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Conservation and Society
An interdisciplinary journal exploring linkages between society, environment and development
Conservation and Society
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Year : 2011  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 42-53

The role of participant learning in community conservation in the Arabuko-Sokoke Forest, Kenya

1 Natural Resources Institute, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB, Canada
2 Geography & Environmental Studies, The King's University College, Edmonton, AB, Canada

Correspondence Address:
A John Sinclair
Natural Resources Institute, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0972-4923.79187

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While the community conservation approach has gained broad acceptance, questions regarding its effectiveness persist. Many of the changes that community conservation projects seek to impart among participants correspond with their values and attitudes. This paper proposes the use of transformative learning as one of the measures of the success of a community conservation project in terms of promoting learning that leads to significant changes in a participant's values and attitudes. Using the ASSETS programme in coastal Kenya as a case study, we focused on participant learning and the extent to which such learning resulted in a more positive attitude towards conservation of the Arabuko-Sokoke Forest. Participation in ASSETS resulted in instrumental learning and communicative learning, as described in the transformative learning theory. Findings show that participation in ASSETS led to a variety of learning outcomes, such as learning new information about the forest, and learning to question local cultural norms and speak out for conservation.

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