Reconciling Interests Among Wildlife, Livestock And People In Eastern Africa: ASustainable Livelihoods Approach

Reconciling Interests Among Wildlife, Livestock And People In Eastern Africa: ASustainable Livelihoods Approach

Interactions between wildlife, livestock and people from a livelihoods perspective

From the perspective of local livelihoods this paper explores the complex interactions between wildlife, livestock and people, and options for integrated wildlife and livestock management in the semi-arid rangelands of eastern Africa. The paper draws on the sustainable livelihoods approach which explicitly considers whether households have access to the assets required to engage in an activity, and how that activity ‘fits’ with existing livelihood activities.

Policy conclusions:

  • Appraisal and evaluation of integrated conservation and development projects have proven problematic because conventional methods fail to capture both direct and indirect impacts on rural livelihoods and their distribution across households.
  • In the semi-arid rangelands of eastern Africa, where ‘plains game’ is concentrated in and around protected areas, the costs of living with wildlife cannot simply be compensated by income generation from wildlife management.
  • Efforts to promote integrated wildlife and livestock management (IWLM) need to ensure access for pastoralists to seasonal grazingand water, and limit the negative aspects of wildlife integration (such as disease transmission, predation and crop damage).
  • The value of income generated by wildlife management can be enhanced, not only by enabling local people to realise their share,but also by ensuring that the timing of income flows fits with seasonal income and expenditure patterns and by extendingindividual household control over this income.
  • Incentives for integrating wildlife management into existing livelihood strategies are likely to be greater for pastoralists than agro-pastoralists, although institutional aspects may favour agro-pastoralists.

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