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Document Abstract
Published: 2015

Communities and conservation in West Kilimanjaro, Tanzania : participation, costs and benefits

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This thesis contributes to the current debate on how to balance conservation and development objectives. The extent of land under protection globally has increased enormously over the last 30 years, and there are still plans to expand the current protected areas (PAs) and create new ones. Their establishment is associated with impacts on local communities who live in the proximity of such areas. Different actors have proposed local participation and benefit sharing for people affected by these conservation initiatives. Despite their implementation over three decades, the social, economic, and political impacts of establishing and maintaining PAs remain debatable. It is in this context that this study was conducted in the Enduimet Wildlife Management Area (WMA), the Kilimanjaro National Park, and the West Kilimanjaro Forest Plantation in Tanzania. The specific research questions of the study are: i. What are the social and economic impacts of the expansion and establishment of conservation areas on local people in West Kilimanjaro; and how are the impacts distributed along gender lines? ii. How are the conservation benefits shared with local communities in West Kilimanjaro? iii. How do the conservation benefits and costs affect local peoples? attitudes towards and perceptions of conservation? iv. What are the factors that drive human-wildlife conflicts? Data were collected using qualitative methods through the combination of in-depth interviews, focus group discussions, informal interviews, and participant observation. Secondary data in the form of written sources on the study area were used in addition to the primary data gathered. The research results are presented in four separate but interrelated papers. [...] All areas studied (Enduimet WMA, Kilimanjaro National Park, and West Kilimanjaro Forest Plantation) share a centralised structure in terms of decision making on the management of natural resources and benefit sharing. Local people are not able to participate in decision making in the management of the areas, and it is difficult for communities to influence or challenge the way the structure operates. In Enduimet, the WMA was proposed as community-run conservation area. In practice, the communities do not have the power to collect revenues, decide on shares, or to verify whether they receive the income they are entitled to receive. The central government collects the revenues and channels the percentage to local people. The Kilimanjaro National Park was found to involve local people only when there is a fire outbreak; thus local people claimed to be used as „tools?. The park management system does not allow space for local people?s opinions. Most of the collected revenues are retained by the national parks headquarters and local people do not have any power or influence over the revenues. In practice, the park operates under a strict „fences and fines? or „fortress conservation? strategy. In the West Kilimanjaro Forest Plantation, local people do not have any power or share of the revenues collected from the sale of logs and poles, apart from payment received from casual labour. The income from logs sold is remitted to the central government. In all three areas, participation is used as „means? to improve environmental conservation and a way to accrue more revenue for the government.


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S. B. Mariki

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