Skip to main content Accessibility help

Contrasting perceptions of ecosystem services of an African forest park

  • JOEL HARTTER (a1), JENNIFER SOLOMON (a2), SADIE J. RYAN (a3) (a4) (a5), SUSAN K. JACOBSON (a6) and ABE GOLDMAN (a7)...

Traditionally, conservation programmes assume that local peoples’ support for parks depends on receiving material benefits from foreign exchange, tourism, development and employment. However, in the case of forest parks in Africa, where annual visitation can be small, local support may instead result from ecosystem services. Kibale National Park, a forest park in Uganda, demonstrates that people appreciate parks in ways that are seldom cited nor explored. Public perceptions of benefits accrued from Kibale were explored using two different sampling techniques: a community census and a geographic sample. In both surveys, over 50% of respondents perceived benefits provided by Kibale National Park, and over 90% of those who perceived benefits identified ecosystem services, whereas material benefits were cited less frequently. Multimodel selection on a suite of general linear models for the two different sampling methods provided a comparison of factors influencing perceptions of ecosystem services. Perceptions of Park benefits were influenced by geography, household and respondent characteristics, and perception of negative impacts from the Park. Perceived ecosystem benefits played an important role in the way the Park was viewed and valued locally. Parks have considerable impacts on neighbouring communities, and their long-term political and economic sustainability depends on managing these relationships well. Since local people have the most to gain or lose by conserving neighbouring parks, analyses that incorporate the perceptions of local people are essential to management and sustainability of park landscapes.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the or variations. ‘’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Contrasting perceptions of ecosystem services of an African forest park
      Available formats
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Contrasting perceptions of ecosystem services of an African forest park
      Available formats
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Contrasting perceptions of ecosystem services of an African forest park
      Available formats
Corresponding author
*Correspondence: Joel Hartter e-mail:
Hide All
Alexander, S.E. (2000) Resident attitudes towards conservation and black howler monkeys in Belize: the Community Baboon Sanctuary. Environmental Conservation 27: 341350.
Anthony, B. (2007) The dual nature of parks: attitudes of neighbouring communities towards Kruger National Park, South Africa. Environmental Conservation 34 (3): 236245.
Baird, T.D. & Leslie, P.W. (2013) Conservation as disturbance: upheaval and livelihood diversification near Tarangire National Park. Conservation Biology 23 (5): 11311141.
Baird, T.D., Leslie, P.W. & McCabe, J.T (2009) The effect of wildlife conservation on local perceptions of risk and behavioral response. Human Ecology 37: 463474.
Balmford, A., Bruner, A., Cooper, P., Costanza, R., Farber, S., Green, R.E., Jenkins, M., Jefferiss, P., Jessamy, V., Madden, J., Munro, K., Myers, N., Naeem, S., Paavola, J., Rayment, M., Rosendo, S., Roughgarden, J., Trumper, K. & Turner, R.K. (2002) Economic reasons for conserving wild nature. Science 297 (5583): 950953.
Baral, N. & Heinen, J.T. (2007) Resources use, conservation attitudes, management intervention and park-people relations in the Western Terai landscape of Nepal. Environmental Conservation 34 (1): 6472.
Berkes, F. (2012) Poverty reduction isn't just about money: community perceptions of conservation benefits. In: Biodiversity Conservation and Poverty Alleviation: Exploring the Evidence for a Link, ed. Roe, D., Elliott, J., Sandbrook, C. & Walpole, M., pp. 270286. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Breytenbach, E. (2012) Following the rains: evidence and perceptions relating to rainfall variability in western Uganda. MA thesis, Georgia State University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.
Brody, S.D., Highfield, W. & Alston, L. (2004) Does location matter? Measuring environmental perceptions of creeks in two San Antonio watersheds. Environment and Behavior 36: 229250.
Brooks, T., Balmford, A., Burgess, N., Fjeldsa, J., Hansen, L.A., Moore, J., Rahbek, C. & Williams, P. (2001) Toward a blueprint for conservation Africa. BioScience 51 (8): 613624.
Burnham, K.D. & Anderson, D.R. (2002) Model Selection and Multimodel Inference: A Practical Information-Theoretic Approach. New York, NY, USA: Springer-Verlag New York, Inc.
Byron, N. & Arnold, M. (1999) What futures for the people of the tropical forests? World Development 27 (5): 789805.
Chapin III, F.S., Carpenter, S.R., Kofinas, G.P., Folke, C., Abel, N., Clark, W.C., Olsson, P., Stafford Smith, D.M., Walker, B., Young, O.R., Berkes, F., Biggs, R., Grove, J.M., Naylor, R.L., Pinkerton, E., Steffen, W. & Swanson, F.J. (2010) Ecosystem stewardship: sustainability strategies for a rapidly changing planet. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 25 (4): 241249.
Chapman, C.A., Struhsaker, T.T., Skorupa, J.P., Snaith, T.V. & Rothman, J.M. (2010) Understanding long-term primate community dynamics: Implications of forest change. Ecological Applications 20: 179191.
Chapman, C.A. & Peres, C. (2001) Primate conservation in the new millennium: the role of scientists. Evolutionary Anthropology 10: 1633.
Cincotta, R.P., Wisnewski, J. & Engelman, R. (2000) Human population in the biodiversity hotspots. Nature 404 (6781): 990992.
Cordeiro, N.J., Burgess, N.D., Dovie, D.B.K., Kaplin, B.A., Plumptre, A.J. & Marrs, R. (2007) Conservation in areas of high population density in sub-Saharan Africa. Biological Conservation 134: 155163.
Costanza, R. (2003) Social goals and the valuation of natural capital. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 86: 1928.
Costanza, R., d’Arge, R., de Groot, R., Farber, S., Grasso, M., Hannon, B., Limburg, K., Naeem, S., O’Neill, R.V., Paruelo, J., Raskin, R.G., Sutton, P. & van den Belt, M. (1997) The value of the world's ecosystem services and natural capital. Nature 387: 253260.
Cowling, R.M., Egoh, B., Knight, A.T., O’Farrell, P.J., Reyers, B., Rouget, M., Roux, D.J., Welz, A. & Wilhelm-Rechman, A. (2008) An operational model for mainstreaming ecosystem services for implementation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science USA 105 (28): 94839488.
Daily, G.C., Polasky, S., Goldstein, J., Kareiva, P.M., Mooney, H.A., Pejchar, L., Ricketts, T.H., Salzman, J. & Shallenberger, R. (2009) Ecosystem services in decision making: time to deliver. Frontiers of Ecology and the Environment 7 (1): 2128.
Daily, G.C. (1997) Nature's Services: Societal Dependence on Natural Ecosystems. Washington, DC, USA: Island Press.
De Mazancourt, C. & Calcagno, V., 2010. glmulti: An R package for easy automated model selection with (generalized) linear models. Journal of Statistical Software 34 (12): 129.
DeFries, R., Rovero, F., Wright, P., Ahumada, J., Andelman, S., Brandon, K., Dempewolf, J., Hansen, A., Hewson, J. & Liu, J. (2010) From plot to landscape scale: linking tropical biodiversity measurements across spatial scales. Frontiers of Ecology and the Environment 8: 153160.
Dixon, J.A. & Sherman, P.B. (1991) Economics of protected areas. Ambio 20: 6874.
Easterling, D.R., Evans, J.L., Groisman, P.Y., Karl, T.R., Kunkel, K.E. & Ambenje, P. (2000) Observed variability and trends in extreme climate events: a brief review. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society 81: 417425.
Fisher, B., Turner, R.K. & Morling, P. (2009) Defining and classifying ecosystem services for decision making. Ecological Economics 68: 643653.
Gbetibouo, G.A. (2009) Understanding farmers’ perceptions and adaptations to climate change and variability. The case of the Limpopo Basin, South Africa. Washington DC: International Food Policy Research Institute.
Gearheard, S., Pocernich, M., Steward, R., Sanguya, J. & Huntington, H.P. (2010) Linking Inuit knowledge and meteorological station observations to understand changing wind patterns at Clyde River, Nunavut. Climatic Change 100: 267294.
Ghazoul, J., 2007. Recognising the complexities of ecosystem management and the ecosystem service concept. GAIA 16 (3): 215221.
Goebel, A., Campbell, B., Mukamuri, B. & Veeman, M. (2000) People, value, and woodlands: a field report of emergent themes in interdisciplinary research in Zimbabwe. Agriculture and Human Values 17: 385396.
Goldman, M.J. (2011) Strangers in their own land: Maasai and wildlife conservation in northern Tanzania. Conservation and Society 9 (1): 6579.
Goldman, A., Hartter, J., Southworth, J. & Binford, M. (2008) The human landscape around the island park: impacts and responses to Kibale National Park. In: Science and Conservation in a Ugandan Rainforest: How Long-Term Research Can Help Habitat Management, ed. Wrangham, R. & Ross, E., pp. 129144. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
Hartter, J. (2007) Landscape change around Kibale National Park, Uganda: impacts on land cover, land use and livelihoods. PhD dissertation, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA.
Hartter, J. (2009) Attitudes of rural communities towards wetlands and forest fragments Around Kibale National Park, Uganda. Human Dimensions of Wildlife 14 (6): 433447.
Hartter, J. (2010) Resource use and ecosystem services in a forest park landscape. Society and Natural Resources 23 (3): 207233.
Hartter, J. & Goldman, A. (2011) Local responses to a forest park in western Uganda: alternative narratives on fortress conservation. Oryx 45 (1): 6068.
Hartter, J. & Southworth, J. (2009) Dwindling resources and fragmentation of landscapes around parks: wetlands and forest fragments around Kibale National Park, Uganda. Landscape Ecology 24 (5): 643656.
Hartter, J., Ryan, S.J., Southworth, J. & Chapman, C.A. (2011) Landscapes as continuous entities: forest disturbance and recovery in the Albertine Rift landscape. Landscape Ecology 26: 877890.
Hartter, J., Stampone, M.D., Ryan, S.J., Kirner, K., Chapman, C.A. & Goldman, A. (2012) Patterns and perceptions of climate change around a biodiversity conservation hotspot. PLOS ONE 7 (12): e32408.
Hein, L., van Koppen, K., de Groot, R.S. & van Ierland, E.C. (2006) Spatial scales, stakeholders and the valuation of ecosystem services. Ecological Economics 57: 209228.
Hill, C.M. (2004) Farmers’ perspectives of conflict at the wildlife-agriculture boundary: some lessons learned from African subsistence farmers. Human Dimensions of Wildlife 9 (4): 279286.
Holt, F.L. (2005) The catch-22 of conservation: indigenous peoples, biologists, and cultural change. Human Ecology 33 (2): 199215.
Joppa, L.N., Loarie, S.R. & Pimm, S.L. (2009) On population growth near protected areas. PLOS ONE 4 (1): e4279.
Kagoro-Rugunda, G. (2004) Crop raiding around Lake Mburo National Park, Uganda. African Journal of Ecology 42: 3241.
Kollmuss, A. & Agyeman, J. (2002) Mind the gap: why do people act environmentally and what are the barriers to pro-environmental behavior? Environmental Education Research 8 (3): 239260.
Laurance, W.F. & Peres, C.A. (2006) Emerging Threats to Tropical Forests. Chicago, IL, USA: The University of Chicago Press.
Laurance, W.F. & 215 coauthors (2012) Averting biodiversity collapse in tropical forest protected areas. Nature 489: 290294.
Lee, P.C. & Priston, N.E.C. (2005) Perceptions of pests: human attitudes to primates, conflict and consequences for conservation. In: Commensalism and Conflict: The Primate-Human Interface, ed. Paterson, J.D., pp. 123. Winnipeg, Canada: Hignell Printing.
MacKenzie, C. & Hartter, J. (2013) Demand and proximity: drivers of illegal forest resource extraction. Oryx 47: 288297.
MacKenzie, C.A. (2012) Accruing benefit or loss from a protected area: location matters. Ecological Economics 76: 119129.
Morgan-Brown, T., Jacobson, S.K., Wald, K. & Child, B. (2010) Quantitative assessment of a Tanzanian integrated conservation and development project involving butterfly farming. Conservation Biology 24: 563–57.
Naughton-Treves, L. (1999) Whose animals? A history of property rights to wildlife in Toro, western Uganda. Land Degradation and Development 10: 311328.
Nepal, S. & Spiteri, A. (2011) Linking livelihoods and conservation: an examination of local residents’ perceived linkages between conservation and livelihood benefits around Nepal's Chitwan National Park. Environmental Management 47 (5): 727738.
Nepal, S.K. & Weber, K.E. (1995) Prospects for coexistence: wildlife and local people. Ambio 24 (4): 238245.
Nesheim, I., Dhillion, S.S. & Stølen, K.A. (2006) What happens to traditional knowledge and use of natural resources when people migrate? Human Ecology 34: 99131.
Neumann, R.P. (1998) Imposing Wilderness. Struggles Over Livelihood and Nature Preservation in Africa. London, UK: University of California Press.
Orlove, B., Roncoli, C., Kabugo, M. & Majugu, A. (2010) Indigenous climate knowledge in southern Uganda: the multiple components of a dynamic regional system. Climatic Change 100: 243265.
Panikowski, A. (2010) Weaving for tourism: women weaver groups turning household baskets into income generation products through tourism around Kibale National Park. MA Thesis, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA.
Rebetz, M. (1996) Public expectation as an element of human perception of climate change. Climatic Change 32: 495509.
Rocheleau, D. & Edmunds, D. (1997) Women, men and trees: gender, power and poverty in forest and agrarian landscapes. World Development 25 (8): 13511371.
Ryan, S.J. & Hartter, J. (2012) Beyond ecological success of corridors: integrating land use history and demographic change to provide a whole landscape perspective. Ecological Restoration 30: 320328.
Silvano, R.A.M., Udvardy, S., Ceroni, M. & Farley, J. (2005) An ecological integrity assessment of a Brazilian Atlantic forest watershed based on surveys of stream and local farmers’ perceptions: implications for management. Ecological Economics 53: 369385.
Sodhi, N.S., Lee, T.M., Sekercioglu, C.H., Webb, E.L., Prawiradilaga, D.M., Lohman, D.J., Pierce, N.E., Diesmos, A.C., Rao, M. & Ehrlich, P.R. (2010) Local people value environmental services provided by forested parks. Biodiversity and Conservation 19 (4): 11751188.
Solomon, J. (2007) An evaluation of collaborative resource management and the measurement of illegal resource use in a Ugandan National Park. PhD dissertation, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA.
Solomon, J., Jacobson, S.K. & Liu, I. (2012) Fishing for a solution: can collaborative resource management reduce poverty and support conservation. Environmental Conservation 39 (1): 5161.
Solomon, J., Jacobson, S.K., Wald, K.D. & Gavin, M. (2007) Estimating illegal resource use at a Ugandan park with the randomized response technique. Human Dimensions of Wildlife 12: 7588.
Speranza, C.I., Kiteme, B., Ambenje, P., Wiesmann, U. & Makali, S. (2010) Indigenous knowledge related to climate variability and change: insights from droughts in semi-arid areas of former Makueni District, Kenya. Climatic Change 100: 295315.
Terborgh, J., Van Schaik, C.P., Davenport, L. & Rao, M. (2002) Making Parks Work: Strategies For Preserving Tropical Nature. New York, NY, USA: Island Press.
Twinomugisha, B. (2005) A content analysis report on climate change impacts, vulnerability and adaptation in Uganda. Report, International Institute for Environment and Development, London, UK.
Vedeld, P., Angelsen, A., Bojö, J., Sjaastad, E. & Berg, G.K. (2007) Forest environmental incomes and the rural poor. Forest Policy and Economics 9 (7): 869879.
Wittemyer, G., Elsen, P., Bean, W.T., Burton, A.C.O. & Brashares, J.S. (2008) Accelerated human population growth at protected area edges. Science 5885 (321): 123126.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Environmental Conservation
  • ISSN: 0376-8929
  • EISSN: 1469-4387
  • URL: /core/journals/environmental-conservation
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *



Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed