Wildlife conservation and local people’s livelihoods: the case of Maswa game reserve in Tanzania, 1950s to 2010s

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Date
2019
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Publisher
University of Dar es Salaam
Abstract
This study examines the changing approaches to wildlife conservation and their effects to the livelihoods of people surrounding the Maswa Game Reserve (MGR) from 1950s to 2010s. The study had three specific objectives. First, to examine the way in which fortress conservation approach affected the local people’s livelihoods in MGR from 1950s to 2010s. Secondly, to examine the way in which the introduction of CBC as an alternative approach affected the local people’s livelihoods in MGR from 1980s to 2010s. Lastly, to examine local people’s responses to both fortress and CBC approaches and the impact of such responses towards conservationefforts in MGR. In order to respond to these objectives, the study embarked on the qualitative research methodology that enabled me to get information from documentary and oral sources. The aforementioned methodology enabled this study to come to conclude that local people adjoining MGR were negatively affected by the application of fortress conservation approach since the reserve was established as a Game Controlled Area (GCA) in the1950s. Some of these effects included loss of agricultural land, evictions of people from MGR and loss of access to wildlife resources found within MGR. This in turn increased resentment of people towards conservation initiatives and ultimately resulted into a huge loss of wildlife resources in MGR especially between the 1970s and the 1980s. With the application of CBC in the 1980s, such resentment was reduced when people started at least to benefit from conservation activities through various development projects introduced by the hunting companies investing in MGR and other related initiatives. Moreover, the study found out that, despite being a better approach than fortress conservation, CBC has still been facing a lot of challenges especially in game reserves as opposed to Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs), hence making it less effective than it was anticipated. This study makes an important intervention to the historiography of wildlife conservation which mostly focuses on contemporary issues facing the wildlife sector including the manifestation of CBC in WMAs. It does so by using the historical approach to trace the policy changes in the wildlife sector from the fortress conservation which began from the colonial period to CBC by specifically focusing on how they affected the local people’s livelihoods and conservation in game reserves.
Description
Available in print form, East Africana Collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library, Class mark (THS EAF QL81.7.T34B463)
Keywords
Wildlife conservation, Livelihoods, Maswa game, Tanzania
Citation
Benedict, James (2019) Wildlife conservation and local people’s livelihoods: the case of Maswa game reserve in Tanzania, 1950s to 2010s,Master dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam