| By J.Oldekop, A. Bebbington, D. Brockington, R. Preziosi | Conservation Biology 24(2): 461-469 |

Abstract: The lack of concrete instances in which conservation and development have been successfully merged has strengthened arguments for strict exclusionist conservation policies. Research has focused more on social cooperation and conflict of different management regimes and less on how these factors actually affect the natural environments they seek to conserve. Consequently, it is still unknown which strategies yield better conservation outcomes? We conducted a meta-analysis of 116 published case studies on common resource management regimes from Africa, south and central America, and southern and Southeast Asia. Using ranked sociodemographic, political, and ecological data, we analyzed the effect of land tenure, population size, social heterogeneity, as well as internally devised resource-management rules and regulations (institutions) on conservation outcome. Although land tenure, population size, and social heterogeneity did not significantly affect conservation outcome, institutions were positively associated with better conservation outcomes. There was also a significant interaction effect between population size and institutions, which implies complex relationships between population size and conservation outcome. Our results suggest that communities managing a common resource can play a significant role in conservation and that institutions lead to management regimes with lower environmental impacts.