The political ecology of wildlife utilization in village land

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University of Dar es Salaam
While community-based conservation (CBC) has been praised as a better approach to natural resources management than the traditional top-down, it has been criticized of having failed to achieve its goals in terms of devolving decision-making powers and benefiting the local communities. Using political ecology theoretical framework, a study was conducted in Burunge Wildlife Management Area (WMA) to examine wildlife utilization with respect to the position of actors, their interest, benefits and decision-making powers. For the questionnaire survey, a 10% sampling intensity was used and a sample of 170 households was randomly selected from three villages. Data was collected through individual and key informant interviews, focus group discussions and review of secondary sources. The study identified tourist hunting and photographic tourism as major wildlife utilization activities practiced by private investors. The majority (90%) of local communities are not engaged in wildlife utilization. Economic gain, conservation, community development and enjoyment were found to be the main interests for actors in wildlife utilization. More benefits of wildlife accrue to investors and majority (71%) do not see benefits accruing to individual community members. Conflicts of interests and incompatible uses discourage investment in the WMA hence reduce income to CBC activities. About 74% of local people are not involved in decision-making on wildlife management. This is a threat for CBC. Given this and other threats, CBC in Burunge WMA has not fully achieved its goals. Devolution of decision-making powers, capacity building, review of investment contracts and a lot of awareness programs are needed for CBC to work and benefit local communities through wildlife utilization.
Available in print form, East Africana Collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library, Class mark (
Political ecology, Wildlife utilization, Village land
Rwegasira, T. N. (2008). The political ecology of wildlife utilization in village land, Master dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam.