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University of Alberta (2001)

A model of wildlife conservation and community development for the Maasai people of East Africa

Roth, Richard Michael

Titre : A model of wildlife conservation and community development for the Maasai people of East Africa.

Auteur : Roth, Richard Michael

Université de soutenance : University of Alberta

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) 2001

The field of conservation biology arose out of questions of population dynamics and species survival. While much species- and population-centred research has been undertaken, less research focuses on mechanisms for protecting land and water for biodiversity conservation. Community-based conservation programmes suggest that human socio-economic objectives and conservation goals are not necessarily incompatible. There is a need for community-based conservation models in countries such as Kenya where high population growth and density rates exist alongside high levels of biodiversity. Research was initiated to develop and evaluate a community-based conservation project with a Maasai community that draws upon tourism revenues to operate an education centre that will achieve local development and conservation aims. A qualitative research approach was used to investigate the claims of community-based conservation. The Kuku Field Studies Centre case study in the Tsavo-Amboseli region of Kenya demonstrates the practicalities of utilising this conservation tool in a setting of non- consumptive wildlife utilisation. Triangulation of social action research methods including interviews, key informant information, participant observation, and comparison techniques resulted in the formulation of grounded theory in community-based conservation. Results after four years of project development indicate that socio-economic benefits have flowed from the project to the community. Conservation benefits of the project are less apparent, although it is anticipated that environmental education initiatives will slow the rate of environmental degradation. It is suggested that conservation benefits from community-based conservation projects will be difficult to measure due to their long term nature and the difficulty of attributing conservation success/failure to a single intervention, especially given the dynamic nature of change in developing countries. It was concluded that locally appropriate budgets and time frames, financial self-sustainability, addressing socio-economic concerns, strong local institutional support, and the presence of a facilitator external to the local community were important in achieving a working model for community-based conservation. A comparison with the failed kimana community wildlife sanctuary highlights the interplay of the above factors to enable growth of a viable initiative. It is hoped that the Kuku model will be applied in other situations and in other countries to test the theoretical advances postulated.

Sujets : Ecology/Masai (African people)/Kuku Field Studies Centre, Kenya/Tsavo, Kenya/Amboseli, Kenya/Wildlife conservation/Biological diversity/Socioeconomic factors/ ;


Page publiée le 27 décembre 2016, mise à jour le 30 août 2019