Understanding Perceptions of Protected Area Management in Developing Countries: The Case of Nigeria National Parks
The study aimed to understand local communities' perceptions of Nigeria National Parks and was conducted in ten per cent of the communities within 0-10km of park boundaries. Data were obtained from 10 per cent of the total household heads through questionnaire administration and were analysed with descriptive statistics and multiple linear regression. A large percentage of the respondents were male; their median age was 42 years; 56.6 per cent had non-formal education; the median annual income was N7000 (US$ 43.75); and 86.9 per cent were farmers. The respondents had generally negative perceptions of park management over issues of strict protection, penalties, impact of existence of parks on their communities and exclusion from park management. Education (beta = 0.10, p<0.01), income (beta =0.12, p<0.01) and community distance from park boundary (beta = 0.31, p<0.01) were the best predictors of local communities' perceptions. There is an urgent need for a sustained policy on access to formal education in communities around Nigeria National Parks; for rural development policies that enhance income from farming and other non-farm alternative livelihood activities; for the sharing or recycling of revenue between the local communities and the parks; employment and infrastructural development; community involvement in park management and decision-making; and alternative dispute resolutions to ensure positive perceptions of the parks and other protected areas.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 01 October 2014
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