Conservation, Markets and Justice: a comparative study of local and global conceptions

Lead Research Organisation: University of East Anglia
Department Name: International Development

Abstract

Forest conservation initiatives are often driven by motives that arise at national and even global levels. These include the preservation of valuable resources for the national economy, the conservation of biological diversity and, increasingly, the mitigation of climate change through enhanced storage of carbon in forest biomass. Whilst conservation is largely framed in terms of global goods, including for future generations, there is increasing agreement that these interests should not prejudice the needs and rights of current people who live within or adjacent to those forests targeted for conservation.

This is a very important challenge that is currently being faced by all those governments, NGOs and public policy-making institutions that are implementing forest conservation in the tropics through support for protected areas, REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) and other conservation mechanisms. The UK government is itself strongly involved in REDD+, as are many international conservation NGOs such as Fauna and Flora International and WWF. This research project will seek to contribute to the challenge to reconcile forest conservation for all, with social justice for local people in developing countries. To do so, the project will generate new empirical data about what social justice means to these local people and work with donors, NGOs and policy-makers at national and international levels to bring this new knowledge into practice.

The project will conduct research in three countries, China, Tanzania and Venezuela. In each country we have selected study sites that represent two different categories of forest conservation intervention: those that are community-oriented and those that have also taken on more market-oriented approaches. Thus we have comparisons across different countries and across different governance models of forest intervention. In each site we will research local conceptions of environmental justice, for example what different groups of local people consider to be the fairest way of making decisions about forest management options, and what they consider to be the fairest way of distributing the costs and benefits associated with any intervention. Because so little is known about local conceptions of justice, and there are no established methodologies for researching this, we will employ a combination of methods that provide us with opportunities for comparing findings and for validation of results. We will test for the presence of some well known principles of justice using surveys and experimental economic games. But we will also employ more open, ethnographic methods, inlcuding interviews and participatory video, for a more inductive approach to identifying justice norms. During year 1 we will hold a field-based methods inception workshop to pilot and finalise all methods as a team.

In addition to comparisons across countries and across intervention type, a central thrust of our research will be to compare local conceptions of justice with those that are evident in the conservation interventions in that particular site. In that way, we will be investigating any areas of divergence and seeking to understand how this impacts on local receptivity to the intervention. In other words, we will be looking at divergence and convergence between different stakeholders' conceptions of justice and fairness, as a basis for understanding conservation conflicts and cooperation.

The demand for this research has arisen through previous collaborative engagement with NGO actors in the the field sites themselves and through UK-based events we have organised, bringing together academics and practitioners interested in justice-oriented approaches to forest and biodiversity conservation approaches. We will continue this engagement with key conservation stakeholders such as IUCN and WWF to ensure that this new knowledge informs new practices.

Planned Impact

Who will benefit?

Our research will impact three main user groups including (1) donors, NGOs and policy-makers at national and international level, (2) relevant in situ NGOs, and (3) local communities. All of these user groups are already engaged with us in one way or another and thus have contributed to the demand for this research and to its design. Engagement to date with national and international practitioners has involved a public debate on international forestry and justice organised by Sikor in July 2011, and a scholar-practitioner exchange event on conservation and justice organised by Gross-camp and Martin in March 2012. Engagement with local NGOs has taken place in the context of pre-existing research project collaborations in each site. Local NGOs, and global NGOS, notably WWF, have contributed directly to research design through response to a concept note.

How will they benefit?

The group of national and international actors includes UN policymaking forums, including for REDD+, UK government, including its support for the Convention on Biological Diversity, REDD+ and other conservation mechanisms; and international environmental NGOs, including those with UK bases such as WWF and Fauna and Flora International (FFI) who are signatories to the Conservation Initiative on Human Rights. All these policy and practitioner actors struggle with the tensions arising between global and national interests and those of local stakeholders. All are looking to reconcile conservation with social justice, for example through rights-based approaches, compensation protocol and systems for Free, Prior and Informed Consent. The current research will generate improved understanding of the meaning of justice to local communities, of how global attempts to frame and implement justice principles are often misaligned with these local meanings, and how we can work to resolve these mis-matches. This will be achieved by continuation of the engagement we have already begun, and through two policy engagement forums to be held in the UK during the second and third years of the project.

Engagement with local NGOs will be through the specific projects located within the research sites. For example, the Mpingo Conservation and Development Initiative and FFI in Tanzania, and The Nature Conservancy and Conservation International in China. Important components of these projects will include the development of a benefit sharing procedure and the further development of an existing programme for monitoring social impacts. Understanding local conceptions of what constitutes fair outcomes and governance procedures can inform both these tasks. At the same time, these pilot carbon projects entails very real opportunities for dissemination of best practice beyond the local sites - there is huge international interest in learning from active pilots such as these. In addition to the international engagement forums in the UK, we will also hold national level engagment forums in each country to connect local experience to national policy makers.

Engagement with local communities within our study sites will involve further consultations about the benefits that they wish to gain from the project. Aside from the general benefit of better aligned policies and interventions, there are specific agendas in each site that we are aware of but which require further elaboration during preliminary visits. For example, the Pemon people in Venezuela have an ongoing initiative to develop a 'life plan' for their people and a process of reflecting upon their conceptions of justice can contribute to this. The project will support the production of a pamphlet in each site that documents the findings of the research and these documents will serve as the basis for a cross-cultural workshop in the UK, bringing together representatives from different sites to compare findings and analyse cultural and other explanations for difference.
 
Description Our particular contribution is to understand the ways in which local people perceive environmental justice and how this effects conservation governance. Key findings related to this are:
1. Environmental justice for local people is often different than environmental justice for external conservation actors. Environmental justice struggles therefore occur between different ideas about what is the right thing to do.
2. Local and historical context strongly determines conceptions of justice and helps to explain variations in conceptions observed between countries, as well as between different stakeholder groups. We even see different articulations of justice by individuals, depending on the space in which they are interacting.
3. Marketisation of environmental goods changes local norms, for example tending to shift norms from pro-poor egalitarianism towards more meritocratic principles of distribution.
4. The norms associated with market-based approaches to conservation provide a new way of understanding conservation conflicts and help to explain our observation that conflict is an ubiquitous outcome of market-based interventions.
Exploitation Route 1. Findings have been incorporated into an initiative to advance equity in protected areas, led by the International Institute for Environment and Development with signs that it is being taken up by the Convention on Biological Diversity.

2. We have used some follow-on 'impact accelerator' funding to work closely with the Monkox indigenous people and the government of Bolivia. Our findings and process is contributing to efforts to advance autonomy and has been central to an event at the UN permanent forum on indigenous peoples.
Sectors Communities and Social Services/Policy,Environment,Government, Democracy and Justice

URL http://www.uea.ac.uk/devresearch/publications/research-briefings
 
Description At global level, findings have fed into the development of a framework for assessing justice and equity in conservation governance. this framework, co-produced with non-academic partners is gaining some traction within major conservation organisations such as IUCN and within the convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) which used the framework in a document circulated for the December 2016 COP in mexico. At national level, the clearest impact has been seen in Bolivia where the project team have worked closely with the Chiquitano indigenous people and with the government of Bolivia. This included co-production of a book joining the Bolivian delegation at the UN permanent committee on indigenous issues in New York, in May 2016. The findings are also being used to produce short media (radio/video) clips used for information dissemination related to a forthcoming (late 2017) election on autonomy for the Chiquitano people. These continuing activities are being developed as a UEA impact case study for possible inclusion in the 2020 REF. Starting in 2018, evidence from this study is now informing a new IPBES Assessment on values.
First Year Of Impact 2015
Sector Communities and Social Services/Policy,Environment
Impact Types Societal

 
Description Advancing equity policy brief
Geographic Reach Multiple continents/international 
Policy Influence Type Citation in other policy documents
URL http://pubs.iied.org/17344IIED.html?c=biodiv
 
Description Impact on ESRC Advanced Training workshop at UEA
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
URL https://www.uea.ac.uk/social-sciences/graduate-school/esrc-advanced-training-2014/research-methods-i...
 
Description Impact on Mass Open Online Course
Geographic Reach Multiple continents/international 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
URL https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/environmental-justice
 
Description ACKNOWL-ej (Academic-activist co-produced knowledge on environmental justice) Project
Amount € 850,000 (EUR)
Funding ID ISSC2015 TKN150317115354 
Organisation United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization 
Sector Public
Country Global
Start 03/2016 
End 03/2019
 
Description Conflict Transformation and Environmental Justice Think Tank
Amount £25,000 (GBP)
Organisation University of East Anglia 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2016 
End 12/2016
 
Description ESPA 2016 Synthesis grant
Amount £200,000 (GBP)
Funding ID NE/P008356/1 
Organisation Natural Environment Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 12/2016 
End 11/2017
 
Description ESRC Impact Accelerator
Amount £6,000 (GBP)
Organisation University of East Anglia 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 02/2016 
End 06/2016
 
Description Ecosystem Services, Justice and Wellbeing
Amount £500,000 (GBP)
Organisation Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation (ESPA) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 12/2013 
End 12/2015
 
Description regional opportunities
Amount £75,000 (GBP)
Funding ID ESPA 16261/02 
Organisation Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation (ESPA) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2016 
End 12/2016
 
Description Advancing equity in protected area conservation 
Organisation International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution This is a partnership led by IIED, also including IUCN and University of Southampton. I have contributed to three workshops in London, a successful funding bid and a policy brief publication.
Collaborator Contribution All partners have been involved in all activities.
Impact Policy Brief ESPA regional funding grant
Start Year 2015
 
Description Environmental Justice and Indigenous Territorial Autonomy in Bolivia 
Organisation Indigenous Centre for Native Communities of Lomerio
Country Bolivia, Plurinational State of 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution We are all working on a joint publication, which is the result of a Round Table we carried out in October 2015
Collaborator Contribution We are all writing sections of the book
Impact A book will result from this collaboration
Start Year 2016
 
Description Environmental Justice and Indigenous Territorial Autonomy in Bolivia 
Organisation Ministry of Autonomy
Country Bolivia, Plurinational State of 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution We are all working on a joint publication, which is the result of a Round Table we carried out in October 2015
Collaborator Contribution We are all writing sections of the book
Impact A book will result from this collaboration
Start Year 2016
 
Description Environmental Justice and Indigenous Territorial Autonomy in Bolivia 
Organisation NUR University, Santa Cruz, Bolivia
Country Bolivia, Plurinational State of 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We are all working on a joint publication, which is the result of a Round Table we carried out in October 2015
Collaborator Contribution We are all writing sections of the book
Impact A book will result from this collaboration
Start Year 2016
 
Description Advancing equity in PA management 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Developing framework for equity assessment for PAs
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Can PES meet the trade-offs between ecosystem conservation and poverty alleviation: insight from Sloping Land Conservation Program in Southwest China 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Talk presented at Global Land Project's 3 Open Science Meeting in Beijing, October 2016.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Community Dissemination Activity (Lomerio, Bolivia) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact More than 100 indigenous people from 23 different communities from Lomerio, Bolivia, attended this one day meeting, which was intended to share and discuss preliminary results from our project about the challenges of just community forest management. The three participatory video produced by the Lomerianos themselves, with facilitation from the project researchers, were shown in this meeting. The videos sparked a great deal of discussion among the participants and helped to reflect collectively about actions that need top be taken for more sustainable and just forest management.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description ESRC Creative Research Methods Conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The talk title was "Participatory videos as a creative research method to reveal tensions in community forest management. The case of the Chiquitano peoples of Lomerio, Bolivia". The audience was 30 people primarily from an academic background. The method discussed in the talk was found of great relevance and potential use by the audience and interest was expressed by some of the audience members in applying it in their own research projects in the future.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://the-sra.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/ioki%C3%B1e-rodriguez-and-mirna-inturias.pdf
 
Description Environmental Justice and Indigenous Autonomy Round Table (Santa Cruz, Bolivia) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact This Round Table was intended as a public space for dialogue between the Monkox Indigenous people from Lomerio, Bolivia (CICOL), the Bolivia Forestry Agency (ABT), the Ministry of Autonomy and Indigenous peoples rights activists about the challenges for autonomy and environmental justice in indigenous peoples' territories. The event helped to improve communication between the Ministry of Autonomy and the Monkox Indigenous people who are in the process of claiming autonomy rights in the lands.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL https://www.facebook.com/minautonomias/posts/688807847919262
 
Description Forest justice workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Third sector organisations
Results and Impact Discussion of preliminary project findings with external practitioners
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Forests & Livelihoods: Assessment, Research, and Engagement (FLARE) network Conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact This activity for part of an expert panel on Environmental Justice and Forest Management. The talk of the title was: Studying environmental justice struggles in community forest management with the Chiquitano peoples of Lomerio, Bolivia.

Contacts were made with members of the audience to carry out future related activities
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Global Forest Expert Panel 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Not yet completed

Not yet known
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description IPBES Values Assessment 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact This is early stage of a new IPBES Assessment of the role of multiple values of nature. PI Martin has been selected as a Coordinating Lead Author to draw on experience of environmental justice research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018,2019
 
Description Intercultural Workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Third sector organisations
Results and Impact Community and local government organisation representatives from Bolivia and Tanzania, plus research team members, reflecting on local ideas of environmental justice
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Justice and equity in conservation meeting, IIED, London 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact 2 day meeting to discuss how to take forward Aichi target to achieve equitable park management by 2020
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Mass Open Online Course - Global Environmental Justice 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact More than 4000 people registered for a 10 week MOOC on environmental justice, including contributions from three members of the project team and reporting findings/methods from the project
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/environmental-justice
 
Description Postgraduate Research Workshop, UEA, Norwich 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact 20 PhD students from UK and Europe attended 1 day workshop on researching environmental justice.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Presentation to PhD students and faculty, University opf Lisbon 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Invited talk to PhD students
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description STEPS Resource Politics: Transforming Pathways to Sustainability Conference. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The talk title was: Environmental justice movements in Bolivia before and during the Morales. State control of nature, unfettered market and the struggle for autonomy of the Monkosh peoples of Lomerio Era.

The talk incentivized discussion about the need to think about non western and decolonial ways of defining environmental justice. Plans were were among some of the audience and panel members to work together on a future joint publication on this topic.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description TZ stakeholders dissemination 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact A half-day workshop with Tanzanian stakeholders to share and discuss preliminary results from research pertaining to inter alia the justice questionnaire. Participants included the Director of the Environment as well as representatives from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, conservation NGOS - WWF. MCDI, MJUMITA, TNRF, TFCG, Farm Africa, and representatives from our study villages.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011,2015