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Oregon State University

Publication Date

Fall 2012

Program Name

Tanzania: Wildlife Conservation and Political Ecology

Abstract

Tarangire National Park (TAR) is Tanzanian’s third largest grossing park, and is surrounded by 42 villages in five districts. The park’s single Outreach Warden has undertaken many projects since the park’s creation in 1970 to engage the villagers in natural resource conservation, including wildlife. The newest pilot project at TAR is Income Generating Programs (IGP) where community groups organize themselves around an activity that earns income. From September 24-29, 2012, TAR selected 10 members from three groups in the park’s northern end and 15 members from two groups in the park’s southern end to attend an all-expenses paid business class on capacity building with the goal of “fostering ownership” of natural resources. After creating sustainable businesses, TAR plans on beginning to issue microloans in the near future to the villages. This study analyzed the impact of the class on the three groups in the park’s northern end measured through information sharing, partnership with the park, and conservation attitudes through interviews and focal groups (n=51). It was hypothesized and confirmed that the IGP process increased villager views on conservation and helped to improve their businesses. The class was revealed to instigate positive changes in business practices, increased opinions of TAR, and a deeper understanding of how the park can benefit the groups. The majority of respondents desire more group funding in the future opposed to community funding. Groups now are willing to assist the park by revealing poachers and assisting in natural resource conservation. More business classes should be hosted and this idea has the potential to spread to all of Tanzania’s parks.

Disciplines

Environmental Health and Protection | Natural Resources and Conservation

 

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