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National parks and people: Resolving the links between poverty and rule-breaking

National parks and people: Resolving the links between poverty and rule-breaking

Objective

Poverty is frequently perceived to be the root cause of illegal natural resource use – the hunting or extraction of wildlife not sanctioned by the state. When unsustainable, such activities threaten conservation of ecosystems and endangered species. However, understanding what motivates individuals involved is a major challenge; understandably few are willing to discuss their motives for fear of punishment [1]. Furthermore, severe, multifaceted poverty overlaps with regions prioritised for their globally important biodiversity [2]. This association exacerbates the problem that illegal activities pose for policy-makers responsible for managing and policing the use of nature. The dominant approach to conserving biodiversity is to establish protected areas [3] which typically restrict resource use and manage infractions through law enforcement [4]. However, the designation of such areas does not guarantee compliance, as demonstrated by ongoing infractions [5] and its conspicuous profile on global policy agendas. This includes the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development which calls for urgent action to halt biodiversity loss and hunting of protected species [6]. Solving this problematic cocktail of poverty, exclusion from resources and drivers of illegal resource use requires a new approach to understanding why people break rules and to what extent poverty underpins behaviour. Recent advances in cutting-edge techniques for asking sensitive questions are paving the way towards a more accurate understanding of the prevalence and drivers of illegal acts [7]. Combining conservation social science with development studies, criminology and social psychology, this project will examine, for the 1st time, the relative importance of multidimensional poverty and socio-psychological characteristics in dictating people’s involvement in illegal resource use which will be contextualised by histories of national park establishment and how the idea of illegality shifts through time.
Leaflet | Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors, Credit: EC-GISCO, © EuroGeographics for the administrative boundaries

Host institution

BANGOR UNIVERSITY

Address

College Road
Ll57 2dg Bangor

United Kingdom

Activity type

Higher or Secondary Education Establishments

EU Contribution

€ 1 450 852,69

Beneficiaries (2)

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BANGOR UNIVERSITY

United Kingdom

EU Contribution

€ 1 450 852,69

QUEEN MARY UNIVERSITY OF LONDON

United Kingdom

EU Contribution

€ 7 917,31

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 755965

Status

Ongoing project

  • Start date

    1 June 2018

  • End date

    31 May 2023

Funded under:

H2020-EU.1.1.

  • Overall budget:

    € 1 458 770

  • EU contribution

    € 1 458 770

Hosted by:

BANGOR UNIVERSITY

United Kingdom