Frequency, Harmfulness and Vulnerability (FHV) Multicriteria Method for Integrated Analysis of Illegal Exploitations and Strategic Participatory Management of Protected Areas in Africa
Journal of Geography, Environment and Earth Science International,
In Africa, protected areas are facing hudge illegal exploitations and accelerated degradation. Illegal exploitations are interesting indicators of local socio-economic needs and hostility of populations to conservation activities. The study aimed to develop a specific method for the analysis of illegal exploitations and the promotion of successful participatory management. Basically, the Multicriteria method used to determine the impact and the gravity of illegal exploitations relies on three criteria based on offenses themselves and affected resources. The method combines statistical analysis of management data using ANOVA and χ² tests, field observations and semi-structured interviews for validation. For the tested Rusizi national Park, the findings showed that the number of supervised exploitations increased from 1988 to 2015 while the number of supervised operators is limited and highly fluctuating between resources and periods. The public integration ratio is 8 0/000 and corresponds to 61 supervised operators of which 84% are involved in vegetal resources exploitations. In total, 10 illegal exploitations whose impact values range from 1 to 20 and belong to very high and high impact classes were reported. Average, 651 cases of which 71% cover direct cuts of vegetation were reported annually. Statistically, the most damaging illegal exploitations are made of tree and vegetation cuts, cattle grazing and fishing. Illegal exploitations are seasonal and more important in dry season than in rainy season. They are more important in Delta sector than in Palmeraie sector. The shift from gracious exploitations to lucrative operations, over-taxation of supervised exploitations, low ratio of public integration, political conflicts and unarmed protection contributed to increase and strengthen significantly illegal exploitations. Ultimately, the results revealed the limits of participatory management on illegal exploitations. Consequently, the success of participatory management in Rusizi national Park requires strategic and concerted development projects, more responsive regulatory measures and relevant partnerships with peripheral village.