Indigenous communities can do more for large-scale conservation than protected areas

The customary leader, or Ondoafi, of Papasena 2 village / CIFOR

The customary leader, or Ondoafi, of Papasena 2 village / CIFOR

Ignoring indigenous practices is a missed opportunity, experts argue

Indigenous communities are highly effective at protecting natural resources and can ‘fill the gap’ over vast regions where formal conservation authorities are absent.

Yet local community practices and their significance go largely unrecognized, to the extent that many communities are forcibly removed from protected areas – and experts are calling for change.

A study from Papua, Indonesia, by scientists at the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) is among the first to show how local communities are protecting extensive areas of land – in contrast to assumptions that such communities overuse or damage natural resources.

The findings feed into a growing body of evidence that natural resource management by local communities can be more effective and cost-efficient for large-scale conservation than government-sanctioned protected areas.

Read full post on CIFOR Website: Indigenous communities best for conservation: New study

Download full paper: Unseen sentinels: local monitoring and control in conservation’s blind spots