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Understanding "partnerships for conservation gain": how do government agencies, non-governmental organisations, private landowners and the corporate sector co-operate to deliver effective natural resource management?

Steadman, Janna Elizabeth (2016) Understanding "partnerships for conservation gain": how do government agencies, non-governmental organisations, private landowners and the corporate sector co-operate to deliver effective natural resource management? Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent,.

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Abstract

With biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation ongoing, the conservationists' toolkit needs to be augmented by innovative and sometimes bold solutions. It is already apparent that the scale of the problem exceeds the capabilities of any one organisation working in isolation. However, collaboration between stakeholder groups may have the potential to enhance conservation outcomes. Cross-sector collaborations, such as those between non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and corporations, are proliferating in conservation. However, little is known about their efficacy and subsequent impact on the wider natural environment, with many assumptions based on anecdotal rather than empirical evidence. This thesis aims to fulfil an important and substantial knowledge gap by using data-driven approaches to understand partnerships in conservation from the perspective of conservation NGOs. Firstly, I assess the types and prevalence of partnerships between conservation NGOs and corporations and find a diverse range of projects are occurring. For example, financial donations are a frequent form of NGO-corporate interaction, but other collaborative activities such as terrestrial ecosystem restoration and educational activities, are regularly reported. Secondly, I evaluate an NGO-led collaborative network to understand what motivates organisations to initiate a membership committing them to voluntary environmental measures that go beyond regulatory compliance. Results suggest that the majority of members join to fulfil strategic objectives such as reputation protection, rather than for altruistic reasons. Furthermore, participants with stronger sustainability credentials occupy the most influential positions within the network, meaning that they are strongly positioned to receive and disseminate information. Lastly, I use social network analysis to explore how a conservation NGO delivers its landscape-scale conservation projects by acquiring key resources from multiple partners. Results indicate that partners providing land-based support are well connected with one another, meaning that landscape-scale conservation activities can be coordinated more easily. Furthermore, the in-kind support network, primarily comprising NGOs, displays the greatest innovative capacity. The research presented in this thesis highlights that cross-sector partnerships have a central role to play in bridging the interests of different stakeholder groups, and reflect the inclusive vision of conservation we should all be striving to create.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
Thesis advisor: Davies, Zoe
Thesis advisor: St. John, Freya A.V.
Uncontrolled keywords: biodiversity, ecosystems, conservation, natural resources,
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH75 Conservation (Biology)
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation
Depositing User: Users 1 not found.
Date Deposited: 08 Jun 2017 13:00 UTC
Last Modified: 22 Jan 2020 04:10 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/62001 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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