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Journal Articles PLoS ONE Year : 2022

Towards an inclusive nature conservation initiative: Preliminary assessment of stakeholders’ representations about the Makay region, Madagascar

Abstract

The existence of multiple perspectives and representations of different stakeholders poses critical challenges to conservation initiatives worldwide. Thus, to foster more just and sustainable agendas in protected areas (PAs), this diversity of perspectives must be better understood, acknowledged, and tackled. In this article, we aimed to initiate this understanding for the Makay region in Madagascar, a poorly-known region where a ‘New Protected Area’ has been gazetted. In combining mental models and social representation theory, we explored different stakeholders’ perspectives about the Makay social-ecological system, and how differences in stakeholders’ viewpoints could challenge the success of an inclusive, just, and sustainable conservation program. We conducted semi-structured interviews with 32 respondents having different expertise on the Makay. During interviews, respondents were guided towards the elicitation of their individual cognitive map (ICM) of the Makay social-ecological system. ICMs were then analyzed in combining quantitative and qualitative. Respondents described the Makay through a total of 162 components, including 51 components that constituted the central zone of the Makay’s representation. In particular, respondents pointed to insecurity issues caused by zebu thieves, as well as to environmental challenges relative to anthropogenic fires and hunting. On the contrary, they considered mining activities and timber harvesting as more peripheral problems. Through a multivariate clustering analysis, we discriminated two clusters of respondents with contrasting visions about the Makay, ecocentric vs. social-ecological, which was largely influenced by respondents’ background. In comparing the two clusters’ representations, we found that they had dissimilar diagnoses about key socio-environmental challenges in the Makay and how to address them. This ambiguity in respondents’ viewpoints stresses the need to increase research efforts in the Makay region to fill current knowledge gaps about this poorly known social-ecological system, and to foster social learning between stakeholders concerned by the Makay new PA.
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hal-04638919 , version 1 (08-07-2024)

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Céline Fromont, Julien Blanco, Christian Culas, Emmanuel Pannier, Mireille Razafindrakoto, et al.. Towards an inclusive nature conservation initiative: Preliminary assessment of stakeholders’ representations about the Makay region, Madagascar. PLoS ONE, 2022, 17, pp.25. ⟨10.1371/journal.pone.0272223⟩. ⟨hal-04638919⟩
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