Microenterprises after the funding ends: Two Steps Forward and One Step Back
Community-based natural resource management has become central to international conservation efforts in recent decades, as part of a pro-poor environmental agenda (Adams et al. 2004; Berkes 2007). The goal is to simultaneously improve local welfare and provide incentives for conservation through economic development based on sustainable use of natural resources. A key assumption is that the best way to accomplish this is by working with groups of households in communities, associations, or other types of networks. While community-based conservation and development projects continue to attract funding, there are persistent concerns about the lack of studies on long-term impacts on local welfare and environmental conservation (McShane and Wells 2007; Garnett et al. 2007). In fact, this lack of sustainability beyond the period of external funding is an important problem for international aid in general (Kareiva et al. 2008). Given the emphasis placed on cooperation among households in the implementation phase, I hypothesize that social networks are also critical to the process of sustaining (or abandoning) activities promoted or discouraged by the projects. I examine this hypothesis in the context of a pilot program to engage resident communities in sustainable management of a national forest in the Brazilian Amazon.
|Date of creation:||Jul 2010|
|Date of revision:||Jul 2010|
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