Trade-offs between wildlife conservation and local livelihood: evidence from Tanzania

This article discusses sociological and anthropological factors which either support or undermine conservation endeavour in Tanzania. It is based on a study that was conducted in Saadani and Ruaha National Parks. The overall objective of the study was to understand local people’s awareness of resources and conservation of wildlife and identify sociological and anthropological issues related to trade-offs between conservation and development. The findings show that, generally, local people perceive conservation positively and are therefore willing to conserve. However, this is different to local communities surrounding protected areas who seem to be not only critical but also negative regarding the way in which the conservation process is implemented. The reason behind this negativity is brought about by the unbalanced trade-offs between conservation benefits and their means of livelihood. As a result, conservation activities are perceived as prescriptive and restrictive rather than integrative and supportive. Based on the findings, the article concludes that local people understand the importance of conservation and would support it if there is a better balance in trade-offs between conservation and their livelihood, and if they could anticipate some benefits now and in the near future. Bibliogr., notes, sum. [Journal abstract]

Title: Trade-offs between wildlife conservation and local livelihood: evidence from Tanzania
Author: Sigalla, Huruma L.
Year: 2013
Periodical: The African Review: A Journal of African Politics, Development and International Affairs (ISSN 0856-0056)
Volume: 40
Issue: 1
Pages: 155-178
Language: English
Geographic term: Tanzania
Abstract: This article discusses sociological and anthropological factors which either support or undermine conservation endeavour in Tanzania. It is based on a study that was conducted in Saadani and Ruaha National Parks. The overall objective of the study was to understand local people’s awareness of resources and conservation of wildlife and identify sociological and anthropological issues related to trade-offs between conservation and development. The findings show that, generally, local people perceive conservation positively and are therefore willing to conserve. However, this is different to local communities surrounding protected areas who seem to be not only critical but also negative regarding the way in which the conservation process is implemented. The reason behind this negativity is brought about by the unbalanced trade-offs between conservation benefits and their means of livelihood. As a result, conservation activities are perceived as prescriptive and restrictive rather than integrative and supportive. Based on the findings, the article concludes that local people understand the importance of conservation and would support it if there is a better balance in trade-offs between conservation and their livelihood, and if they could anticipate some benefits now and in the near future. Bibliogr., notes, sum. [Journal abstract]