We focused on forest governance in general, and Red Panda (Ailurus fulgens) conservation programmes and natural habitat protection, in particular.
Our study used two surveys, in the field between August and September 2020. The first survey was conducted online for the stakeholders with internet access, For those without internet access, we conducted the survey over the phone.
While our results show there is very similar perspectives among the different stakeholders regarding the effectiveness of the Red Panda management approaches, the perspectives differ significantly between the online survey and telephone survey, particularly in terms of the relative scores given to these initiatives.
In depth, follow-up interviews found that marginalised groups, who had little access to income generation from conservation activities and few capacity-building opportunities had different views. These findings indicate that while management strategies for Red Panda conservation were generally considered effective by online survey participants, who are generally more privileged, they are though to be less effective for more marginalised people.
Local people, who are typically more resource-poor and have greater reliance on the forest, continue to endure inequitable access to and distribution of resources and so do not share the benefits of conservation.
greater attention should be paid to balancing the conservation needs and basic needs of forest-dependent communities through capacity building, income generation and alternative sources of livelihood
Consequently, we find that greater attention should be paid to balancing the conservation needs and basic needs of forest-dependent communities through capacity building, income generation and alternative sources of livelihood.
This finding has been a constant theme in the Primary Forests and Climate project, with studies in forest dependent communities in Melanesia and the Democratic Republic of Congo, finding similar concerns amongst communities when they consider conservation options.
Shrestha, A., Karki, S., Koju, U., Maraseni, T., Gautam, A. P., Cadman, T., & Baral, S. (2022). Stakeholder perspectives on the effectiveness of governance in red panda conservation programmes in Nepal: a comparative analysis. Ecosystems and People, 18(1), 547-565. https://doi.org/10.1080/26395916.2022.2121762