Biodiversity and Conservation

, Volume 23, Issue 5, pp 1331–1337 | Cite as

Classifying conservation targets based on the origin of motivation: implications over the success of community-based conservation projects

  • Tamia Souto
  • Jessica L. Deichmann
  • Cecilia Núñez
  • Alfonso Alonso


Community-based conservation (CBC) projects represent one approach to biodiversity conservation when working with indigenous and local people. This method aims to achieve conservation and development goals simultaneously, however whether both types of goals can be met or whether competition between the two precludes success is an issue of much discussion. Conservation targets are one of the most important elements upon which a conservation project is built. We propose that one way to link biodiversity conservation with human development goals is to consider people’s needs and interests in the selection of the conservation target. Here, we present three categories of conservation targets that vary according to the origin of motivation that drives indigenous and local people to conserve the target. According to the type of target selected, the level of participation, integration of traditional ecological knowledge, level of external intervention and long-term sustainability will vary. We encourage conservation practitioners to understand the motivations that lead indigenous and local people to participate in conservation projects, and to develop and design CBC projects from these incentives.


Motivators for conservation Participation Indigenous and local people Conservation target Biodiversity conservation Project design 



We are very grateful to the Miaría and Nuevo Mundo communities in Peru, and the CCES team in Lima and Washington DC for rich discussions and logistical support. This work was supported by the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and Repsol Exploracion Peru. This is contribution # 24 of the CCES Peru Biodiversity Program.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tamia Souto
    • 1
  • Jessica L. Deichmann
    • 1
  • Cecilia Núñez
    • 1
  • Alfonso Alonso
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Conservation Education and Sustainability, Smithsonian Conservation Biology InstituteNational Zoological ParkWashingtonUSA

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