Year of Award

2020

Document Type

Professional Paper

Degree Type

Master of Science (MS)

Degree Name

Resource Conservation (International Conservation and Development)

Department or School/College

Society and Conservation

Committee Chair

Dr. Keith Bosak

Commitee Members

Dr. Jill Belsky, Dr. Sarah Halvorson

Keywords

integrative agroforestry, conservation corridor, Ecuador, land use and livelihoods

Publisher

University of Montana

Abstract

Agroforestry has the potential to address land degradation and rural livelihood concerns resulting from tropical deforestation and has therefore become a popular tool for reforestation in conservation initiatives. However, these initiatives often lack the resources to implement an integrative approach to developing site-specific agroforestry systems, leading to undesirable outcomes such as lack of community support and unmet ecological objectives. This paper presents a case study of a conservation initiative implemented by the Ceiba Foundation for Tropical Conservation (CFTC) in the Ecuadorian province of Manabí. The CFTC is working with private landowners to establish a coastal conservation corridor through reforestation and agroforestry initiatives. The corridor project exemplifies the common challenges to integrating agroforestry with conservation efforts. This paper represents the work I did for my M.S. graduate project, collaborating with the CFTC and landowners participating in the conservation corridor project to gain a basic understanding of the context within which landowners are managing their land. Semi-structured interviews with participating landowners led to the development of a questionnaire aimed at collecting baseline socioeconomic data. This data can inform the reassessment of the corridor project’s objectives and activities to ensure they are locally relevant, promoting positive, sustainable outcomes for participating landowners and their ecosystems. The interviews revealed a need for the CFTC to employ a more integrative approach to developing agroforestry systems with participating landowners. Furthermore, this paper highlights opportunities and constraints for landowners to benefit from the conservation corridor project and identifies areas of further research needed for the CFTC to develop project objectives and activities appropriate for the local context.

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© Copyright 2020 Lucille M.F. Rice