Posted by: Bob Payne | May 8, 2011

Strangers in their own land: Maasai and wildlife conservation in Northern Tanzania

Despite dramatic transformations in conservation rhetoric regarding local people, indigenous rights, and community-oriented approaches, conservation in many places in Tanzania today continues to infringe on human rights. This happens through the exclusion of local people as knowledgeable active participants in management, policy formation, and decision-making processes in land that ‘belongs’ to them and on which their livelihoods depend. In this paper, I focus on a relatively new conservation area designed on the Conservation Trust Model-Manyara Ranch in Monduli district in northern Tanzania. I present this case as a conservation opportunity lost, where local Maasai who were initially interested in utilising the area for conservation, have come to resent and disrespect the conservation status of the area, after having lost it from their ownership and control.

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Responses

  1. This is also the case in South Africa. The indigenous Africans were never made part of wildlife conservation. For them wildlife conservation and protected areas was only for the rich. This perception is now slowly changing. It is time for them to start benefiting from wildlife, to share their indigenous knowledge on wildlife and to play a more direct role in wildlife utilization and conservation.


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