Role of marine protected areas in biodiversity conservation and community livelihoods: a case Study of Mafia Island Marine Park, Tanzania

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University of Dar es salaam
Achieving mutually beneficial outcomes between biodiversity conservation and community wellbeing can be a challenge. A “win-win” approach to conservation provides hope for poor regions of the world, because in theory poverty can be reduced while conservation aims are also met. However, the application of“win-win” approaches to conservation in most developing countries have shown less success in attaining both conservation and human wellbeing. Poverty rates are still high and biodiversity loss also continuous. Where success in conservation objectives are reported, there are varying levels of conflicts between local communities and conservation initiatives like Marine Protected Areas (MPA). This research project uses Mafia Island Marine Park (MIMP) in Tanzania to assess how the role of the Park has achieved both its biodiversity conservation and community livelihood objectives. Purposive and stratified random sampling (Creswell, 2009) were employed to identify respondents. A questionnaire interview was used to assess the role of MPAs in biodiversity conservation. Data were compiled and analysed in statistical package for social sciences (SPSS), using descriptive statistics and graphs. The results indicate that , the Park establishment. The degradation occurred through illegal resources extraction. Evidence of this progress includes reduction in illegal destructive fishing, participation of riparian communities have benefited from increased fish availability. However, some problems still remain. Some of the Park residents remain in conflict with the Park management regarding able to fishing in restricted zones and use of certain fishing gears that has been prohibited. The residents feel that the Park has not benefited them because it has restricted their most important livelihood activity. They also believe that neither MIMP stakeholders nor Park residents have significant influence on formal decisions about how the MIMP is managed. This study therefore argues that MPAs remain an important conservation tool for marine resources as well as achieving community livelihoods. This is to say that whereas conservation of biodiversity is affected by increased utilization of marine resource, conservation efforts can be successful if resource users are given the opportunity to utilize the resources up to a certain level in which they participate in the decisions of determining the level of extraction.
Available in print form, East Africana Collection, Dr.Wilbert Chagula Library, class mark (THS EAF QH75.AI.T34M334)
Biodiversity conservation, Marine protection, Mafia Island, Tanazania
Mahingika, H. M. H (2018) Role of marine protected areas in biodiversity conservation and community livelihoods: a case Study of Mafia Island Marine Park, Tanzania, Masters dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam, Dar es Salaam.