Dear all, happy to announce a paper that was published already late 2022, about the potential role and limitations of ecotourism and sport hunting in conservation. It’s in the open access journal Conservation and Society, a link can be found under ‘Publications’ on this site. Thanks to Amos Ochieng and Niak Koh for their great collaboration on this! This is the abstract:
Recent decades have shown the increased popularity of market-based instruments (MBIs) for conservation despite mixed social and ecological outcomes. This paper explores the extent to which two crucial MBIs, namely, ecotourism and sport hunting, are compatible with ‘convivial conservation’, a novel, integrated approach that explores conservation beyond capitalism. We developed an analytical framework of five key features for transformative change that can potentially contribute to conviviality: access and property rights, benefit-sharing, value operationalisation, institutional arrangements, and decision-making processes. We analysed the use of ecotourism and sport hunting in southern and eastern Africa in relation to the five features. Based on ‘radical incremental transformation’, we applied these features to analyse if, and if so how, incremental changes to these MBIs can be supportive in transitioning conservation towards (further) conviviality. With insights from our extensive research experiences in eastern and southern Africa, we highlight that the institutional design and contextual factors determining power relations are often more important than the choice of instrument in influencing its social and ecological outcomes. In conclusion, we propose a shift in the dialogue on conservation beyond its infatuation with commodification by integrating convivial elements into the design of conservation policies.