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University of York (2005)

Coping with ecological uncertainty in semi-arid Tanzania : Livelihoods, risks and institutions

Quinn, Claire Helen

Titre : Coping with ecological uncertainty in semi-arid Tanzania : Livelihoods, risks and institutions

Auteur : Quinn, Claire Helen

Université de soutenance : THE UNIVERSITY OF YORK (UNITED KINGDOM)

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) 2005

Résumé
This research examines the interdependency between ecology and socio-political conditions and their impact on how communities generate and sustain livelihoods in an uncertain environment. The objectives to identify the problems of sustainable livelihoods, to relate those problems to ecological and socio-political uncertainty, and to investigate the potential of common property regimes as strategies for dealing with uncertainty were examined using data collected from 12 villages chosen to cover a wide range of ethnic groups and livelihood strategies in semi-arid Tanzania. This study has found that the problems people face in creating and sustaining their livelihoods in semi-arid regions include coping with ecological variability, dealing wit loss of control and conflict over resources created by socio-political change, and continuing to manage natural resources in the midst of a paradigm shift that has created uncertainty in policy with regard to resource management. For many sustainable livelihoods are not achieved because they are unable to cope with the stresses created by ecological, socio-political and policy uncertainty. Communal management regimes do have potential as strategies for dealing with uncertainty. These institutions have been constrained by changing socio-political conditions but it is possible that they can adapt to these changes. However, flexibility in the rules, especially for resource and user boundaries, and arenas for negotiation will be needed for successful institutions. Ultimately, achieving successful communal management regimes requires a change in national and international policy. Recognition of the importance of local knowledge needs to be accompanied by recognition that local communities need to be involved in setting priorities. Community management of resources also needs to be facilitated and supported by local, national and international policy. Unless this happens so called participatory projects will only pay lip service to true participatory approaches for research and development and local communities will continue to be vulnerable to uncertainty.

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Page publiée le 17 septembre 2006, mise à jour le 22 octobre 2018