A.J. van der Zijpp
- 'A pond with crocodiles never dries up’: a frame analysis of human-crocodile relationships in agro-pastoral dams in Northern Benin
- International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability
- Volume | Issue number
- 12 | 3
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR)
Crocodiles, a protected species, share ecosystem services with local communities in agro-pastoral dams in Northern Benin. Using a comparative case study conducted in three villages and a framing perspective, this study aims to elucidate how stakeholders frame the presence of crocodiles, and how they use formal and informal institutions to deal with them. Respondents framed the presence of the crocodiles as problematic because of their negative effects on local livelihoods and people's tranquillity. Both causes and solutions are, however, framed differently in the three communities. Whereas in Nikki and Sakabansi, respondents seek solutions in changing the ecological environment, requiring others (the council, fishermen, and crocodiles) to change their behaviour, Fombawi respondents seek to adapt their own behaviour by respecting and applying traditional and practical rules for sharing their dam. Damage per crocodile is the highest in Nikki and the lowest in Fombawi, suggesting that the crocodiles in Nikki behave more aggressively than those in Fombawi. Further investigation is merited to determine whether or not crocodiles behave less aggressively when dealt with according to specific institutions. Intensive communication among stakeholders in the three villages is recommended to exchange experiences and ideas that may support a peaceful human-crocodile relationship inspired by existing institutional solutions.
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