International Journal of Biodiversity and Conservation
Vol.4(14) , pp. 535-547 , November 2012
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Full Length Research Paper
Benefits and access to natural resources influence conservation perceptions and relationship between local people and other stakeholders: The case of Serengeti ecosystem, Tanzania
Iddi M. Mfunda1,2*, Tomas Holmern1 and Eivin Røskaft1
1Department of Biology, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Realfagbygget, N-7491 Trondheim, Norway.
2Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, P. O. Box 9372, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
Accepted: 13 March 2010 Published: 30 November 2012
Tanzania, like other countries in Africa has adopted collaborative management as one of its conservation and rural development strategies. However, resource use conflicts have been resurfacing among resource stakeholders. This study was carried out to review relationships between local people and government conservation institutions, district councils, and the private investors in Western and Eastern Serengeti. It is based on the questionnaire survey of households in villages surrounding Serengeti National Park. The findings showed a positive relationship towards Community Based Conservation outreach schemes, a mixture of positive and negative relationships towards the national park and private investors, and a positive relationship towards district councils. The results further suggest that, local people’s perceptions and relationship to stakeholders relied on benefits and access to natural resources. The variables type of CBC and the number of livestock had most support in the models, whereas the variable education had less support in explaining local peoples' perception and relationship, but that the pattern depended upon the type of stakeholder. We recommend that government and private investors improve access to benefits and provide good link between wildlife and benefits, widen the coverage of CBC outreach schemes, strengthen education and awareness programs, design mechanism to coordinate the ecosystem, and develop guidelines for participatory management. Adherence to good governance practices would make wildlife conservation a successful endeavour.
Key words: Benefits, community based conservation, conflicts, stakeholders, Serengeti, Tanzania.