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Open AccessArticle

Investigating Perceptions of Land Issues in a Threatened Landscape in Northern Cambodia

1
International Institute for Environment and Development, London WC1X 8NH, UK
2
Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 3SZ, UK
3
Wildlife Conservation Society, Cambridge CB2 3QZ, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2019, 11(21), 5881; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11215881
Received: 30 July 2019 / Revised: 16 September 2019 / Accepted: 21 September 2019 / Published: 23 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Natural Resource Management)
Land governance highly affects rural communities’ well-being in landscapes where land and its access are contested. This includes sites with high land pressures from development, but also from conservation interventions. In fact, local people’s motivations for sustainably managing their resources is highly tied to their perceptions of security, trust and participation in land management regimes. Understanding these perceptions is essential to ensure the internal legitimacy and sustainability of conservation interventions, especially in areas where development changes are fast paced. This paper presents an analysis of household perceptions of land issues in 20 villages across different conservation and development contexts in Northern Cambodia. We assess whether conservation and development interventions, as economic land concessions, influence perceptions of land issues in control and treatment sites by modelling five key perception indicators. We find that household characteristics rather than village contexts are the main factors influencing the perceptions of land issues. Interventions also affect perceptions, especially with regards to the negative effect of development pressures and population growth. While large-scale protected areas do not calm insecurity about land issues, some village-based payment for environmental services projects do. Ultimately, evidence from perception studies can help address current concerns and shape future conservation activities sustainably. View Full-Text
Keywords: perception indicators; land issues; payment for environmental services (PES); economic land concessions; protected areas; community well-being; Cambodia perception indicators; land issues; payment for environmental services (PES); economic land concessions; protected areas; community well-being; Cambodia
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Beauchamp, E.; Clements, T.; Milner-Gulland, E.J. Investigating Perceptions of Land Issues in a Threatened Landscape in Northern Cambodia. Sustainability 2019, 11, 5881.

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