Cultural and Political Factors Affecting Deer Conservation in Barzan-Mergasur, Kurdistan Region Iraq

OTHMAN, Jwan Omar (2022). Cultural and Political Factors Affecting Deer Conservation in Barzan-Mergasur, Kurdistan Region Iraq. Doctoral, Sheffield Hallam University.

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The modern wildlife conservation movement aims to reduce biodiversity loss and maintain cultural values and livelihoods in tandem through area-based conservation. Legislation to protect vulnerable species is a key part of any conservation strategy. Therefore, this thesis investigates the contribution of cultural and social factors associated with the local community of Barzan-Mergasur on the protection of Middle Eastern roe deer (Capreolus capreolus coxi) and their environment, and how these circumstances, together with the political factors in KRI act to increase or reduce protection of this species. A mixed methods research design included a questionnaire survey of local people, field observations and interviews with representatives from governmental and non-governmental bodies involved in wildlife conservation, academics and local representatives. This study finds that a strategy to achieve effective conservation of deer and their environment in KRI needs to: • address hunting by engaging with local hunters as an important source of forest knowledge. • strengthen the hunting licence system, and strengthen the enforcement chain, including public and CSO/NGO contribution to enforcement. • adequately resource and support the enforcement agencies. The research finds that political effort towards a protected area is diminished by factors mainly related to institutional context and capacity, principally lack of leadership, bureaucratic inertia, and lack of resources, as well as external economic forces. The duality of government agency, administrative oversight and the enforcement of responsibility for conservation should be ended by revision of the legal provisions. Better government engagement with the public, including the local community in Barzan-Mergasur and CSO/NGO community representatives, academic expertise, and international environmental campaigns such as the IUCN, CBD and CITES would ameliorate these impediments. The research shows that Middle Eastern roe deer have the qualities to be a flagship species for locality-based conservation in the Barzan-Mergasur area. The persistence of cultural traditions of forest protection in the local community have the potential to be a foundation for community engagement and could lead to the promotion of sustainable tourism in line with current best practice in locality-based conservation. Aspects of community and political situation under study in the KRI are likely to be applicable to other conservation challenges world-wide, particularly in low-to-middle income countries (developing countries). The research demonstrates that the “5C” model derived by Najam, for analysing the likely success of the implementation of social policy (particularly environmental policy), addresses comprehensively the significant elements shown by the research literature to determine conservation success, and can be used to analyse local strengths and weaknesses to generate a workable basis for conservation strategy.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Thesis advisor - Rose, John
Thesis advisor - Fraser, Douglas
Thesis advisor - Spence, Kevin
Additional Information: Director of Studies: Dr. John Rose Supervisors: Dr Douglas Fraser, Dr Kevin Spence.
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Sheffield Hallam Doctoral Theses
Identification Number:
Depositing User: Justine Gavin
Date Deposited: 24 Aug 2023 13:52
Last Modified: 11 Oct 2023 12:16

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