Power and Subjectivation The Political Ecology of Tanzania's Wildlife Management Areas

Formo, Rannveig Knutsdatter (2010) Power and Subjectivation The Political Ecology of Tanzania's Wildlife Management Areas. Masters thesis, Norwegian University of Life Sciences (UMB).

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In the last few decades there has been a rise in community-based, participatory approaches to conservation and natural resource management. In Tanzania, the new conservation paradigm has to a large extent replaced the previous conservation strategy which was characterized by exclusion of local populations and strict enforcement of protected areas. The communitybased approach to wildlife management was implemented in the wildlife legislation of the 1990s and, by the turn of the millennium, so called Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) were introduced as a standard model for community-based buffer-zone management of wildlife located alongside the country’s larger national parks and game reserves. This thesis applies a historical analytical approach to study the shift in practices and discourses of conservation from the colonial period until the present. In this, it argues that there is a strategic relationship between the politico-economic interests of particular groups of actors, the knowledge of wildlife management which at any time dominates the discourse on conservation, and the models of conservation which are adopted. After placing the development of the WMA model in a historical perspective, this thesis investigates the performance of one of Tanzania’s first WMAs: Ngarambe-Tapika WMA located in the buffer-zone of the Selous Game Reserve. The empirical findings from this research reveal several issues of interest. For one thing, while management had been successfully devolved to local level, the villagers were unable to both fully control the wildlife use within their area and reap a substantial part of the benefits from tourist hunting. With the empirical findings as a starting point, this thesis applies some Foucauldian concepts and investigates the way in which the WMA regime encourages the production of environmental subjects. In this, the thesis argues that the WMA model does not represent any radical structural change to the way conservation is practiced; rather, it can be understood as a non-coercive instrument of power through which the conservation interests of dominant actors are achieved.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Additional Information: “Human knowledge of nature comes to us already socially constructed in powerful and productive ways…ecology is a discourse, not the living world itself” - David Demeritt 1994
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Divisions: Africana
Depositing User: JHI Africa
Date Deposited: 23 Jun 2015 09:50
Last Modified: 23 Jun 2015 09:51
URI: http://thesisbank.jhia.ac.ke/id/eprint/214

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