Resource governance in Tanzanian Wildlife Management Areas
The article “Austere conservation: understanding conflicts over resource governance in Tanzanian wildlife management areas” by Jevgeniy Bluwstein et al (published 2016 in Conservation and Society 14(3): 218–231) explores how the regime of rules over access to land, natural and financial resources reflects the degree of community ownership of a Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in Tanzania. WMA policies claim to promote a decentralised approach that empowers local communities to co-govern access to resources. The spaces for popular participation in decision-making over rules of management created by WMA policies were empirically examined by studying conflicts over the rules of access to resources. The focus was on actors (including pastoralists and agropastoralists), their rights and powers to exert control over resource management, and on accountability relationships amongst the actors. The findings suggest that WMAs foster very limited ownership, participation and collective action at community level, because WMA governance follows an austere logic of centralised control over key resources. It is therefore difficult to argue that WMAs are community-owned conservation initiatives until a genuinely devolved and more flexible conservation model is implemented to give space for popular participation in making the rules.
To access the article on line, go to: www.conservationandsociety.org (DOI: 10.4103/0972-4923.191156).