Myoung Su Ko

Date of Award

Fall 2019

Document Type

Open Access Thesis


Earth and Ocean Sciences

First Advisor

Gwendelyn Geidel


A number of developing countries, especially those in Africa which have experienced former colonization, are still struggling with exploitation of their natural resources. Throughout the development of environmental management, the strategy of natural resource management has evolved from mistreating the environment for economic and social development, to separating human activities from the environment for extreme environmental protection, to ensuring the interaction between human life and environment for sustainable development. Although an abundance of natural resources, and particularly forests, exist in the protected areas, the residents in communities surrounding protected areas are usually economically and socially poor.

With this situation, the most current trend in forest management strategy is Participatory Forest Management (PFM). This is originally preferred by the countries which have vast forest lands, but limited funds for the forest management. Therefore, mobilizing community engagement for the forest management is a key factor for PFM implementation. However, the lack of capacity and lack of socio-economic means for the communities to become engaged in this effort has been issue.

One way to address PFM is to increase community success with green businesses in these protected areas. This study evaluated the use of six green businesses and compared two training methods to evaluate the impact of the Green Economy in Biosphere Reserve (GEBR) Project to improve community capacity and socio-economic

success. This study evaluated a paid versus volunteer training method and assessed the socio-economic impacts based on income, number of associations and use of revolving funds to build the business but also improve social conditions such as education and welfare. Based on limited data, the volunteer training in local communities provided a longer-term success rate than centralized paid training and community awareness sustainable natural resource of use was elevated. a development with environmentally sustainable income generation activities, diversifying the livelihoods of community members.


© 2019, Myoung Su Ko