A Paper detailing fieldwork analysing funding for conservation and development in the Dominican Republic.
The debate over the best way to conserve biological resources while allowing for the development of communities that live around or in and work with those resources has long been contentious. The degree to which forest residents, subsistence farmers, and indigenous tribes degrade or protect biodiversity remains unresolved, as does the best way to merge the interests and needs of communities in biodiversity-rich areas with those of conservationists. Based on theories of social capital and civil society, some have argued that the best managers of biodiversity are locals, those who know their resources, land, and communities. Others, pointing to links between poverty and development and a variety of cases where community-management regimes have failed, insist that traditional fences-and-fines techniques are the only known way to protect biodiversity. Further, this debate also requires consideration of best-practices for conservation in light of increasing pressure from human and climatic sources, including the role of non-park and buffer zones as valid conservation spheres.