Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Institute of Rural Development, Germany
Negotiated agreements between local communities and state agencies concerning the management of natural resources as an approach for sustainable rural development have gained increasing importance in recent years. This approach is an effort to find a balance between the goals of nature conservation and the objectives of the local communities to secure self-determined sustainable livelihoods. Protected areas in developing countries are one of the fields where negotiation approaches are particularly promising, because conflicts of interests are frequently observed and conventional strategies of state-management have often failed. Taking the case of community agreements on conservation in the Lore Lindu National Park, Indonesia as an example, the paper analyzes such agreements from the "perspectives of economic analysis". From this point of view, the problems of nature conservation arise due to negative external effects that are associated with the use of natural resources. Environmental economics literature draws that negotiated agreement is considered as a policy instrument that represents the bargaining solution to solve externality problems. The empirical analysis shows that the agreements differ considerably, depending on the value orientation and objectives of the NGOs promoting the agreements. Two NGOs were taken into consideration: an international conservation NGO and a local NGO with a strong emphasis on advocacy for indigenous rights. The study shows that this model offers useful insights in the logic behind the different agreements promoted by these organizations. The study concludes that community agreements on conservation represent a compromising approach to improve the management of protected areas in order to sustain rural development. Nevertheless, the internal differentiation within the communities represents a challenge to this approach.
Keywords: Deliberative democracy, sustainable rural development, negotiation, Indonesia