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Universiteit Leiden (2014)

The Conservation Conversation : A Case Study of Maa-Speaking Pastoralist Expectations of Conservation in Relation to Wildlife Management Area (WMA) Discourse

Bednar, Dennis J.R.

Titre : The Conservation Conversation : A Case Study of Maa-Speaking Pastoralist Expectations of Conservation in Relation to Wildlife Management Area (WMA) Discourse

Auteur : Bednar, Dennis J.R.

Université de soutenance : Universiteit Leiden

Grade : Master thesis | Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology (MSc) 2014

Résumé
Conservation discourse continues to shift, which is apparent in a Tanzanian context. In the past, conservation discourse relied solely on biology, focusing primarily on the idea that nature and culture must be kept separate. This is known as a “fortress” approach to conservation. Although the biology behind such initiatives was right, conservation continued to fail. Therefore, a new paradigm developed : community-based conservation (CBC). This new model of conservation concentrated on community-centered initiatives, where biological and social benefits were the main objective. In Tanzania, a conservation policy change in 1998 introduced Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) to the nation - a form of CBC. A WMA intends to empower communities and allow them to have control over their own conservation initiatives. This ethnography explored how the implementation of a WMA in a Maa-speaking pastoralist community related to national WMA discourse. Through qualitative methods with a research assistant translating Swahili and Maa to English, evidence was provided that the national WMA discourse is perceived differently in a Maa-speaking pastoralist setting. Furthermore, the persistence of a “fortress approach” to conservation continues to be apparent in the WMA discourse through a separation of livestock and wildlife. Lastly, a new paradigm shift should be considered, where an emphasis on the intrinsic value of natural resources should be at the core of the conservation practice. Only by understanding such a shift can conservation initiatives in a Maa-speaking pastoralist setting be successful.

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