Publication Date: January, 2020

Not Everyone Wants Roads: Assessing Indigenous People’s Support for Roads in a Globally Important Tiger Conservation Landscape


Road development in the tropics is fraught with economic, socio-political, and environmental risks (Alamgir et al.2017). Roads have helped alleviate rural poverty to some extent (Jones 2006), but have also caused tremendous collateral environmental damage (e.g., Singleton et al.2004). In Southeast Asia, for example, roads have been shown to have detrimental environmental impacts on threatened biodiversity (Clements et al.2014). It is therefore important that road development projects strive to balance social benefits and environmental costs (Laurance and Arrea 2017).

The social impacts of roads, particularly on indigenous people, have not been adequately quantified. In reality, indigenous people are rarely consulted in the planning phase of road projects despite the fact that they have rights to self-determination and consultation involving the development of indigenous lands and resources, including road construction, according to the United Nations Declaration on the…

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  Gopalasamy Reuben Clements

Senior Fellow