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Evidence-based Conservation

Lessons from the Lower Mekong

Edited by Terry C.H. Sunderland, Jeffrey Sayer, Minh-Ha Hoang

Foreword by William F. Laurance

Routledge – 2013 – 454 pages

Series: The Earthscan Forest Library

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    August 16th 2012


There is a considerable gap between the science of conservation biology and the design and execution of biodiversity conservation projects in the field. Science is often failing to inform the practice of conservation, which remains largely experience-based. The main reason is the poor accessibility of evidence on the effectiveness of different interventions. This is the basis for this book adopting an 'evidence-based approach', modelled on the systematic reviews used in health sciences and now being applied to many policy arenas.

Evidence-based Conservation brings together a series of case studies, written by field practitioners, that provides the evidence-base for evaluating how effective conservation and poverty alleviation strategies can be better implemented. A series of systematic reviews uses experiences and data from fifteen integrated conservation and development projects conducted in the Lower Mekong region, specifically in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. They provide wide-ranging overviews of the effectiveness of protected areas and how innovative tools and methods for monitoring and evaluation can be utilised for more effective outcomes. Results are in the form of management and policy recommendations, based on the quality of evidence and the cost-utility of the intervention. By bridging the gap between field practice and conservation, the analysis should lead to more effective integrated conservation and development interventions. The book represents one of the first attempts to apply the evidence-based approach to conservation and development.


"The editors of this volume deserve a great deal of credit for bringing together such a broad and critical collection of conservation assessments." – William F. Laurance, Distinguished Research Professor & Australian Laureate, Prince Bernhard Chair in International Nature Conservation, James Cook University, Cairns, Queensland, Australia

"The key message of the book is that without the evidence from experience in the field, conservation will fail to inform policy and science and vice versa. This book will be of interest to anyone interested in, studying, or practising conservation biology and resource management." - Sarah Taylor, British Ecological Society


Acknowledgements. Foreword. William F. Laurance. Part 1: Introduction. 1. Introduction: Evidence-based conservation from the Lower Mekong. T.C.H. Sunderland (CIFOR), J. A. Sayer (James Cook University), M.H. Hoang (ICRAF). Part 2: Experiences from the field: lessons learned in the implementation of integrated conservation and development projects. 2. Cat Tien National Park. N. Thuat (Cat Tien National Park Management Board) and M. Huang Yen (CIFOR). 3. Song Thanh Nature Reserve. T. Van Khanh (WWF) M. Huang Yen (CIFOR). 4. Bach Ma National Park. L.Q. Minh (Bach Ma National Park Administration). 5. Tam Dao National Park. D.V. Hung (GTZ). 6. Hoang Lien - Van Ban Nature Reserve. H.V. Lam (Flora and Fauna International) and M. Huang Yen (CIFOR). Laos. 7. Nam Et-Phou Louey National Protected Area. A. Johnson (WCS). 8. Nam Kading National Protected Area. C. Hallam and M. Hedemark (WCS). 9. Nakai-Nam Theun National Protected Area. W. Robichaud (Watershed Management and Protection Authority). 10. Dong Hoa Sao-Xe Pian Biodiversity Corridor. R. McWilliam and G. Roscher (WWF). Cambodia. 11. Mondulkiri Protected Forest. C. Bruce (WWF). 12. Seima Biodiversity Conservation Area. Tom D. Evans, H.J. O’Kelly, M.Soriyun, N. Meng Hor, P. Phaktra, S. Pheakdey and E.H.B. Pollard (WCS). 13. Central Cardamom Conservation Program. O. Kimsan (Conservation International) and C. Chetha (Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry & Fisheries). 14. Phnom Samkos Wildlife Sanctuary. K.E. Hourt (Biodiversity and Protected Area Management Project). 15. Virachey National Park. K.R. Den and C. Sophark (VNP Management Board). Part 3: Analysis of conservation and development initiatives in the Lower Mekong: possibilities, prospects and policy. 16. Assessing Design of Integrated Conservation and Development Projects: A case study using ICDPs in the Lower Mekong. B. Yaap (Daemeter Consulting) and B.M. Campbell (CCAFS). 17. Organisational Strategies to Reconciling Forest Conservation and Livelihood Goals in Interventions. L. Preece (Charles Darwin University), B. Cangas (University of Sussex), R. Achdiawan (CIFOR), M. Ruiz-Pérez (Universidad Autonoma de Madrid), B.M. Campbell (CCAFS) and N. Stacey (Charles Darwin University). 18. A Review of Conservation Area Governance in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. M. Yen (CIFOR), L.D. Preece (Charles Darwin University), N.N. Lan (Southern Swedish Forest Research Centre) and C. Colfer (Cornell University). 19. An Analysis of Conservation and Development Trade-Offs at the Cat Tien National Park, Vietnam. Z.R. Anderson (University of Athens, Georgia), P.D. Hirsch (Yale University), and T.O. McShane (WWF). 20. Forest degradation in the Lower Mekong and an assessment of protected area effectiveness c1990-c2009: a satellite perspective.D. Slayback (NASA), T.C.H. Sunderland (CIFOR). 21. Quantifying Threats to Forests in the Lower Mekong and Assessing Responses. LD. Preece (Charles Darwin University), B. Herrero-Cangas (University of Sussex), R. Achidaiwan (CIFOR) and N. Stacey (Charles Darwin University). 22. Local Perspectives on Payments for Environmental Services. L. Petherham (Charles Darwin University) and B.M. Campbell (CCAFS). 23. Policy Framework Required For Pro-Poor Payments For Environmental Services And Redd: The Case Of Vietnam. P.T. Thuy (CIFOR). 24. Getting REDD to work in the Lower Mekong: lessons learned from integrated conservation and development projects (ICDPS). B. Blom (Yale University), T.C.H. Sunderland (CIFOR) & D. Murdyarso (CIFOR). Part 4: Conclusions and recommendations. 25. Lessons learned from conservation and development interventions in the Lower Mekong. T.C.H. Sunderland (CIFOR), J. A. Sayer (James Cook University), M.H. Hoang (ICRAF). INDEX

Author Bio

Terry C.H. Sunderland is Principal Scientist in the Forests and Livelihoods Programme at the Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), Indonesia.

Jeffrey Sayer is Professor of Development Practice at James Cook University, Cairns, Australia.

Minh-Ha Hoang is a Senior Scientist with the World Agroforestry Centre, based in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Name: Evidence-based Conservation: Lessons from the Lower Mekong (Hardback)Routledge 
Description: Edited by Terry C.H. Sunderland, Jeffrey Sayer, Minh-Ha HoangForeword by William F. Laurance. There is a considerable gap between the science of conservation biology and the design and execution of biodiversity conservation projects in the field. Science is often failing to inform the practice of conservation, which remains largely...
Categories: Biodiversity & Conservation, Sustainable Development, Resource Management - Environmental Studies, Forestry