Learning from local perceptions for strategic road development in Cambodia's protected forests

Riggs, Rebecca A., Langston, James D., Sayer, Jeffrey, Sloan, Sean, and Laurance, William F. (2020) Learning from local perceptions for strategic road development in Cambodia's protected forests. Tropical Conservation Science, 13. pp. 1-16.

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Road development in tropical forest landscapes is contentious. Local preferences are often subordinated to global economic and environmental concerns. Opportunities to seek solutions based on local context are rare. We examined local perspectives on road development within Cambodia's Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary to explore opportunities for optimizing conservation and development outcomes. We conducted household surveys to document the perceived benefits and risks of road development. We found that in the sanctuary, road rehabilitation may accelerate transitions to intensified agriculture and diversified, off-farm incomes. All households prefer good roads and poorer households prioritize road development over other village infrastructure. Households perceive the most prominent benefit of roads to be access to hospital. Local government authorities are responsible for controlling land use and conversion within village boundaries and are therefore highly influential in determining the social and environmental outcomes of roads. Strategies to mitigate environmental risks of roads without constraining development benefits must focus on improving local capacity for decision-making and transparency. Local institutions in tropical forest landscapes must have greater control over development benefits if they are to reinvest assets to achieve conservation success.

Item ID: 62347
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1940-0829
Keywords: roads, Cambodia, perceptions, local governance, conservation development trade-offs, sustainable development
Copyright Information: Creative Commons Non Commercial CC BY-NC: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/) which permits non-commercial use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages (https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/open-access-at-sage).
Funders: Skyrail Rainforest Foundation (SRF)
Date Deposited: 26 Feb 2020 07:41
FoR Codes: 41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410401 Conservation and biodiversity @ 50%
41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410404 Environmental management @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960806 Forest and Woodlands Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 100%
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