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Beyond payments for ecosystem services: considerations of trust, livelihoods and tenure security in community-based conservation projects

  • Alicia Davis (a1) and Mara J. Goldman (a2)


In the search for successful community-based conservation models there has been a substantial focus on payment for ecosystem services. Such payments are measurable inputs that are often associated with conservation success. A closer look suggests a more complex, historically and culturally contingent picture. We argue that a focus on payment for ecosystem services as a defining factor for success in community conservation risks overlooking other, more significant processes. In particular, we argue for the importance of (1) tenure and livelihood security and (2) relations of trust, communication and respect. We draw on case studies from East Africa, but the findings are relevant for global community-based conservation endeavours.


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