Pereira, J.G., Santos, M.J. & Rosalino, L.M. (2022) Role of local communities in the social network of the protected area management.Conservation Science and Practice, 4(5), e12664. DOI:10.1111/csp2.12664 (IF2021 3,574; Q1 Biodiversity Conservation)
Biodiversity conservation traditionally necessitates setting aside land, which frequently impacts local communities. Although progress has been made on how to optimize this process, conflict frequently emerges when conservation and community goals are at odds. Improving communication and community inclusiveness in decision-making processes is strongly recommended to achieve livelihood goals and conservation outcomes. We used social network analysis to understand how local communities are embedded within the structure and dynamics of stakeholder interactions in Quirimbas National Park (Mozambique). We detected a network of limited cooperation that lacks bidirectional communication, displaying low average knowledge transfer but high bonding across stakeholder groups with similar perceptions. Local communities only interact with the district government and they have a passive voice in the system. A more inclusive network structure is needed so that conservation and community livelihood goals can be achieved.