challenge is to build the human capacity and institutions to achieve this..."

Work area: 
Locally Controlled Forests
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