|dc.description.abstract||Local communities living adjacent to Protected Areas (PA) play a vital role in biodiversity conservation. Depending on their positive and negative associations with the PA, they can either be conservation allies or conservation adversaries. Understanding community participation and their support in conservation initiatives is pivotal to effectively enforce conservation policy through harmonizing biocentric and anthropocentric goals. This study aimed to assess community conservation support as a function of four essential aspects; (1) dependency on the PA, (2) benefits and costs from the PA, (3) communities attitudes towards conservation and (4) conservation awareness. Furthermore, attitude-behaviour consistency was tested to investigate how well conservation attitudes reflect actual conservation involvement. Using a distance-based stratified random sampling, a total of 230 households from 10 villages around the Indawgyi Wildlife Sanctuary (IWS) were interviewed. Results showed that 43.9% of respondents were involved in PA conservation programmes. Factors influencing conservation support included conservation attitudes, benefits gained from the PA, and conservation awareness. Among them, benefits from the PA had the strongest effect on conservation involvement, followed by conservation awareness. Despite overall positive attitudes, a low level of contribution indicated that conservation attitudes could not fully translate into conservation behaviours. The results also revealed that highly resource dependent communities suffered higher costs due to the PA, and such costs resulted in negative conservation attitudes. This study highlights that future conservation effectiveness of the IWS could be achieved by improving conservation awareness and sharing conservation benefits to the communities.
Keywords: attitudes, conservation support, Indawgyi, local community, protected area, resource dependency||