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E-Poster for WPC Stream 6 Conservation in Context: Variability in Desired and Perceived Outcomes of Community Based Natural Resources Governance in Ghana

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Community Resource Management Areas (CREMAs) in Ghana are types of protected areas managed under a community based governance regime (CBNRG). One purpose is to balance conservation and development. However, many assessments of CBNRG focus on the “big picture”, or overall, non-differentiated treatments of outcomes, which fail to address variability between the desired and perceived outcomes of different actors within diverse socioeconomic, political, cultural and agro-ecological perspectives, or the factors that account for that variability (Gibson & Koontz, 1998; Agrawal & Gibson, 1999; Igoe, J., 2006).
Moreover, assessments of conservation and development outcomes often concentrate on perceived outcomes (Berkes, 2007) without much attention to the desired outcomes of actors (Abalo et al., 2007), making it difficult to gauge whether or not CBNRG is delivering on the most desired outcomes (Ziegler et al., 2011).
Understanding variability in both desired and perceived outcomes is critical in terms of making management decisions that reflect the variable objectives of key stakeholders, establishing a fit with local context, mitigating variable distributional effects of management decisions in terms of outcomes, and promoting governance more generally (Gibson & Koontz 1998; Kellert et al., 2000; Barrett et al., 2001; Murray, 2005; Tonge & More, 2007; Randall and Rollins; 2009; Vaske et al., 2009; Heck et al., 2011).
This e poster presents the results of a study of 5 CREMAs to understand how desired outcomes and perceived performance of these CREMAs varies and the factors that might account for this variability as well as the policy and management implications for understanding variability.

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