Conceptual framework for gender and community-based conservation
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This document outlines the conceptual framework for the MERGE (Managing Ecosystems and Resources with Gender Emphasis) program. It focuses on gender issues and community participation in conservation and resource management projects, and seeks to build upon existing research in this area while guiding future research and institutional strategies and policies. The framework utilizes multiple perspectives of analysis including political ecology, stakeholder analysis, and gender relations and resources. It raises seven main questions regarding which factors affect the potential for community participation in conservation projects, which stakeholders have interests in the resources, how community participation will improve livelihoods, how gender shapes people's relation to resources, how a gender focus will help stakeholders negotiate their interests, how sustainable practices will enhance conservation and improve livelihoods, and how community participation can be integrated into strategies and policies which will add to conservation initiatives in the long run.