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Determinants of local people's attitude toward conservation and the consequential effects on illegal resource harvesting in the protected areas of Sulawesi (Indonesia)

  • TIEN MING LEE (a1) (a2) (a3), NAVJOT S. SODHI (a1) and DEWI M. PRAWIRADILAGA (a4)

The exploitation of tropical forest resources is a key driver of the current biodiversity crisis, and it is pivotal to understand human attitudes toward conservation and resource harvesting. This paper investigates effects of interactions, perceptions of protected areas (PAs) and sociodemographic variables on conservation attitudes, and the correlates of illegal resource extraction among 660 households from 33 villages bordering eight PAs on Sulawesi (Indonesia). Mixed-effect multiple regression analyses showed that the most important predictors of the support for PAs included the degree of involvement in management, presence/absence of PA-human conflict, perceived sustainability of forest resources and length of residency in Sulawesi. Notably, active participation in community management by transmigrants and the reconciliation of land-rights conflicts for natives may promote favourable conservation attitudes. Ordination and correlation analyses also revealed that the extent of illegal resource harvesting activities, such as hunting and logging, were significantly influenced by a negative conservation attitude and past conflict with PA establishment. Garnering support for PAs through conservation education and resolving land-rights disputes could potentially alleviate illegal resource extraction. The disparity in resource extraction patterns among the villages across all PAs confirms the importance of adopting site-specific conservation strategies that may make PAs across the biologically unique yet critically threatened Indonesian Archipelago more effective.

Corresponding author
*Correspondence: Dr N. Sodhi email:
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