National Park Management between Rhetoric and Results: The Failure of Indonesia's Mainstream Conservation Model in Tesso Nilo and the Advantages of Private Property in Nature Conservation Efforts
Civil society conflicts - Environment & Social Conflicts, Vol. 2, No. 1, 2012
21 Pages Posted: 22 Feb 2013 Last revised: 16 Jan 2014
Date Written: February 20, 2013
Mainstream models of nature conservation, as they are proposed by Environmental Global Action Networks (EGAN), such as Greenpeace and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), focus on the creation of public property (in the form of national parks), legal prohibitions (such as bans on logging and on trade in endangered species), public education and, more recently, carbon trading schemes. As Indonesia’s Tesso Nilo national park demonstrates, the mainstream approach is not only costly but also highly ineffective. According to our findings, two thirds of the park have been encroached, the park management itself has allegedly been involved in illegal logging, human-wildlife conflict continues unabated, wildlife continues to dwindle and the local population remains hostile to the conservation model. In this paper we attempt to show that the failure of Tesso Nilo is due to the application of mainstream conservation models that are based more on rhetoric than results and ignore economic realities. Alternative, market-based solutions exist and have been proven to be both cost-effective and successful in delivering tangible results. Effective private property rights incentivize the local population to engage in sustainable management of natural resources: 'if it pays, it stays.' By contrast, the strategies of the EGANs create social conflict and perverse incentives. International donors should pay more heed to results than rhetoric.
Keywords: national park, tesso nilo, indonesia, conservation, wwf, greenpeace, forest, forestry, pulp and paper, nature, green
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