The Rufiji Delta Mangroves – Conservation with or without people?
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
To sustain and develop natural resource use, including local food provisioning, is often at odds with ambitions to conserve valuable ecosystems. In the state-owned Rufiji Delta Mangrove forest reserve, Tanzania, the presence of registered villages with land certificates is a source of friction between the government and the Delta communities. We have analysed the government’s conservation ambitions and the local land use situation from a land sparing–land sharing perspective. In addition, we have compared the context of the Rufiji Delta with other case studies where conservation with sustainable development has been tried, to analyse the potential for joint conservation efforts by the Delta communities and the government. Currently, the land use within and in the vicinity of the Rufiji mangroves, constitutes a non-formalised land sharing system. However, the government ambitions are to protect the entire mangrove ecosystem from human activities, i.e. a land sparing approach that cannot be effectuated without massive evictions. The government perceives local communities as intruders degrading the mangroves, while the local communities are highly suspicious of the government’s conservation intentions. A narrow ecosystem approachto conservation hinders understanding between the two stakeholders, and may prove to be inadequate to explain and allow for natural ecosystem dynamics. Current Tanzanian participatory approaches towards forest conservation cannot be implemented without being modified to accommodate the specific nature of the Rufiji Delta. Community Based Forest Management is practiced on village land and not applicable to state-owned forests. Joint Forest Management involves local communities in the management of a state forest but people reside outside the forest, which is contrary to the situation in the Rufiji Delta. A new participatory approach that removes land tenure uncertainty must be devised if conservation with sustainable development is to be achieved in the Rufiji Delta. Opportunities for successful conservation will increase by applying a wider landscape approach.
Research subject Physical Geography
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-128041OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-128041DiVA: diva2:912243