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Protected areas and conservation policies are usually established with only local nature and wildlife in mind. Yet they can have far-reaching consequences for local populations - often harmful ones, undermining their access to resources and their livelihoods. This is a comprehensive discussion of the social consequences of protection area schemes and conservation policies. Drawing on case studies from North America, Europe, Asia, Central America and Africa, it critically reviews current trends in protected area management and the prevailing concept of conservation, and shows how local people have been affected - their customary rights, livelihoods, well being and social cohesion.