Community-Based Conservation, Income Governance, and Poverty Alleviation in Tanzania: The Case of Serengeti Ecosystem
Wawire, N. H. W.
Mwakaje, Agnes G.
Masiga, Clet Wandui
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Protected areas occupy about 27% of Tanzania’s land of 945,000 sq km and contribute 17.5% of its GDP. But who benefits from and pays for the cost of conservation? This study provides insights into these issues based on a survey conducted in the Serengeti ecosystem, involving 20 villages in Serengeti and Loliondo. The results show that villagers received insignificant benefits from conservation compared with the costs they are incurring. Governance of income at the village level was also a major challenge. There was a lack of capacity to handle large amounts of money and little or no planning, transparency, and accountability. It is recommended that income allocation to the communities is increased and external audits of village funds are conducted. Communities should furthermore be allowed to extract resources sustainably in protected areas. Youth should be encouraged to attend higher education and wildlife technical colleges to learn about the values of wildlife. Finally, the governance structures must be improved to make them gender equitable, participatory, transparent, and fully accountable to the communities and all citizens.