Perceptions of Local Inhabitants towards Land Management Systems Used in the Rainforest Area of Ecuador: An Evaluation Based on Visual Rating of the Main Land Use Types

Alex Vinicio Gavilanes Montoya, Danny Daniel Castillo Vizuete, Stelian Alexandru Borz
2021 Diversity  
Land management policy and practice affects a wide segment of stakeholders, including the general population of a given area. This study evaluates the perceptions of local inhabitants towards the land management systems used in the rainforest area of Ecuador—namely, unmanaged (natural) forest, managed forest, croplands, and pasturelands. Data collected as ratings on 12 pictures were used to check the aggregated perceptions by developing the relative frequencies of ratings, in order to see how
more » ... e perception rating data were associated with the types of land management systems depicted by the pictures, and to see whether the four types of land management could be mathematically represented by a clustering solution. A distinctive result was that the natural forests were the most positively rated, while the managed forests were the least positively rated among the respondents. It seems, however, that human intervention was not the landscape-related factor affecting this perception, since croplands and pasturelands also received high ratings. The ratings generated a clear clustering solution only in the case of forest management, indicating three groups: natural forests, managed forests, and the rest of the land management systems. Based on the results of this study, a combination of the four land use systems would balance the expectations of different stakeholders from the area, while also being consistent to some extent with the current diversity in land management systems. However, a more developed system of information propagation would be beneficial to educate the local population with regards to the benefits and drawbacks of different types of land management systems and their distribution.
doi:10.3390/d13110592 fatcat:l6dhh2s2ezbyjobl2tinxsa3fy