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The success and challenges of grassroots conservation initiatives in the Amazon

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Despite the increasing extent of the protected area network globally and the associated conservation efforts, tropical forests continues to decline nearly unabated. As a result, there have been increasing calls for rigorously evaluating conservation impacts to ensure that conservation efforts have their intended impacts. In addition, conservationists have sought to diversify their governance approaches, such as through areas protected by indigenous communities, civil society, and private actors. One novel grassroots initiative, which has gained considerable traction in the Amazon, is Conservation Concessions (CCs). CCs comprise public land granted to non-state actors (e.g. local communities, NGOs, individual citizens) for conservation purposes. They have been promoted in numerous countries, including Guyana, Indonesia, and Peru, and have been called success stories due to their involvement of society in conservation.

In the seminar, Judith will look at (1) the impacts of these grassroots initiatives on rates of deforestation and forest degradation in the Peruvian Amazon, and how they compare to alternative conservation approaches and land uses; (2) factors influencing their conservation outcomes; and (3) stakeholder perceptions of the opportunities and challenges associated with obtaining and implementing CCs. While CCs have been relatively effective at curbing deforestation and forest degradation, Judith will also discuss several institutional, social and political challenges that have constrained their conservation impacts.

This talk is part of the CCI Conservation Seminars series.

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