Publication by DPDF 2009 Revitalizing Development Studies Fellow John A. Zinda.
Collaborative and market-oriented conservation interventions aim to achieve conservation and livelihood improvement outcomes by bringing people together over win–win solutions. Based on intensive interviews and document analysis, this study examines an effort to establish a new protected area in Yunnan Province, China, as an attempt at collaboration to establish a market-based conservation intervention that would include and benefit protected area residents. The result, Pudacuo National Park, is a tourism attraction that creates large revenues for the local government, has ambiguous conservation impact, and sidelines residents. While different collaborators provided resources that enabled the project to proceed, the project was ultimately co-opted by an alliance of state and tourism industry actors. Explicitly addressing power and inequality may assist conservation promoters who wish to facilitate collaborative conservation projects.