Ethics, Place and Environment 6 (1):27 – 41 (2003)
The decision-making process of conserving biodiversity within the confines of sustainable livelihoods and development is examined. It is one of the greatest dilemmas facing the conservation community because of the multifaceted nature of activities involved. The case of the conservation of coastal wetlands in Ghana (from 1993 to 1999) is utilised in developing a 'community conservation interface' (CCI) model for the active participation of local communities. The ethical basis of the model is to promote accountability, transparency and responsibility throughout a project's planning and implementation process. Additionally, the CCI model seeks to provide a forum, the CCI seat, for resolving conflicts, developing further partnership and building capacity. It is a decision-making model that is applicable to community-based conservation and partnerships in protected area management. As an adaptive management initiative built on the concept of community conservation, the model is vital for decision-making forums for managing biodiversity at a broad-scale level. Finally it attempts to unravel the true meaning of participation, and the creation of institutional interfaces for the setting of common goals and indicators.
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