This is a key study, highlighting the potential value of locally based natural resource monitoring. This two-and-a-half -year study compared the results from monitoring by local communities and by trained scientists. It ran across 34 tropical forest sites in four countries. In each site, the two groups worked in parallel, collecting data on species and resource use (totalling nearly 25 000 hours of monitoring time). The results showed little difference between the data generated by community members and by trained scientists. The findings are relevant to ongoing debates on natural resource monitoring approaches and the potential role of local communities. It is of interest for conservation decision-making across developing countries, especially for those involved in establishing measuring, reporting and verification (MRV) systems linking environmental performance to payment schemes.
A Multicountry Assessment of Tropical Resource Monitoring by Local Communities