conservation & development

Regional dynamics and conservation in Papua New Guinea: The Lakekamu River Basin project. The Contemporary Pacific 9 (1): 97-121, 1996. Can integrated conservation and development programs, which combine commercial ventures with conservation initiatives, help to preserve the forests of Melanesia? Can conservation and development programs enable rural communities to better manage their land and resources in the face of rapid economic change? This paper explores these questions through discussion of an integrated conservation and development project sponsored by Conservation International in the Lakekamu River Basin of southeastern Papua New Guinea. The project encompasses land and resources belonging to four different cultural groups, a situation not uncommon in Melanesia, and the paper analyzes how regional histories and contemporary political relations have affected its implementation. The paper also responds to several critical assessments of integrated conservation and development programs by considering the ways in which the project may affect the people of the Lakekamu River Basin.

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