Beyond conservation: Assessing broader development outcomes of protected areas in Nepal

Thapa, Kamal, and Diedrich, Amy (2023) Beyond conservation: Assessing broader development outcomes of protected areas in Nepal. Journal of Environmental Management, 339. 117890.

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Protected Areas (PAs) are set aside for biodiversity conservation but at the same time they are recognized for their role in supporting development goals. However, the benefits provided by PAs also come with costs to local people. Integrated Conservation and Development Projects (ICDPs) are a PA management approach that aim to maximize local benefits through enhancing conservation and development outcomes, while also reducing costs. We implemented a household level survey in two PAs in Nepal managed using an ICDP approach to assess local people's perceived benefits and costs and determine if this approach was achieving its intended outcomes. Since both PAs are popular nature-based tourism (NBT) destinations, respondents were asked questions specific to this activity and others more general to the PA. The coded qualitative responses revealed ten categories of benefits and twelve categories of costs. Most respondents perceived extraction benefits from PAs, and when asked to reflect specifically on NBT, they mostly identified economic benefits. Crop and livestock loss was the main perceived costs from PAs, whereas sociocultural costs were the main costs from NBT. Chi square tests showed that proximity to the PA office and residency status had the most significant differences in perceptions of benefits and costs from both PAs and NBT. People perceived very few benefits related to participation, cost mitigation, and conservation, which does not match the intended outcomes of ICDPs. Although there may be practical implications for engaging distant communities in management, this may help to enhance conservation and development outcomes from PAs.

Item ID: 78628
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1095-8630
Keywords: Benefit and cost, Buffer zone, Integrated conservation and development projects, Nepal, Participation, National park
Copyright Information: © 2023 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC license (
Date Deposited: 17 May 2023 00:54
FoR Codes: 41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410499 Environmental management not elsewhere classified @ 50%
35 COMMERCE, MANAGEMENT, TOURISM AND SERVICES > 3508 Tourism > 350801 Impacts of tourism @ 25%
44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4404 Development studies > 440407 Socio-economic development @ 25%
SEO Codes: 18 ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT > 1899 Other environmental management > 189999 Other environmental management not elsewhere classified @ 50%
19 ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY, CLIMATE CHANGE AND NATURAL HAZARDS > 1902 Environmental policy, legislation and standards > 190299 Environmental policy, legislation and standards not elsewhere classified @ 25%
11 COMMERCIAL SERVICES AND TOURISM > 1199 Other commercial services and tourism > 119999 Other commercial services and tourism not elsewhere classified @ 25%
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