Barriers and Triggers to Adopting a Participatory Model for Conservation in the Cordillera Azul National Park, Peru
Participatory approaches to the conservation management of protected areas are being implemented worldwide due to cost-effective and moral reasons. However, given the wide spectrum of participation, levels of participation across the conservation management process might vary from one stage to another. This study presents a unique analysis of how participation varies through the conservation management process, and provides the first step towards creating multi-variate models containing key determinants of perceived participation. This thesis is based on research in the Cordillera Azul National Park, a relatively new protected area in the Peruvian Amazon, where I interviewed some of the main stakeholders and conducted a questionnaire in three communities of the Park's buffer zone. My main findings are: levels of participation did indeed vary across different stages of the Park's management. Also, the perceived benefits and costs of the National Park together with the attitudes towards conservation were influencing the perceived responsibility for the Park's management. Thus, I suggest that if managers want to increase community participation in the protected area's management, they might need to focus on identifying those community members with particular attitudes and concentrate on the benefits and costs of conservation.