PEOPLE AND WILDLIFE CONSERVATION IN TANZANIA: THREE CASE
STUDIES OF SHIFTING PARADIGMS FROM THE COLONIAL TO
JANET MILIAH HASLERIG
A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
JANET MILIAH HASLERIG
For my Mama, Miliah Dickerson Haslerig, and with living memories of my Dad, John
Haslerig, and friend, Willie Ryles.
Funding for my research was provided through a cooperative effort between
Tuskegee University (USAID grant) and the University of Florida. Academic support
was received from the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, the Graduate Minority
Fellowship program, the Delores Auzenne Fellowship, and the U.S. Geological Survey.
For their assistance and support, I am sincerely indebted.
My sincere thanks go to my advisor, mentor, and friend Dr. Lawrence Harris
whose inspiring vision, enduring commitment, and advice guided me through this
process. I am eternally grateful for the moral support, counsel, and relentless guidance
from my committee members: Richard Bodmer, Michael Chege, Goran Hyden and
Patricia Werner. Thanks also to other faculty members from the Department of Wildlife
Conservation and Ecology, Raymond Carthy and Franklin Percival, who provided
additional support and made important contributions at various stages of my research.
A debt of gratitude is owed to numerous team members, staff, and students at
Sokoine University in Morogoro, Tanzania, who provided the logistical and technical
assistance needed in conducting my fieldwork. I especially thank the many participants
in the villages, Udzungwa and Mikumi National Parks, Mkomazi Game Reserve,
Tanzania National Park Authority, and the Tanzania Wildlife Department for their
invaluable contributions and assistance. Ziyah Mahfoud of IFAS Statistical Consulting
assisted with data analyses of questionnaires. Luther Quinn and the University of
Florida's Electronic and Dissertation consultants provided assistance with scanning and
other computer logistics. Editorial assistance was graciously provided by Carolyn
Horter, whose contribution greatly influenced the success of this endeavor.
Finally, I give many thanks and blessings to current and former staff of the
Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, my colleagues, mentors, friends, and
family for their steadfast support. Through all the frustrations, disappointments, joys and
laughter, I am truly thankful for each of them.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
ACKNOW LEDGM ENTS ................................................................................................. iv
LIST OF FIGURES ............... ................................................ x
1 INTRODUCTION .....................................................................................................
Problem Statement ................................................................................................... 1
Changing Conservation Paradigms.................................................. ....................... 5
Conservation M management Approaches .................................. ............................. 7
Objectives ....................................................................................................... .......... 9
Chapter Format ....................................................................................................... 10
2 HISTORICAL SURVEY OF NATURAL RESOURCES IN TANZANIA..................13
Scramble for Eden.... ............................................................................................. 13
M an and Nature in Tanganyika: Colonial Era........................................ ............ .. 16
Conservation Reawakening ................................................................................. 18
Formalizing Conservation................................................................................... 19
Nature of the Land .............................................................................................. 21
M an and Nature in Tanzania: Independence Era.................................................... 29
Political Environment .......................................................................................... 29
Current Nature of the Land .................................................................................. 33
3 STUDY AREAS AND M ETHODS ......................................................................... 40
Study Areas................................................................................................................ 44
Udzungwa National Park..................................................................................... 45
M ikumi National Park........................................................ .................................... 47
M komazi Game Reserve ...................................................................................... 49
M ethodology........................................................................................................... 56
SUA/TU Linkage Project................. .............................................................. 57
Project Villages................................................................................................... 58
Village-Level Activities ...................................................................................... 59
Study Tour .......................................................................................................... 63
4 RESULTS AND DISCUSSION: CONSERVATION MANAGEMENT
APPROACHES IN THREE PROTECTED AREAS ......................................................64
Udzungwa and M ikumi National Parks................................................................... 65
Contemporary Conservation Management Approaches......................................... 65
Current State of Affairs....................................................................................... 68
M komazi Game Reserve......................................................................................... 69
Historical Approaches......................................................................................... 69
Contemporary Approaches ...................................................... ......................... 72
Current State of Affairs................................................................................. ... ...... 77
High Court decision ........................................................................................ 77
Illegal encroachment....................................................................................... 80
5 RESULTS AND DISCUSSION OF SURVEYS AND STUDY TOURS:
UDZUNGWA AND MIKUMI NATIONAL PARKS ..............................................85
Questionnaire Surveys ............................................................................................ 85
Socio-economic and background information...................................................... 86
Knowledge of conservation................................................... ....................... 86
Attitudes toward the park and conservation.................................... ....... .... 88
Crop damage and animal loss ................................... .................................. 94
Village Leaders................................................................................................... 97
Concerns of living near the park............................................. ...................... 97
Suggestions to reduce crop damage and animal loss ......................................... 97
W omen's Group.................................................................................................. 98
Concerns of living near the park................................................................. 98
Suggestions to reduce crop damage and park relations ................................. ... 99
Park Staff .......................................................................................................... 100
Problems facing local communities near the park............................................ 100
Future management priorities ........................................................................... 100
Study Tour ............................................................................................................ 101
6 SUM M ARY AND CONCLUSIONS ................................... ...................................106
A HOUSEHOLD QUESTIONNAIRE............................................ ....................... 111
B VILLAGE LEADERS QUESTIONNAIRE .............................................................116
C PARK STAFF QUESTIONNAIRE ..........................................................................118
REFEREN CES .......................................................................................................... 120
LIST OF TABLES
1. Comparison of conservation management approaches........................................... ..2
2. Internet searches for the Mkomazi Game Reserve ...........................................................82
3. Number of households and summary of socio-economic and background information..87
4. Response to questions concerning the general knowledge and access to conservation
inform ation............................................................................................. ......... 88
5. Attitude toward and benefits from the National Park.......................................................90
6. Views toward poachers and knowledge of trespassing penalties ...................................91
7. General attitude toward the current status, future management, and use of the
Park ............................................................................................................ 92
8. Attitude toward the parks and positive benefits extended to the village ........................93
9. Range of estimated economic loss per household, per growing season, for crop
and livestock (Tanzania shilling)....................................................................95
10. Crop and livestock losses according to species of wild animals ...................................95
11. Measures used to prevent crop and livestock loss and suggested measures to be
taken by Park authorities.............................................................................. .... 96
12. Summary of Village Leaders and Sanje Women's Group opinions about village
concerns; their suggested measures to be taken to reduce crop and animal
losses, and relations with the Park ...................................................... ...........99
13. Summary of Udzungwa and Mikumi National Park staff opinion of village
level problems and park management challenges.............................................. 102
LIST OF FIGURES
1. Conservation management approaches and indicators of compliance and non-
com pliance..................................................................................................... 3
2. M ap of Tanzania..................................................................................... ......................41
3. Map of Udzungwa National Park .................................................................................46
4. Map of Mikumi National Park and Selous Game Reserve Ecosystem............................48
5. Map of Mkomazi Game Reserve .....................................................................................50
Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy
PEOPLE AND WILDLIFE CONSERVATION IN TANZANIA: THREE CASE
STUDIES OF SHIFTING PARADIGMS FROM THE COLONIAL TO
Janet Miliah Haslerig
Chairman: Dr. Lawrence D. Harris
Major Department: Wildlife Ecology and Conservation
Throughout most of Africa a major shift in paradigms has occurred regarding
wildlife conservation. The current global practice of setting aside large tracts of land is
now confronted with the human consequences of strict protectionist policies designed
solely to conserve wildlife.
Originally established to safeguard natural resources, protected areas are now
forced to address a range of social objectives, namely, rural poverty, gender inequality,
plight of indigenous people, market failures, economic and social injustices. From this
perspective, the protectionist model has been judged a failure and is no longer appropriate
within the current contextual setting of East Africa.
Within the last few decades and in light of mounting biodiversity and socio-
political challenges, a "new" approach to conservation has emerged. But unlike its
predecessor, the community-based conservation model calls for community participation,
local decision-making, and equitable means of sharing economic, social, cultural, or
ecological benefits from protected areas. Despite its overwhelming appeal, the
community-based conservation model must not be hailed as a panacea by which to solve
a variety of complex ecological and social challenges facing many developing countries.
Three case studies in Tanzania, Mkomazi Game Reserve, Udzungwa and Mikumi
National Parks are reviewed and analyzed to compare and contrast the advantages and
disadvantages of both the protectionist and community-based conservation models. A
household questionnaire was used to assess local conservation attitudes in four villages
adjacent to Mikumi and Udzungwa National Parks. The results show that local people
were aware of the purpose of the parks and their benefits to their respective communities
and to Tanzania. Although over 90% of the respondents had never visited (93%) nor
worked (95%) for either park, they nevertheless opposed its abolishment (62%) and also
rejected giving the land to those who claimed to need it (81%). They also were averse to
allowing hunting (95%) and other natural resource extractions (77%).
Although the protectionist model has made significant contributions in
safeguarding Tanzania's wealth of biodiversity, current evidence suggests that a
combination of conservation approaches should be reviewed thoroughly for applicability
and long-term sustainability within the current context of local communities and
In the twentieth century humankind has made tremendous strides in becoming
aware of the need to conserve natural resources. Despite increased awareness,
conservationists have not been able to agree on a common conservation approach that can
be applied universally at the local, regional, or national levels. The implementation of
these approaches continues to vary worldwide. In particular, in Africa's emerging
nations, the challenge has been to move forward from a colonial past to independent
nation status, with consequent responsibility for managing abundant natural resources
and biological diversity. Specifically in Tanzania, conservation approaches have
oscillated between the top-down, "protectionist" approach to a bottom-up, "community
based" approach (Table 1). This lack of consistence, in part, reflects an increasing
change in attitudes and thoughts that attempt to reconcile local people and natural
resources by coupling conservation with developmental activities that enhance the quality
of rural life.
Today, site-specific conservation approaches have changed as conservation
paradigms have shifted from purely scientific to sociological, political, and economic in
nature. Conservation approaches now embrace a wide range of multidisciplinary
interests, with the assumption that communities must be involved in various levels of
conservation planning, implementation, and enforcement and that their
participation in this process will make a difference. As park officials, scientists, and
others interact with members of the local communities, outcomes may be positive, but
also negative. The difference depends on management, the crucial component in
conservation approaches. How to resolve conflicts between contending views and
interests is a political question as much as it is a technical or scientific one. Compliance
or non-compliance is a function of how well conservation projects are managed (Figure
1). It is no exaggeration, therefore, to argue that the fate of wildlife and biodiversity
conservation in Africa rests as much on how people are treated as on wildlife strategies.
Table 1. Comparison of conservation management approaches
Basis for decisions
Method of protection
Three case studies, as presented in the following chapters, readily identify three
inherent problems associated with the various conservation management approaches as
pursued in the protected areas in this study: (1) participation versus cooperation, (2)
capture of the local peasantry, and (3) linking conservation with development. The
challenge for Tanzania, specifically the three case studies, is how to achieve cooperation
through a gradient of top-down, bottom-up management approaches that will bring about
the compliance of local communities to help achieve conservation goals (Figure 1).
(-) Zero sum gain/deadlock Co-mam gement (+) Positive sum gain
Local commit input
Non-compliance Bo Compliance
Figure 1. Conservation management approaches and indicators of compliance and non-
The first problem identifies an apparent disparity between the concepts of the
word, "participation" and "cooperation." At first glance, these two words may appear
interchangeable; however, participation is the act of taking part in an activity, whereas
cooperation is the act of working together to achieve a common aim (Encarta 2000). All
too often participation is defined in over simplistic and inaccurate terms that assume that
conservation goals will be accomplished by the mere act of soliciting community
involvement. Getting people to participate is a worthy goal, but it becomes clear that
conservation goals can best be achieved through cooperative efforts of the community.
"Capture" of the local people is the second inherent problem facing
conservationists. "Capture" is a relatively common term used by social scientists to
describe the relations of the state to the peasant population (Hyden 1986). However,
within the context of this discussion, "capture" will refer to efforts made by local and
international conservation authorities (the state), and non-governmental organizations
(NGOs) to achieve compliance through the "cooperation" of the citizenry in biodiversity
conservation efforts within protected areas that are managed through a variety of top-
down, bottom-up approaches (Figure 1). To accomplish conservation objectives,
conservation approaches often unrealistically assume that local communities have been
successfully "captured" by the various wildlife organizations and departments that seek
Throughout Africa and specially Tanzania, incentives are used to solicit the
participation and thereby "capture" of local people in exchange for their cooperation in
assisting with safeguarding protected area resources. Some of these incentives have
included, building dispensaries, schools, and shallow wells; assisting with transportation,
establishing tree nurseries, assisting with the control of crop-raiding animals; and
organizing revenue sharing opportunities. Other activities have included educational
campaigns aimed at informing communities of the local and global ecological and social
benefits obtained through their cooperative efforts of protection and sustainable use of the
It is widely assumed that once captured, the communities will cooperate more
easily with the conservation of biodiversity within protected areas. However, there are a
number of tactics ("weapons") that local communities and individuals may pursue to
appease or elude wildlife officials and organizations in an effort to obtain specific
products and services, or to avoid conflict, while at the same time managing to avoid
being fully "captured." Compliance is by no means a given, even when incentive
structures are built into the projects or where management is initiated from the bottom-up
Linking conservation objectives to community interests is the third problem that
conservationists must address. These links must be clearly stated, strengthened, and
actively pursued in the application of community-based conservation activities. Whether
this link is weak or strong, it must nevertheless hinge upon achieving long-term
biodiversity sustainability. However, one of the critical questions remains unanswered:
Can community support for conservation goals be gained and/or sustained when only
provisionary community services, such as the construction of a dispensary, schools,
roads, etc., are provided; or must conservation activities establish a mechanism or
framework that encourages local community empowerment, active decision-making, and
the devolution of management authority in an effort to obtain the cooperation of rural
communities in protecting biodiversity?
Changing Conservation Paradigms
The paradigm shift alluded to above is the result of several globally significant
events that have occurred within the last few decades. The following chapters note that
these changes are the result of evolving attitudes and beliefs shaped by a variety of
events, policies, organizations, and scientific knowledge.
Throughout history, the conservation movement has undergone gradual changes
in terminology, its professions, and management approaches, largely in response to new
challenges, knowledge, concerns, and attitudes (Western and Wright 1994). First,
conservation terminology underwent a series of vernacular transitions. Terms such as
vermin and game have been replaced with terms such as wildlife and biological diversity
(biodiversity). In addition, new words and phrases such as conservation network,
biodiversity hotspots, ecosystem, landscape, parks-for-people, and etc. have become
Second, conservation as a profession has evolved. This transition took the form
of changing the game manager and wildlife biologist to conservation biologists, natural
resource managers, and landscape or ecosystem specialists. Today, conservation is no
longer confined to zoological or botanical gardens, the laboratory, the field, the
classroom, or the academically-trained conservation professional. The "new"
conservationists include anthropologists, political scientists, economists, lawyers,
engineers, human-rights activists, sociologists, scores of nonprofit organizations, and
private individuals (McNeely et al. 1990).
Finally, as the conservation profession has diversified, so have approaches to
management. Increasingly different perspectives on conservation problems are
incorporated into new multidisciplinary management approaches that attempt to consider
the legal, social, economic, biological, and political aspects of natural resource policies,
their costs and benefits, and their ultimate implementation and enforcement (Neumann
1998). These shifting perspectives extend worldwide and for this study (Table 1).
Conservation Management Approaches
Throughout the world several laws and natural resource policies have been
established. Laws were enacted and actions taken to ensure that wildlife, natural
resources, forests, and water catchment areas would be managed sustainably. For
Tanzania, the result has been a patchwork of laws and regulations at the national,
regional, and district levels that were often inappropriate, conflicting, overlapping,
unenforceable, and antagonistic (PERM 1995).
Uncoordinated policies and ineffective enforcement have gradually led to
increased concerns and heightened awareness in several key environmental areas that
include (1) land degradation, (2) environmental pollution, (3) deterioration of marine and
freshwater aquatic systems, (4) lack of access to clean water supplies, (5) habitat loss, (6)
loss of species, (7) deforestation, (8) global climate change, and (9) desertification
(Mugabe 1998, PERM 1995, Serageldin and Martin-Brown 1999).
These global environmental concerns are encountered throughout Tanzania (Berry
et al. 1982) and have developed over a long period of time. Many of these concerns may
be attributed, in varying degrees, to inadequate coordination of natural resource policies
between and within different governmental sectors, inadequate enforcement of existing
laws, underfunded and weak institutions, animosity held by local communities, and the
exclusion of local participation in natural resource management approaches. These
concerns present new challenges to the long-term sustained use of biodiversity and thus
call for innovative approaches to their management (McNeely et al. 1990, Neumann
Protectionist model. In Tanzania, the protectionist conservation model, which
included setting land aside as protected areas, made significant contributions in terms of
safeguarding representative samples of this country's biodiversity wealth until the
present. Overall, the implementation of these initial models was socially insensitive and
in many cases cruel and unjust. People were often displaced to give room for wildlife
conservation. Experience over the years has shown the inadequacy of this approach. In
circumstances of poverty, people will not comply with rules and regulations that threaten
their livelihoods. This "exclusionary" model of protecting wildlife has become
increasingly inappropriate in the post-independence period in East Africa. People and
their elected representatives as well as voluntary organizations have articulated a
determined opposition to this paternalist approach (Neumann 1995). The mere act of
setting boundaries has brought changes only within those boundaries, while long-term
problems outside these areas have remained unchanged or have deteriorated with the
passage of time.
Another shortcoming recently identified with the protectionist model is the result
of new expectations placed upon protected areas today; this is true not only in Africa but
also worldwide. Originally established to conserve nature, protected areas must now
address a range of social objectives, such as "rural poverty, social injustice, gender
inequality, plight of indigenous people" (Neumann 1998:57), market failures, economic
injustices, administrative incompetence, corruption, and the like (Brandon 1998). As
such the protectionist model has been judged a failure for not meeting these new
expectations. In some cases, this model has been unjustly identified, accused, convicted,
and condemned. Although the protectionist model may have been correct regarding the
biological aspects of wildlife conservation, it has failed to address the human-dimension
aspects of biodiversity conservation.
Community-based models. Within the last few decades and in light of mounting
biodiversity and social challenges, a "new" set of approaches to conservation has
emerged, commonly referred to as community-based conservation (CBC). These new
conservation approaches, unlike their predecessors, call for community participation,
local decision-making, and equitable means of sharing economic, social, cultural, or
ecological benefits accrued through protecting biodiversity. In return, however, local
communities are expected to assist with the protection of designated protected areas and
refrain from unsustainable and "illegal" natural resource practices. Communities form
partnerships with park administrators to protect biodiversity through sustainable
management practices that ultimately provide for their livelihood, health, and well-being.
For many countries, including Tanzania, CBC has become that last glimmer of
hope that may provide the answer to conserving natural resources around the world while
simultaneously providing socio-economic benefits to an ever-increasing human
population and its demands. Whatever vernacular term or phrase used, be it CBC or
integrated conservation development projects (ICDP), it is clear that active community
participation and cooperation is the key element in the success of most long-term
My study has two components, a comparison and a survey. I have presented a
comparison of conservation management approaches for three protected areas in
Tanzania: Udzungwa National Park, Mikumi National Park, and Mkomazi Game
Reserve. These case studies represent a unique opportunity in which to review a gradient
of conservation management approaches and their subsequent implementation challenges
The second phase of this study focuses on the analyses of questionnaire surveys
for two (Udzungwa and Mikumi National Parks) of the three protected areas. The
purpose of these surveys was to ascertain local conservation attitudes, knowledge,
challenges, and benefits of the National Park as well as to elicit future management
For both the comparison and the surveys, the objectives are to review issues of
1. Assessing the legacy of colonial policies on natural resources in Tanzania. This
provides an historic basis for understanding how conservation policies were
initiated by colonial German and British administrators.
2. Using historical and contemporary biodiversity conservation approaches and local
community conservation attitudes in an attempt to frame twenty-first century
management options for parks and protected areas in Tanzania.
3. Identifying indicators of compliance and non-compliance of various conservation
The dissertation is organized into six chapters: (1) Introduction, (2) A Historical
Survey of Natural Resources in Tanzania, (3) Study Areas and Methods, (4) Results and
Discussion: Management Approaches in Three Protected Areas, (5) Results and
Discussion: the Case of Udzungwa and Mikumi National Parks, and (6) Summary and
Chapter 1. The general problem of implementing various conservation
management approaches is presented as well as a brief overview of changing
conservation paradigms and a continuum of management approaches (protectionist and
community-based), followed by objectives and chapter format.
Chapter 2. A historical overview of natural resources and early land stewardship
in Tanzania is provided, including a review of colonialism, post-colonialism, the
beginning of a conservation ethic, and the subsequent expansion of protected areas and
policy influences on the nature of the land.
Chapter 3. The study areas are described for Tanzania and the three case studies:
Udzungwa National Park (UNP), Mikumi National Park (MNP), and Mkomazi Game
Reserve (MGR). The methodology section provides a general description of major
methodological points and research tools used. The Sokoine University of Agriculture
and Tuskegee University (SUA/TU) Linkage project, a USAID-funded collaborative
project between Tuskegee University, Alabama, and Sokoine University of Agriculture in
Tanzania, is discussed. Objectives and goals are given for the overall project, along with
specific village-level program activities for four local communities (Maharka, Msongozi,
Kisawasawa, and Sanje) where proximity to protected areas presents various natural
resource challenges. These challenges, as well as local community conservation attitudes
and knowledge are assessed through household, village leader, women's group, and park
Chapter 4. Results and discussion of historical and contemporary conservation
management approaches are presented. The current state of affairs discusses recent
events and challenges facing the three protected areas.
Chapter 5. Results of household, village leaders, women's group, and park staff
questionnaire surveys for UNP and MNP are presented. Questionnaires were used to
ascertain community level conservation attitudes and knowledge, while the analyses were
used to suggest future management options, challenges, and accomplishments. This is
followed by results of a study tour for both parks.
Chapter 6. A summary of conservation challenges and concluding remarks are
HISTORICAL SURVEY OF NATURAL RESOURCES IN TANZANIA
Scramble for Eden
For purposes of the temporal use of natural resources, I chose the European
Renaissance as my benchmark referent. This period was not chosen because of any
mystical event, or for that matter any regional phenomenon. Instead, it is a familiar
period for most European and Anglo-Americans with which to relate their insights,
attitudes, and motives behind the vast cultural and political changes that followed.
Near the turn of the fifteenth century, gaining control of natural resources (e.g.,
gold, ivory, spices, timber, porcelain, etc.) had become a highly competitive global
phenomenon (Hale 1977). With Christopher Columbus's "discovery" of 'The New
World' in 1492 (Shillington 1989:173), the "reconquista" of formerly Moorish-controlled
southern Europe in the same year was not a simple coincidence (Harris and Eisenberg
1989). This period has often been referred to as a turning point in the history of Western
Civilization (Potter 1964) and thus the "beginning of all real progress" (Ralph 1973:2).
Moreover, it was the single most defining point underlying the flourishing of colonialism
around the world and for the subsequent arguments that followed by both admirers and
detractors of the colonial period (Ralph 1973).
By the late eighteenth century and in the wake of the emergence of "legitimate
commerce" in place of commerce such as the unmonitored slave and ivory trade, a
massive colonial onslaught swept through most of Africa (Mwalyosi 1993a, Shillington
1989:302). Interested in gaining control over the natural resource-based trading systems
in Africa and securing a "captive" market for their products (Coulson 1982), commonly
referred to as the "Scramble for Africa," European colonial powers descended upon the
continent (Nangoli 1986, Shillington 1989). Captivity, disease, famine, religion, and
guns played essential roles in advancing foreign imperialism across the African continent
(Crosby 1986, Kjekshus 1977a, Iliffel979, Nangoli 1986, Shillington 1989, Temu 1969).
What was left of the natural resources and the people is still being discovered, and
consequent histories revised.
Early land stewardship. It is commonly believed, yet sharply debated, that
indigenous cultures had achieved an equilibrium or balance with the native biota (de Blij
and Capon 1969) and as such were considered responsible stewards of the land (Johnson
and Anderson 1988). Throughout recorded history every culture has had some form of
customary beliefs that were/are used to manage, control, or moderate the distribution and
exploitation of their natural resources (Englehardt 1962, Grzimek 1962, Olindo and
Mbaelele 1994). These have, for the most part, been effective, either intentionally or
otherwise (IIED 1994). Generally, these beliefs evolved over many generations and were
based on traditional religion, mystical laws, taboos, rituals, etc. (Western and Wright
1994). Such beliefs forbade hunting in specific areas and/or the taking of certain wildlife
species and the eating of certain foods (Olindo and Mbaelele 1994). Moreover, some
indigenous cultures were believed or imagined to have maintained a harmonious relation
with wildlife and nature (Neumann 1998, Olindo and Mbaelele 1994). For example, the
Maasai, in East Africa are often championed as "friends" to wildlife because their
traditional culture forbade hunting wild game for food, and they generally did not
cultivate (IUCN 1963, Kabigumila 1992). As a result, it was widely assumed that their
traditional culture (transhumance pastoralism) not only did not interfere with, but actually
protected wildlife and natural resources (Carr 1964, IUCN 1963, Kaiza-Boshe et al. 1998,
Neumann 1998). Contrary to this belief, wildlife and man have always competed for
resources, often to the detriment of both wildlife and its habitat (Kjekshus 1977a); the
balance was probably dynamic at best and tenuous at worst.
There are two main schools of thought about the ecological balance maintained by
"indigenous" cultures: first, that the "noble savage," was capable of managing his/her
own resources while living in harmony with the environment (Johnson and Anderson
1988); second, that the lack of technology prevented many of the indigenous groups from
completely liquidating their natural resources (Western and Wright 1994). The degree to
which indigenous groups were or were not in control of managing their resources is a
debate that I choose to eschew.
Although not necessarily significantly pronounced in East Africa, the late 1800s
was a period of "ecological imperialism," a term coined by A.W. Crosby (1986) to
denote "the biological changes which follow contact but precede political domination"
(Johnson and Anderson 1988:4). However, for Tanganyika and most of East Africa, the
end of the nineteenth century meant the end of black Africans' control over balanced, co-
evolved ecological systems (de Blij and Capon 1969). This native control came to an
abrupt end because of the breakdown of native land tenure systems, reduced labor force,
resettlement schemes, disease, famine, cultural erosion, and colonial pacification that
swept through the country during this period (Iliffe 1979, Kjekshus 1977a, Mwalyosi
1993a). Moreover, the sustainable use of common natural resources became increasingly
threatened by the deterioration of customary rules governing their use as colonial policies
contributed to the transformation of indigenous cultures and traditional range
management practices (IUCN 1963, Mwalyosi 1993b).
In addition, centuries of ecological expertise and strict biologically-based taboos
and customs for regulating natural resource use (IUCN 1963, Johnson and Anderson
1988) were shattered in large part when Christian missionaries descended upon the
country (Englehardt 1962, Grzimek 1962). Some of these missionaries, under the guise
of a religious order to "save the heathens from the everlasting fires of purgatory, began
the task of stealing the culture from the very souls of indigenous peoples in the name of
Christian rightenous and piety" (Maser 1999:217, Nangoli 1986, Shillington 1989). This
is recognized as one of the greatest ironies of religion (Maser 1999) and the beginning of
cultural homogenization around the globe. Finally, directly or indirectly, Christian
missions paved the way for the assertive European imperial control that was to follow
(Nangoli 1986, Shillington 1989).
Man and Nature in Tanganyika: Colonial Era
The earliest known written reference to the East African coast was recorded in
100 A.D. in a Greek handbook entitled "The Periplus of the Erythrean Sea" (The Voyage
of the Indian Ocean) (Alpers 1969:35, Shillington 1989:122). During this period Greek
and Roman traders referred to the East African coast as "Azania" (Shillington 1989:122).
The East African region is undoubtedly rich in historical details and events, but not until
foreign domination (e.g., Arab, Portuguese, Spanish, and European) in the nineteenth
century was this history explicitly captured and described in written format and made
accessible in the West. Suffice it to say, modem written history of the East African
coastal region did not begin in the nineteenth century, but it is at this point that I begin
my synoptic history of the region.
In February 1885, Germany declared the status of protectorate over an East
African region that was subsequently referred to as German East Africa and is now
known as the nation state of the United Republic of Tanzania (Berry et al. 1982, Coulson
1982, Shillington 1989). Although administered by the German East African Company
(Deutsche Ostafrikanische Gesellschaft) prior to 1891, full administrative authority was
later transferred to the Imperial German Government (Coulson 1982, Gwassa 1969).
After the defeat of Germany in WW I at the hands of Britain, United States, and France,
German East Africa was converted to a British "Mandated Territory" and was
subsequently referred to as Tanganyika Territory [Tanganyika] in 1920 (Biermann 1998,
life 1979, Neumann 1998). From 1920 to 1946, Tanganyika was administered by a
mandate of the League of Nations (predecessor of the United Nations) whereby the
British were "to safeguard the interests of African inhabitants and prepare them for
eventual self government" (Shillington 1989:315), which required Britain "to promote
the material and moral well-being and the social progress of [the] inhabitants" lifee
After WW II, Tanganyika became a "trusteeship territory" of the United Nations
(officially organized on June 26, 1945) but officially administered as a British colony
(Biermann 1998, Coulson 1982:44, NYPL 1993:891, Nyenzi 1998, Uiowa 1999). In
other words, Tanganyika remained a British colony (Biermann 1998). Tanganyika
gained independence in December 1961. Subsequently, it became the United Republic of
Tanzania when the mainland of Tanganyika was united with the People's Republic of
Zanzibar on April 26, 1964 (Berry et al. 1982, Shillington 1989).
Before the emergence of formalized conservation throughout the world, the
wanton destruction of natural resources proceeded toward complete annihilation of
several species and habitats (Carr 1964, Heck 1962); no species or habitat seemed to be
immune to the raw destructive forces of humans of alien ethnic values and new
technologies (Heck 1962). This was not restricted to Africa by any means, but was more
or less a widespread global phenomenon. In the historical blink of an eye, the onslaught
was over and cultures, states, economies, and indeed ecology were vastly transformed
forever (Carr 1964, Pringle 1982).
Extreme measures were necessary to stop the senseless destruction of wildlife and
natural systems that had been used primarily to satisfy the demands of distant
industrialized countries for "luxury" items (e.g., slaves, ivory, feathers, furs, hide, etc.).
With the realization that these and other potentially deleterious environmental changes
could affect human health and threaten the very essence of human existence (Maser 1999,
McNeely et al. 1990), the general mentality of the world appeared to shift toward a
conservation ethic or consciousness (Anderson 1998).
The evolutionary process of man's attitude toward his environment is briefly
summarized as follows. Early in the evolution of modem humans, man respected nature
(IUCN 1963). Rituals, customs, and rules evolved with the passage of time along
intergenerational lines. Man, for the most part, was simply an element of and paid
allegiance to his natural environment; his environment satisfied his basic needs and
provided for his security (Heck 1962). Eventually, man adapted to his environment and
gained self-confidence, and greater awareness about changes in his surroundings. This
period was followed by man's aggressive, exploitative behavior, which ultimately led to
his divorce from nature (Heck 1962). As a species, man set himself outside of and above
nature (IUCN 1963). A state of unbalance accompanied by the extinction of species and
the destruction of the land followed thereafter. Finally, we are at the point of responsible
readjustment and environmental reawakening (Heck 1962). Man has entered the stage of
reconciliation, renewed responsibility, and respect for the environment by providing for
the long-term, sustained use of its natural resources (IUCN 1963).
Throughout most of the world a formalized conservation approach did not emerge
until the end of the nineteenth century. Fortunately, this process was rapid and/or
simultaneous around much of the globe. This process was not the result of one culture or
nation but perhaps a coincident or a simultaneous realization that although earth's
resources could provide enormous goods and services as well as economic benefits, they
were otherwise limited and their depletion was increasingly threatened (Serageldin and
In 1872, the United States established its first National Park, Yellowstone
National Park. This is hailed as the world's first modern effort of conservation (Milne
and Waugh 1994, Neumann 1998, Western et al. 1994, Wyant 1982) (although President
Abraham Lincoln transferred Yosemite Valley Park to the state of California in 1864, it is
rarely paid respect as the first national park in the United States). A predominant theme
was that "in the absence of cultural nationalism" the United States should focus on
protecting its natural history in search of an American identity (Neumann 1998, Runte
1987:282). This was to be accomplished by preserving the more rich and dramatic of her
national natural resources. By the early 1960s, the U.S. National Park model based upon
the ideals of enclaves of pristine nature (exclusion of people, restrictions on hunting, and
extraction of timber products, etc.), served as a blueprint for the establishment of national
parks around much of the world (McNeely et al. 1994, Neumann 1998).
In Africa, the movement to set-aside designated protected parks and preserves had
its effective start in 1897 with the gazettement of the Hluhluwe, Umfolozi, Umdhletshe
and St. Lucia Reserves in South Africa (Harris and Sullivan 1980, Pringle 1982). The
subsequent establishment of other African protected areas followed rapidly, with South
Africa's establishment of Kruger National Park (previously the Sabi Reserve) in 1898
(Carr 1964, Olindo and Mbaelele 1994). Today, Kruger National Park is hailed as the
prototype for most other national parks in Africa (Carr 1964, Neumann 1998) and
Africa's "first modern conservation area" (Olindo and Mbaelele 1994:49). This concept
was readily embraced because of Westerners' growing concern over the loss of Africa's
free-roaming wildlife and thus "wild Africa" (Carr 1964, Neumann 1998). Today,
modern Africa is facing many of the same environmental challenges that Europe,
America, and Asia faced years ago -- the rapid degradation of natural lands (Grzimek
1962), the realization of limiting resources, increased human demands for utilization
(Bennett 1993), all too rapidly rising human populations (Carr 1964), heightened human-
rights concerns, and the centuries old human-wildlife conflicts.
Nature of the Land
Land alienation. Initially, physical displacement, either voluntarily or through
forced eviction, and confinement of the local people to marginal lands were tactics
pursued by German and British colonial administrators to combat sleeping sickness
throughout the region (Carr 1964, Kjekshus 1977a). These resettlement schemes resulted
in huge areas devoid of human population. In addition, diseases, natural, man-made, or
induced calamities also contributed to the depopulation of specific areas (Iliffe 1979,
Kjekshus 1977a). Once devoid of people, these lands were often reclaimed by bush,
dangerous species of wildlife, tsetse fly, and ultimately even appropriated by European
immigrants (Iliffe 1979).
By 1939 there were 6,514 Europeans unofficially in Tanganyika, which included
2,100 British and 2,729 Germans (Iliffe 1979). From the period between 1913 to 1938,
the total acres alienated to European immigrants increased from one million to over two
million (Biermann 1998). Although, this only constituted approximately 1.3% of the
country's total land, rights of occupancy were appropriated for up to 99 years (Iliffe 1979)
and, without surprise, included much of the more productive, fertile lands (Iliffel979,
Mwalyosi 1993b, Neumann 1998). Taken together, this had the effect of pushing local
people to marginal areas and thus resulted in the loss of large areas of important seasonal
pastures for livestock (Mwalyosi 1993b).
Settlement schemes. According to Kjekshus (1977a), tsetse fly eradication
programs, along with centuries of "intertribal" warfare, slave raiding, a number of disease
outbreaks, famine, and colonial pacification, cumulatively depopulated the interior of
Tanganyika and initiated the breakdown of man-controlled ecological systems. Of
particular interest in this discussion are the policy measures associated with combating
the tsetse fly (Glossina spp.), which was responsible for epidemics of sleeping sickness
(trypanosomiasis) across Tanganyika and elsewhere in East Africa at the beginning of the
nineteenth century (Coulson 1982, Kjekshus 1977a).
As part of a committee recommendation in 1914, the colonial government
embarked upon a program of mass evacuation of the population which "led to the
establishment of permanent population concentrations and clearings" (Kjekshus
1977a: 168). Although the German policy was largely focused on bush clearing and
eradication of wildlife, it pursued an aggressive program of establishing a number of
treatment centers whereby the sick could be attended in isolation from the general
population (Kjekshus 1977a). The British continued the initiatives of expanding
resettlement schemes beyond disease control to an even larger scale, ostensibly
concentrating groups of people in order to improve the general internal economy and
services provided to the rural areas. These "concentrations were intended to facilitate
internal development as centres of education, health, water and conversion" as well as
introduce new agriculture methods (Kjekshus 1977a:169).
Although the settlement schemes were initially advocated as a "single purpose
health measure at the time of their inception," their goal later changed "to multi-purpose
developmental units in the terminal days of British Administration" (Kjekshus
1977a: 178). Efforts to move people into sleeping sickness settlements continued until the
1950s, although the full magnitude and number of people concentrated was incomplete.
In general, these settlements were successful in their efforts in controlling
trypanosomiasis and the establishment of a number of social infrastructures, but they did
not fully develop into the anticipated economic centers of achievement and progress, due
largely to the lack of local support, heavy reliance on government assistance, increasing
expenditures, and strong bureaucratic supervision (Mushi 1977).
Land degradation. In terms of land-use, colonial biases perceived Africans as
unskilled farmers that caused the general destruction of the habitat (e.g., soil erosion)
because of their primitive farming practices (Leach and Mearns 1996, Mwalyosi 1993b).
Peasants were looked upon as being uncooperative and unwilling to accept "progress."
Because of their low level of formal education (if any), their traditional beliefs,
"primitive" culture, and "backward" land-use practices, they were assumed to be ignorant
and unable to comprehend their own environmental problems (IIED 1994, IUCN 1963,
Leach and Mearns 1996, Neumann 1998).
Since the turn of the century the resultant colonial policies have been the
reduction of nomadism and greatly increased sedentary land-use practices (Johnson and
Anderson 1988, Longhurst and Heady 1968, Mwalyosi 1993a). For whatever reasonss,
either out of ignorance and/or prejudice, the local farming systems in Tanzania, when
compared to European standards, were viewed in a negative light. Shifting cultivation
was thought of as a wasteful, backward, primitive, and destructive farming system
(Mwalyosi 1993b). Soon sedimentary agriculture became equated with a more advanced
civilization and thus recognized as a significant indicator of progress (Johnson and
Anderson 1988). The expansion of settled cultivation was also championed and
"promoted as a panacea for a multitude of rural ills" (Johnson and Anderson 1988:11).
The response from the government and international aid organizations also "fostered
development policies to encourage pastoralists to settle and reduce their dependence on
livestock by taking up cultivation" (Anderson 1988:241). Subsequently, confinement of
indigenous people to relatively small areas of land with low agricultural potential (where
traditional land-use practices may not have been applicable) has contributed to localized
overpopulation and ultimately led to serious concerns of land degradation ( whether
scientifically substantiated or not) as well as human impoverishment (Mwalyosi 1993b).
Because of their restricted range and confinement in some cases to defined boundaries
(Johnson and Anderson 1988, Kiss 1990), local people soon adopted a "number of
desperate survival strategies" (Ahmed 1988:133) such as shortened fallow periods
(Mwalyosi 1993b), the illegal clearing of forested lands for production of charcoal
(Ahmed 1988) and building supplies, and the eventual overstocking of livestock beyond
the capacity of the land (partly as a result of improved veterinary services and the
addition of water sources) (Carr 1964, Johnson and Anderson 1988). These activities
further exacerbated the problem of land degradation. The threat of encroachment upon
idle fallow lands persuaded perhaps even the most reluctant farmer to continuously
cultivate their plot of land or risk losing it (Schoepf 1983). Furthermore, the penetration
of western capitalism, in the name of "progress," provided powerful economic incentives
for farmers to abandon their subsistence system in favor of anticipated long-term profits
and immediate momentary gains (Johnson 1988, Warren 1992).
Wildlife. There is now increasing evidence that the superabundant wildlife
populations described to exist in Africa around 1900 were not in fact representative of the
long-term norm nor the wildlife paradise generally perceived (Harris and Sullivan 1980,
Kjekshus 1977a). In fact, historical accounts suggest that wildlife populations were
considerably lower prior to 1890s (Kjekshus 1977a). Moreover, the ecological processes
that prevailed were part of a highly dynamic system of ecological changes influenced by
human occupancy and land-use practices (Kjekshus 1977a). Adaptive activities such as
burning, dispersed settlement patterns, traditional agricultural methods and hunting
practices, livestock husbandry, diseases, tsetse fly, and range management systems,
dramatically influenced wildlife populations and their distribution (Harris and Sullivan
Indirect conservation efforts were the mode by which wildlife was conserved.
Wildlife was approached with little direct management effort because of its wide spread
abundance and the belief that management was antithetical to wilderness (IUCN 1963).
Commonly, illicit and not uncommonly explicit, "management" was synonymous with
the reduction or elimination of wild animals, especially outside designated protected
areas and where they presumably posed a threat to surrounding communities (IUCN
1963, Neumann 1998). Outside these areas, wildlife was condemned and seen as an
obstacle to future development (IUCN 1963) and in potential conflict with economic
activities in the area (Marks 1994). As such, the destruction of game was deemed
justified to protect domestic crops, human life, and personal property.
The early colonial years of Tanganyika were marked by massive campaigns
aimed at controlling and ultimately eliminating the tsetse fly (Glossina spp.) (Iliffe 1979,
IUCN 1963). In addition to hunting, other methods to combat the tsetse fly included,
abandoning the infested land, grass burning, establishment of flight barrier zones, and
selective destruction of vegetation (Iliffe 1979). Since game species were known
repositories of trypanosomes of the tsetse fly, which also infected livestock, large herds
of wildlife were destroyed (Carr 1964, IUCN 1963). Elsewhere, the magnitude of one
such campaign is depicted in an example from South Africa's Umfolozi Game Reserve,
wherein 26,162 animals were killed from May 29 -November 30, 1929 (Pringle 1982).
The loss of a "mere" hundred or thousand wild animals was no cause for alarm since their
inherent reproductive nature would replenish the numbers (IUCN 1963).
For the most part, game was viewed by Westerners in strict sporting terms, meant
for a leisurely past time of fulfilled enjoyment and pleasure (Prins 1993). But black
Africans held a different view of wildlife (Kiss 1990). To them, wildlife provided food
(Carr 1964, Kiss 1990, Neumann 1998) clothing, (Longhurst and Heady 1968), and was
intimately a part of their traditional culture (IIED 1994, Kiss 1990). They also, however,
were aware of wildlife threats because of crop raiding and disease transmission (e.g.,
rinderpest and trypanosomiasis) (Mwalyosi 1993b).
Although wildlife conservation in Tanganyika dates back to the German
administration, colonial laws that regulated hunting and trade were rarely enforced
(TWPF 1998). But amidst political pressures from international conservation
organizations over the marked declined of a number of game species, more attention
increasingly focused on their preservation (Kiss 1990). Gradually, direct conservation
efforts emerged whereby protected areas, namely game controlled or game management
areas, game reserves, national parks, and conservation areas were created and the
regulation of hunting, and poaching was actively pursued (Neumann 1998).
Protected areas. Formal exclusionary game reserve laws were first introduced in
Tanganyika in May 1891 by German colonial administrators (TWPF 1998). These early
attempts of "protection" were aimed at controlling wildlife and legislating a set of
regulations that prohibited or strictly limited hunting, burning, grazing, and African
settlement and cultivation in a number of designated reserves (Neumann 1998). Since
their inception, these efforts have been surrounded by controversy (Harris and Sullivan
1980), local resistance, and lack of administrative or financial support. In essence, many
of these protected areas existed in law books only, and were commonly referred to as
"paper parks" (Brandon et al. 1998). Defined by the World Conservation Monitoring
Center (WCMC) (2000) as "an area of land and or sea especially dedicated to the
protection and maintenance of biological diversity and of natural and associated cultural
resources, and managed through legal or other effective means," some protected areas
were established after they were cleared of human occupancy in order to combat sleeping
sickness (Grzimek 1962) or overlapped with other government agendas (e.g.,
villigazation, ujamaa, etc.) that also resulted in depopulating specific areas (Neumann
1998). As a result, thousands of local people were permanently displaced (Neumann
1998). Other areas were chosen because of special scenery, an important dry or wet
season grazing area (Russell 1968), barren conditions with insufficient water supplies,
relatively abundant game populations, or the desire to protect declining species (Kjekshus
1977a). Still other areas were created out of "lands with [a] history of occupancy and
use" by "indigenous" people (Neumann 1998:4). Rarely were these areas established on
"sound scientific information on the nature of species and the ecosystem as a whole"
(Mugabe 1998: 12). It was generally assumed that the areas set aside for protection were
a small inconvenience in light of the future social, aesthetic, cultural, and economic
advantages to be bestowed upon the country (IUCN 1963). Furthermore, the
conservation of wildlife and nature was considered a cultured interest and a sign of a
highly advanced civilization (IUCN 1963).
The stated purpose for these reserved areas was to protect and prevent the
extinction of declining wildlife species, although their protection was often championed
by the elite hunting enthusiast for providing a reservoir of abundant game (IUCN 1963,
Neumann 1998, Pringle 1982). Despite being a low priority within the colonial
administration, and usually competing with other government sectors and priorities (e.g.,
agriculture, veterinary, tsetse, and etc.), wildlife preservation flourished within the British
administration in Tanganyika, whereby the game reserve network was expanded
throughout the territory (Neumann 1998, Olindo and Mbaelele 1994).
Local resistance. Throughout history, most colonial powers have experimented
with tactics to engage [capture] the "participation" of the peasant population in various
development schemes that included the establishment and protection of parks and
protected areas. However, peasant populations have generally eluded government
authorities, both locally and internationally, implicitly and explicitly, by employing a
number of "weapons" [tactics] used to deceive, evade, and even appear to be in
compliance with authorities that sought their assistance (Scott 1985). For the most part,
peasant population strategies have been passive, small in nature, and unorganized, but
they are pursued continuously by a number of individuals in the community (Scott 1985).
Peasant resistance has taken the form of covert tactics such as illegal
encroachment, poaching, setting illegal fires for clearing land, foot dragging, pleading
ignorance of the law, and employing deceptive behavior (Neumann 1998, Scott 1985).
On the other hand, more open, overt behavior may result in public confrontation and lead
to violence. Rarely are these incidents documented with the exception of a major
uprising that threatens the political stability or power structure of the state (Neumann
1998). However, one such example comes from Tanganyika, the Maji Maji rebellion,
where the German attempt to control East Africa was met by armed resistance and a
defiant African population. Although many smaller and more localized acts of defiance
have occurred, the Maji Maji rebellion of 1905, is hailed as the single most effective and
widespread resistance to colonial rule in Africa (Coulson 1982, Temu 1969). In spite of
or in addition to their superior fire-power and shear force, the Germans also adopted a
"scorched-earth" policy, whereby their militia tactics included the destruction of crops,
confiscation of livestock and foodstuff, and the burning of villages and shops (Kjekshus
1977a:145, Shillington 1989:308). The direct impacts of this resistance movement
resulted in an enormous loss of African life (approximately 75,000) as well as the
secondary effects of a three year famine that followed (Coulson 1982, Iliffe 1979).
Man and Nature in Tanzania: Independence Era
When Tanzania gained independence from Britain in 1961, many of the natural
resource policies adopted by the new independent government remained substantially
unchanged from the colonial bureaucratic structure that had dominated the country
(Neumann 1998). Moreover, the general conservation ideology that had accompanied
these policies also remained relatively intact (Neumann 1998).
The continuation of population concentration development schemes remained a
core idea well into the present independent administration (Kjekshus 1977a).
Immediately preceding and shortly after gaining independence, the Tanzanian
government pursued two alternative models for rural development, namely villagization
and ujamaa (Berry et al. 1982, Coulson 1982). Both of these strategies were attempts to
transform the rural sector by raising their level of production (Coulson 1982), and
standard of living through a framework of grassroot participation (Berry et al. 1982).
These policies, as well as nationalization and decentralization, profoundly influenced the
nature of the land in Tanzania.
Villagization. The villagization settlement scheme, initiated in the early 1960s,
was a "mechanized and capital intensive resettlement program aimed at new levels of
production" (Berry et al. 1982:75). The government provided the new sites with a
number of social services that included schools, health services, housing, water supplies,
and emergency food provisions (Hyden 1980), as well as credit for equipment purchases
(Berry et al. 1982, Coulson 1982).
Ujamaa. Coinciding in some areas with villagization, was the establishment of
ujamaa villages. By 1966 the villagization policy was abandoned in favor of the
alternative ujamaa policy of rural development (Coulson 1982, Makere 1971). But unlike
villagization, the ujamaa "familyhood" approach was "conceived as part of a radical
political transformation" that used existing technologies (Hyden 1980:104), and was
labor-intensive rather than capital intensive (Mushi 1977). This concept was rooted in
the tradition of African societies' concern for one another and formerly used as a guiding
philosophy in traditional African societies before the colonial era (Berry et al. 1982). As
described by Coulson (1982:239), these villages would involve "a small group of
politically committed farmers who worked together on a communal farm, using their
savings to purchase equipment that would benefit the group." It was anticipated that the
policy ofujamaa would "lead to many economic and social benefits including the
complete eradication of all forms of exploitation and the attainment of full socio-
economic and political equality" (Makere 1971:22). These villages, however, also
received substantial governmental support in terms of social services, capital investment,
and food provisions (Coulson 1982).
Compulsory villagization. Directly on the heels ofujamaa was another attempt
of villagization. In 1973, a compulsory villagization policy was enacted, whereby all
Tanzanians in rural areas were ordered to live in villages by the end of 1976 (Mushi
1977). By February 1977, approximately 13 million people (Coulson 1982) were
reported to be living in 7684 villages (Mushi 1977). Although total numbers may be
exaggerated, this was nevertheless the "largest resettlement effort in the history of
Africa" (Hyden 1980:130).
While these efforts can be credited in large part for saving thousands or perhaps
millions of lives in terms of disease and famine, these settlements, as described by
Kjekshus (1977b:282), also caused the "destruction of the ecological balance maintained
under the traditional settlement pattern." Furthermore, these nucleated settlement
patterns increasingly led to overcrowding of people and livestock, increased demands on
natural resources (e.g., timber and fuelwood), and contributed to soil erosion (Berry et al.
1982, Kjekshus 1977a).
Finally, at least two legacies are readily apparent from the settlement schemes
previously described. First, the failure of the Tanzanian government to transform the
rural sector, and second, the failure of the ruling class to capture the peasants (Hyden
Nationalization. The colonial government was organized on a hierarchical
structure with administrative management based upon sectoral ministries (e.g., health,
education, agriculture, water and etc.) (Berry et al. 1982). But shortly after independence
in 1961, the majority of the government offices and businesses were Africanized and
Nationalized composed and largely operated by black Africans and the state. The call
for nationalization came shortly after independence but vehemently pursued after the
Arusha Declaration in 1967 (Coulson 1982). The guidelines presented in the Arusha
Declaration were hailed as a blueprint from which President Nyerere had hoped to guide
his country's development (Hyden 1979,1980) based upon "communal living, rural
development, and self-reliance" (Berry et al. 1982:11). This philosophy was manifested
in the immediate nationalization of commercial banks, grain milling companies, import-
export houses, insurance businesses, oil refineries, sisal industry, co-operative unions,
transportation services, farms, and manufacturing companies (Berry et al. 1982, Coulson
1982, Hyden 1980). In some instances this meant that the state would have 100% of the
assets, while in other cases the government asked only for majority control or a
controlling interest (Coulson 1982). As described by Coulson (1982:180), "in less than
ten years from the Arusha Declaration, the state had taken a controlling interest in
virtually all productive institutions that could easily be nationalized."
Decentralization. The traditional hierarchical structure of the government, in
which the administration came from the top downward, was ultimately poorly suited for
the type of development that President Nyerere envisioned following the Arusha
Declaration in 1967 (Berry et al. 1982). Therefore in 1972, decentralization was
officially adopted as a policy by the government (Mushi 1977, Kleemeier 1981). In
theory this meant the end of local or central government, which was subsequently
replaced by a branch of the central civil service to administer the region and district
(Coulson 1980, Hyden 1980). The decentralization policy's main tenet was that planning
should start at the village level (Berry et al. 1982) where the "objective was to lessen the
burden on the central ministries in the execution of routine work by having field offices
play a larger role in local development projects" (Kleemeier 1981:64). This objective
was to be accomplished by the transfer of authority and responsibility to the regional and
district administrations (Kleemeier 1981). Decentralization, however, did not refer to the
decentralization of power but the physical transfer of staff (Coulson 1982). In this
regard, Coulson (1982) refers to decentralization as "centralization" whereas Hyden
(1980) identifies it as "deconcentration."
In summary, the overall policy environment during the colonial and post-colonial
eras, either directly or indirectly, intentionally or otherwise, and often linked to other
developmental motives and policies (Neumann 1998), contributed to the subsequent
abandonment of large tracts of previously cultivated and settled lands. Where some of
these lands were not allocated to the state or villages for small-scale production, the result
was the reclamation of bush and the eventual invasion of tsetse fly and wildlife (Coulson
1982, life 1979).
Current Nature of the Land
Land degradation. Today environmental degradation in Tanzania is "partly the
consequence of national policies [that have] divorced local people from the
responsibilities for conservation ..." (Mwalyosi 1993b:14). This has in turn created a
negatively reinforced attitude that has, in part, discouraged the pursuit of sound
conservation ethics and practices among indigenous people (Mwalyosi 1993b). Local
people continue to function in a traditional farming and livestock system that no longer
appears ecologically applicable or workable, based upon either present advances in
technology and medicine, or a political, economic, and social contextual setting that is
rapidly evolving (Parker 1969). For the subsistence, resource-poor farmer or pastoralist
there are very few incentives or compensating alternatives available for him to change a
system that has literally kept him alive (Johnson and Anderson 1988, Longhurst and
However, there are still situations where some forms of migratory pastrolism are
ecologically suited to the resource limitations of East Africa (Bennett 1993). These areas
may still provide a maximum yield with minimum resource degradation but only for a
modest number of people and for a limited amount of time (Bennett 1993); that is, until
such time as climatic factors (e.g., global warming, ozone effect, acid rain,
desertification, etc.) overwhelm the situation.
Inevitably the whole environment of the smallholder farmers in East Africa has
changed and in some cases collapsed under the combined disruptive pressures of a
modernizing society (Johnson 1988). Throughout the modernizing world we continue to
witness the exile of indigenous people, forced into a modernized world which they are ill-
equipped or prepared to accept, all in the name of progress and development (Carr 1964).
Wildlife. There is mounting pressure on wildlife that increasingly threatens its
survival, such as poaching, habitat destruction through the conversion of land to other
land-uses (agriculture schemes and etc.), increasing human population, illegal fires,
grazing by domestic stock, disruption of seasonal migration routes, fencing, and etc.
(WCMC 2000). It has been estimated that over half of the original wildlife habitat in
Africa has already been lost to extractive logging, charcoal burning, conversion to
agricultural use, livestock grazing, and other land-uses (Kiss 1990).
Today, the views held by a majority of Africans towards wildlife may be
described as resentful and antagonistic at best (Davis 1968). In their eyes wildlife is seen
as the "government's cattle" to be protected at all costs, even to the detriment of the rural
people (Western 1997). For the African farmer, his management objectives have been
avoidance, control, and sometimes eradication of wildlife species that threaten his crops
(Carr 1964), property, and personal safety (Mwalyosi 1993b).
Appeals based solely on the aesthetic, recreational, or scientific value of wildlife
have fallen short of offering complete protection and providing for a secure future for
rural communities (IUCN 1963). A struggle between the welfare of wildlife and a
vanishing wilderness against the rights and needs of an emerging African population
(Carr 1964) has persisted throughout the course of time and will continue to play an
increasing role in future management efforts. New policy and management philosophies
that seek to reduce these conflicts and provide for a secure future for wildlife and people
must be found.
Protected areas. Today, the present framework of protected areas in Tanzania
arose from a number of forest reserves, namely the sanctuaries or former German settler
estates that were placed under protection by the colonial powers, and subsequently
expanded to other areas and continued by the independent government (Neumann 1998,
Olindo and Mbaelele 1994, TWFP 1998).
Because protected areas are artificially, human-imposed boundaries (Russell
1968) on otherwise wild expanses of earth, they require tremendous expenditures simply
to maintain within a tropical setting (L.D. Harris, pers. com.). The difficulties of
safeguarding protected areas impose a large burden on emerging countries that are
continuing to struggle for economic survival (TWPF 1998). Large expenditures are
required for their upkeep, especially in light of the tremendous competing budgetary
constraints faced in most developing countries, such as Tanzania (TWPF 1998). Once
hailed as a small price to pay for international prestige and conservation commitment
(IUCN 1963), protected areas continue to be managed as a national and global asset, but
yet impose undue hardship (direct and indirect) on the local people (e.g., anti-poaching
programs, roads, camps, fire control, restrictive use of natural resources, and etc.)
(Longhurst and Heady 1968, Mwalyosi 1993a).
Protected areas are coming under increasing pressures to meet the growing
demands to provide for the long-term security of an ever-increasing and demanding
human population (Olindo and Mbaelele 1994). They are under insurmountable
pressures to provide fuel, food, timber, and economic returns for the local people. The
government has fallen short or failed to provide sufficient socio-economic benefits
(Coulson 1982) or incentives for those participating in protected area management, or
those directly affected by the establishment, and maintenance of these areas (Olindo and
Mbaelele 1994). In addition, officials in various branches of government, local, regional,
and national have come under increased pressure to convert land set-aside for
conservation to be used for short-term land use options, such as large-scale commercial
agriculture, or grazing areas (WCMC 2000).
International interests have always influenced and been a strong advocate for the
protected area approach in conserving the natural fauna in Africa (IUCN 1963, Neumann
1998). Under national and international pressures, protected areas are still hailed by
some as vital approaches to maintaining in perpetuity a representative sample of the
world's biological, physical, and cultural wealth (Attwell 2000). To a certain point this
objective has met some success in the sense that it has formed a partial barrier (weak or
strong) against subsequent development in the area (IUCN 1963, Olindo and Mbaelele
1994). However, today protected areas have come under considerable scrutiny from a
number of activists, social scientists, local peasants, and politicians questioning the
relevance of protected areas to rural communities and thus their livelihood (Neumann
1998). As a result, policy makers increasingly recognize that a more flexible, multi-
faceted, and integrated approach to managing strict natural areas is needed.
Consequently, a series of protected area classifications with varying degrees of
regulations and management regimes specifically pertaining to human occupation, and
use of the natural environment have been designated (Schoepf 1983). In an early attempt
to bring a degree of uniformity into the use of various, and often confusing terms applied
to the various land-use classifications throughout the world, the World Conservation
Union (IUCN) in 1978 established ten categories of protected areas based upon specified
management objectives (McNeely et al. 1994). In 1992, at the IV World Congress on
National Parks and Protected Areas, this system was modified and reduced to six
categories: strict nature reserve/wilderness area, national park, natural monument,
habitat/species management area, protected landscape/seascape, and managed resource
protected area (Brandon et al. 1998, WCMC 2000).
Focusing on the results of Tanzania's natural resource efforts, there where only
three National Parks, nine Game Reserves, and one Conservation Area at the time of
independence in 1961 (Kaiza-Boshe et al. 1998, TWPF 1998). However, after
independence, the new government significantly increased the number of protected areas
(Neumann 1998, TWPF 1998). Thus, Africanization not only embraced but amplified
ideologies of the colonial era (Neumann 1998). Today the total of protected areas
approximates 28% of Tanzania's land area, which includes 12 National Parks, 31 Game
Reserves, 38 Game Controlled Areas, and one Conservation Area. Several of these are
designated as world heritage sites and/or biosphere reserves (Coe et al. 1999, TWPF
1998, Zacharia 1990). Each category is unique and varies accordingly in its legal,
administrative, and degree of biodiversity protection (Coe et al. 1999, WCMC 2000) as
described under the present IUCN classification system.
Today's African nations feel increasing pressures to evaluate protected areas in
monetary terms. Sadly for biodiversity conservation, many countries are rapidly
approaching a point where humans are "unable to envisage humanity except in terms of
profit, development, exploitation, and planning at every economic level" (IUCN
1963:242), whereby protected areas are used as a "valid strategy for economic
development" (Kjekshus 1977a:79). Until now, biodiversity and renewable natural
resources have fallen victim to these monetary motives (Mugable 1998). This is in large
measure because there are no rules, conventions, or international mechanisms that are
effectively enforced to guarantee the survival of wildlife resources in the lesser developed
countries so long as economic incentives provide the strongest and easiest motive for
their destruction (IUCN 1963).
Local resistance. Today in Tanzania, local community resentment and
antagonistic feelings towards protected areas, and conservation policies continue to
culminate in various forms of local resistance.
Although everyday forms of resistance (Scott 1985:32) persist and may include
illegal hunting and natural resource extractions, grazing trespass, unauthorized burning,
and encroachment (Neumann 1998, Scott 1995), some of these "weapons" have
nevertheless remained consistent and unchanged. However, other changes in part, reflect
a growing grassroot movement with local and often global challenges surrounding the
establishment and administration of protected areas in Tanzania (Neumann 1998). From
ordinary weapons of relatively powerless groups to a formal process of due process
through the judicial system, years of unorganized defiant behavior have incrementally
moved towards an organized progress of peasant political mobility (Scott 1995).
But still, efforts to "capture" (engage) the peasant population in natural resource
management activities continues unabated. Within recent years these efforts have
increasingly involved community-based conservation initiatives that attempt to forestall
local opposition to conservation (Neumann 1998, Western and Wright 1994). Some of
these initiatives include the provision of social services, alternative employment
opportunities or other income generating schemes, benefit sharing opportunities, and
alternative resource management methods. These "alternatives" are aimed at providing
incentives (directly or indirectly) to the local communities for adhering to biodiversity
conservation objectives (IIED 1994).
STUDY AREAS AND METHODS
Tanzania is a large and exceptionally diverse country, encompassing about
942,800 km2 (Kaiza-Boshe et al. 1998), thus making it the largest country in Eastern
Africa (Foster 1994) (Figure 2). Located just south of the equator, it borders Kenya and
Uganda on the north and northeast, respectively; Zaire, Rwanda, and Burundi on the
west; and Zambia, Malawi, and Mozambique on the south (Foster 1994, Nyenzi 1998).
Tanzania's population of approximately 30 million people is growing at an annual
rate of 2.8% (Nyenzi 1998, TWPF 1998). Although 80-85% of the population (Nyenzi
1998) lives in rural areas, the urban population of 4.5 million is growing at a rate of 7-8%
per year (PERM 1995) and dominates most of the news and political decisions. Native
Africans account for 99% of Tanzania's population with the remainder 1% composed of
Asia, Arab, and European peoples (Uiowa 1999). Kiswahili and English are the official
languages of the country, although there are several regional languages among
Tanzania's 120 "tribes" (Nyenzi 1998). Religious freedom is commonplace in Tanzania.
Muslims and Hindus make up 33%, while Christians comprise 33%, and those who
adhere to traditional African beliefs 34% (Uiowa 1999).
Agriculture employs over 80% of the adult work force (PERM 1995), accounts
for about 75% of the country's foreign exchange earnings (Kaiza-Boshe et al. 1998,
1 Pemba Island Game.
2 Zanzibar Island 'Reserve'.
3 Mafia Island Lake.
Figure 2. Map of Tanzania
Adapted from: Crystal, D. editor. 1993. Cambridge FactFinder, updated edition. Pages
195-358 in Human geography (the Map of Tanzania, page 325). Cambridge University
Press, New York.
PERM 1995), and 50% of the country's Gross Domestic Product (Biermann 1998, Kaiza-
Boshe et al. 1998). Agriculture, therefore, dominates and stereotypes the economy of
country as a whole. It is a country of smallholder farmers who average less than two
hectares of land, and are characterized by low productivity, and per capital income.
Because of the caprice of climate, foreign exchange, and availability of international
goods and supplies, most people can make only marginal moves away from subsistence
agricultural levels and towards a profit-oriented farming system. Although commercial
agriculture is the objective of the economic sector (Biermann 1998, Mugabe 1998), the
critical importance of raw natural resources to people's livelihood can not be
underestimated (PERM 1995).
Tanzania's biological diversity (biodiversity) is one of the country's greatest
assets (Coe et al. 1999, Mwalyosi 1993a, TWPF 1998) remaining to be tapped in a
sustainable and profitable mode (Mwalyosi 1993b). One estimate suggests that at least
25% of the world's global diversity occurs in Tanzania (in terms of species, ecosystem,
and genetic variety) (Mugabe 1998). The diversity of habitats, topographical features,
plants, and animals found in Tanzania make the country one of the richest areas on earth
in terms of natural resource endowment and spectacular scenery (Mwalyosi 1993a,
TWPF 1998): the Great Rift Valley, a vast fault-line through the interior of Tanzania and
the precursor to several ecological wonders, such as the Ngorongoro Crater, the largest
unbroken caldera in the world; Lake Tanganyika, the world's second deepest lake (Foster
1994, Nyenzi 1998); the Central Plateau (1200 m above sea level), a huge expanse of
savannah and sparse woodland and home to the Serengeti, arguably the most photogenic
and best known wildlife area in the world (Foster 1994). On the northern Tanzania-
Kenya border, rises the ice-capped mountains of Mount Kilimanjaro (19,340 ft- 5895
m), the tallest freestanding mountain in the world is sharply juxtaposed to a wondrous
marine and coral reef system only 161 km to the east (Nyenzi 1998). This, in turn, is
dotted by the culturally renowned islands of Zanzibar, Mafia, and Pemba.
In terms of wildlife, Tanzania is the fourth most diverse country in Africa for
amphibians, reptiles (Kaiza-Boshe et al. 1998, McNeely et al. 1990), and swallowtail
butterflies (McNeely et al. 1990). It ranks third for birds (Kaiza-Boshe et al. 1998) and
mammals (McNeely et al. 1990) and second most diverse for plants (Kaiza-Boshe et al.
1998, PERM 1995). This rich fauna and flora diversity is supported by an equally rich
mosaic of habitats that is a reflection of its climatic, topographic, and altitudinal
variations (Coe et al. 1999, Mwalyosi 1993a). Although there are seasonal variations in
temperatures and rainfall throughout the region, on the whole, the country's hottest
months are from October to February, and the long rainy season is from mid-March to
late May with short rains occurring between October and December (Nyenzi 1998,
Although much of the country is semi-arid, characterized by low rainfall and
dominated by either savannah grassland, Acacia woodland, or Comiphora-Acacia scrub,
there are also wetlands, flood plains, coastal mangrove forests, coral gardens, tropical
forests, and montane belts (Coulson 1982, Mwalyosi 1993a, TWPF 1998). Moreover,
there are several world-renowned areas of significant natural, cultural, and economic
importance, which include World Heritage sites such as Mt. Kilimanjaro, Selous Game
Reserve, Serengeti National Park, and Ngorongoro Crater (Coulson 1982, Kaiza-Boshe
et al. 1998, TWPF 1998), as well as a number of Africa's great lakes (Victoria,
Tanganyika, and Nyasa) (Coulson 1982, Mwalyosi 1993a, TWPF 1998), rivers (Rufiji,
Pangani, Ruaha, and Ruvuma) (Berry et al. 1982, Coulson 1982), and soda lakes (Natron,
Eyasi, Blangida, and Manyara) (Mwalyosi 1993a, TWPF 1998).
Because Tanzania has a well-documented history of conservation programming
activities, several of its National Parks and protected areas provide an excellent
opportunity for reviewing the legacy of colonial natural resource policies, changing
paradigms, human-wildlife conflicts, human rights concerns, and conservation
management approaches. This is especially important now after a century of
experimentation with conservation approaches in the face of unrelenting human
For these discussions, I present three case studies: Udzungwa National Park
(UNP), Mikumi National Park (MNP), and Mkomazi Game Reserve (MGR). These three
study areas were chosen because they provide fairly distinct conservation management
approaches for comparison and contrast. Despite a common colonial legacy and similar
political environments, these three protected areas have subsequently pursued different
conservation management approaches. Their management decisions have been greatly
influenced by local park managerial attitudes and philosophies as well as varying degrees
of technical and financial support (e.g., local government, international NGOs, and
private donations). Furthermore, the ecological attributes, community relations, and
historical context have come to distinctly shape these three protected areas' conservation
approaches, management challenges, and natural resource policies.
Udzungwa National Park
Udzungwa National Park (UNP) is located in the Iringa and Morogoro Regions of
South Central Tanzania (Figure 3). Bordered on the north by the Ruaha River, on the
east by the Selous Game Reserve, on the south by the TAZARA (Great Uhuru) railway,
and on the west by the West Kilombero Scarp Forest Reserve (Hoyle 1997, Johannes
The total area of UNP is 1900 km2, gazetted (established) in 1992 from the
Mwanihana, Iwonde, and parts of Matundu, Nyanganje and West Kilombero Scarp Forest
Reserves (originally established in 1958), making it Tanzania's twelfth national park and
sixth largest (Johannes 1996). UNP forms part of the chain of mountains known as the
"Eastern Arc" mountains of East Africa (TANAPA n.d.). These mountain ranges include
Usambara, North and South Pare, Uluguru, Mahenge, Rubeho, Nguu, Malundwe, Nguru,
Ukaguru, and Udzungwa in Tanzania (Johannes 1996, Mwalyosi 1993a), and Taita in
Kenya (Johannes 1996). These mountain ranges stretch across eastern Tanzania from the
Kenya border to Malawi and are among the richest biodiversity hotspots in the world
with exceptionally high fauna and flora species richness and endemism (Myers et al.
2000, TWPF 1998). The UNP constitutes the greatest altitidunal range of forests in East
Africa (TANAPA n.d.). The eastern escarpment is the only place in East Africa with a
relatively unbroken forest cover, with a variety of forest types with altitudinal ranges
from 250 m above sea level to 2000 m. Estimated annual rainfall is 500-2500 mm
(Hoyle 1997, Johannes 1996).
MAP OF UDZUNGWA
MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK,
Figure 3. Map of Udzungwa National Park
Source: Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA), n.d. Brochure for Udzungwa National
Park. Arusha, Tanzania.
Udzungwa National Park is an exceptionally rich forest. It provides habitat for
many rare and endemic flora and fauna species, a very diverse large mammal community,
the richest forest bird habitat in Tanzania, and spectacular mountain scenery with
rainforest, wooded grasslands, rock faces, rivers, and waterfalls (TANAPA n.d.).
Mikumi National Park
Mikumi National Park (MNP), gazetted in 1964, is the third largest national park
after Ruaha and Serengeti, with an area of 3,230 km2 (TANAPA n.d.). MNP is located in
North Central Tanzania and shares its boundary in the extreme east with the Selous Game
Reserve (Figure 4). Together they form a continuous ecosystem for migrating animals.
The park lies in a horseshoe of towering mountains and forested foothills. To the east
rises the 2743 m massif of the Uluguru ranges; to the southwest are the peaks of the
Lumango mountains, while the Mbesera, Madizini, and Mazunyungu hills sweep around
northward and westward (TANAPA n.d.).
The park headquarters is located 96 km2 from Morogoro town, along the
Tanzania-Zambia Highway (which transverses the park for 50 km2), 288 km2 from Dar es
Salaam, and 80 km2 from UNP (TANAPA n.d.), making it one of Tanzania's most
accessible national parks. The major attraction at MNP is the Mkata flood plain that rises
approximately 548 m above sea level and is an area of high concentration of the plains
variety animals, including four of the "big five" species in Africa elephant, buffalo, lion
and leopard- as well as over 300 species of birds (Foster 1994, TANAPA n.d.).
Figure 4. Map of Mikumi National Park and Selous Game Reserve Ecosystem
Source: Siege, L. editor. 1996. Financial potential of the Selous Game Reserve and its
buffer zones. SCP Discussion Paper No. 21. Selous Conservation Programme. Selous
Game Reserve-Wildlife Division. Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Map of Mikumi National
Park and Selous Game Reserve, cover page.
Mkomazi Game Reserve
The Mkomazi Game Reserve (MGR) is located in Northeast Tanzania and lies
along the Kenya border approximately midway between the Indian Ocean and Mt.
Kilimanjaro (Figure 5). The MGR is bordered on the northwest by the North Pare
Mountains, with the westernmost highest point of the Reserve, Kinondu Hill, reaching an
elevation of 1594 m (Coe et al. 1999, Harris 1972, McWilliam and Packer 1998). The
Umba Steppe, comprising the open plains area of the Reserve, borders the Reserve in the
east with an elevation of 230 m above sea level and rising to 600 m above the plain
(Harris 1972). To the south lies the Umba River and Tsavo (West) National Park in
Kenya to the North, where it forms an integral part of the greater Tsavo ecosystem (Coe
et al. 1999, Mangubuli 1992). The foothills of the North Pare Mountains and the
extensive plains of the Umba Steepe are two main physiographic features of the Reserve
MGR is characterized as semi-arid with an east to west annual rainfall gradient
varying between 35 cm to 65 cm (Harris and Fowler 1975). The vegetation is
categorized into four major types: (1) dry montane forest, (2) bushed and wooded
grassland, (3) seasonally inundated grassland, and (4) bushland (Coe et al. 1999, Harris
1972). Today, bushland accounts for less than 50% of the Reserve (Coe et al. 1999). A
complete description of the physiography and geology of MGR is extensively given
elsewhere (Harris 1972).
The MGR was established in October 1951 and encompasses a total area of
3234.4 km2' with an approximate maximal length of 130 km and maximal width of 41 km
(Harris 1972). Since establishment, however, its borders have been altered at least twice,
Figure 5. Map of Mkomazi Game Reserve
Source: Coe, M.J., N.C. McWilliam, G.N. Stone, and M.J. Parker, editors. 1999.
Mkomazi: the ecology, biodiversity, and conservation of a Tanzania savanna. Royal
Geographical Society (with The Institute of British Geographers), London. Map of
Mkomazi Game Reserve, back cover inset map. (Reprinted with permission of the
once in 1957 and again in 1966 (Harris 1972, Zacharia 1990). This has resulted in a
reduction of the original 3584 km2 to the present day total area. Under the Wildlife
Conservation Act No. 12 of 1974 and Government Notice No. 275 of 8th November the
MGR (the western part) was administratively reestablished under the decentralization
policy as the MGR, and the Umba Game Reserve (UGR) (the eastern half) (Zacharia
1990). Today, the MGR (2010.3 km2) and UGR (1224.1 km2) lie in the Pare and Lushoto
Districts of the Kilimanjaro and Tanga regional administrative boundaries, respectively
(Mangubuli 1992). Throughout this paper, however, the MGR/UGR will be collectively
referred to as the Mkomazi Game Reserve (MGR) or Reserve unless otherwise stipulated.
Historical overview of MGR. During the last 30 years the administrative
capacity to manage protected areas in Tanzania has declined to a point where the MGR
has suffered considerable biodiversity losses (D. Anstey pers. com., Mangubuli 1992).
This came about as a result of declining social foundations and decision-making capacity
in conservation institutions. The problems of the Reserve have been blamed on
insensitive colonial policies that failed to consider people's needs, rights and the
traditional practices that maintained a reasonable environment before colonial
The political ideology that led to these losses is now being addressed by more
recent administrations, and alternative management steps are underway to relieve the
natural resource base of numerous stressors. During the last few years, the Reserve has
been a focal point for a new ideology. A major report on the Reserve (Homewood et al.
1997) maintains that all can be well if control of the natural resources would be given to
the local village authorities. Without a detailed analysis here, this report appears to
misrepresent and misstate major historical facts of the MGR. As such, this dissertation
suggests extreme caution in basing any critical decisions or advocating new ones on
untested claims, as the effects could be irreversible. Moreover, in the interest of pursuing
equitable future management options, it is imperative that a correct, objective, and
unbiased narrative be told one which considers the historical developments which led to
the gazettement and the current ecological, social, and political challenges.
The following is a historical overview of MGR based upon detailed interviews
with David Anstey and Lawrence Harris, supplemented with other reports and
Ruvu Game Reserve. In 1904, during the German administration, an area of
country along the Ruvu River was set aside as a game reserve and was referred to by the
Germans as Wildreservat Wilhemstal. This area lay along the Ruvu (Pangani) River in
what later became Upare District.
During the Second World War, however, the lack of inadequate supervision, led
to severe degradation of the area because of increased pressures from the Maasai and
their cattle (Mangubuli 1992). Eventually, the Ruvu Game Reserve lost its ecological
value as a nature reserve and was subsequently degazetted (abolished) in 1950 (Anderson
1967, Parker 1969).
Ethnic conflict. During the withdrawal of German authority in Tanganyika in
1916, a group of a Maasai clan, resident around Losongoni, engaged in battle with a
group of the WaKwavi clan in the lower Kitwai mbuga. The purpose of this struggle was
to gain additional grazing land (later, this conflict will be at the heart of the current legal
battle over the MGR). As a result of the defeat, the WaKwavi moved from the
Kitwai/Saunyi area towards the Usambara Mountains. In 1926, because of past
connections to this area, this small group of WaKwavi arranged with the Sambaa chief to
take up residence at the foothills of the Northwest Usambara Mountains. This was
roughly the Mnazi/Lelwa area, which lies outside the MGR.
During the 1940s and 1950s, there was movement by the Maasai from Maasailand
into the lowlands on the western side of the Upare and Usambara Districts. Their influx
raised concerns among the respective African District Councils (ADC) in this area. They
were concerned that the Maasai would take grazing land needed for WaPare and
Wasambaa who were encouraged to bring their livestock down from the overgrazed hill
in the mountains to the lowlands for grazing. In response, the District Commissioners of
Upare and Usambara issued administrative orders for the Maasai to remain west of the
Tanga-Moshi railway line.
Gazettement of MGR. About 1949, after two years of discussion with the ADC
and village chiefs, it was agreed that the MGR would be established as a "quid pro quo"
for the degazettement (abolishment) of the Ruvu Game Reserve (Harris 1972,
Kabigumila 1992). The proposed area was uninhabited and offered a good example of a
semi-arid ecosystem (Anstey 1956). The Kisiwani village had no direct contact with the
proposed reserve boundary as it was composed of thick bush. A sisal estate in this area
also provided a buffer zone between the village and the reserve. This area offered good
prospects for a biodiversity reserve without conflicting with other national development
Observations from 1880 to the early 1950s suggest that wildlife was well
distributed in the area (Anstey 1956, Harris 1972). Willoughby (1889) referred to it as
offering "excellent and varied sport." A 1932 annual report by the Tanganyika Game and
Tsetse Division indicated that the Pare (i.e., Ruvu) Reserve (immediately south of the
present MGR) was listed as "one of the four most valuable." This was followed by
another report in 1934, that stated "with closer protection ... the Same District can
become one of the most attractive game areas in the territory", later it was described in
1950 as carrying "large concentrations of game" (Tanganyika Game and Tsetse Division
In an effort to verify that the proposed area for the game reserve was uninhabited,
tax collection records from the ADC were extensively checked. Finally after two years
of negotiations, the ADC and the two District Commissioners, Mr. Thorne and Mr.
Smithyman, certified that according to the tax records, there were no taxpayers of their
districts living in the proposed area. Both of the District Commissioners were agreeable
for the land to be made into a game reserve. The proposal was approved, and the MGR
was included in the Flora and Fauna Conservation Ordinance published in 1951.
David Anstey, the Reserve's first Game Ranger, undertook extensive safaris in
the game reserve between 1952-55 to survey the area for any occupants and to verify the
ADC tax statements. He found that the pastoralists based near Lake Jipe and Toloha at
the foot of the North Pare Mountains (outside the Reserve) were concerned about Maasai
herders encroaching into their grazing areas. At Maji Kununua Mountain in the Central
Pare Mountains, he encountered two families. They requested David Anstey's assistance
in moving to an area outside of the reserve to the North Pare Mountains so that they
could have access to schools and medical clinics. In the Tussa Mountains there was
evidence of two or three huts in which, according to his Kambaa guide, two men had
lived after being expelled from their village because of antisocial activities. But before
the reserve was gazetted, these men had left the area and returned to their village. In the
Usambara District area of the Reserve there were no permanent residents. However,
there was a small group of WaKwavi living at a village on the northern side of the
Usambara Mountains. During the rainy season they utilized the Katamboi waterhole in
Kenya and grazed back to the Umba River during the dry season (Mangubuli 1992).
Unfortunately, the original government records referring to this group of WaKwavi have
not been located, but references have been made showing there were 69 people (including
men, women and children) and about 3000 head of cattle. David Anstey agreed to let the
WaKwavi continue their grazing pattern, since they had been there before the Reserve
was established. At this time the presence of the WaKwavi and their grazing practices
did not interfere with or cause damage to the wildlife population or the flora (Kabigumila
1992). With further investigation of the area, David Anstey found a group of detribalized
individuals in an area called Kalemawi (downstream towards Gonja Maore), just inside
the Reserve boundary. They were engaged in salt production and were also herders for
WaPare cattle owners. Consequently, in 1957 the government excised this area,
approximately 89 square miles, from the reserve to provide these people with a sufficient
area outside the Reserve for salt production and grazing (Harris 1972).
Influx of migrants. In the 1950s a small group of Maasai with significant
livestock herds emigrated from Maasailand to the Upare District. This created tension
with the local people currently in the area. The Maasai moved into the Lake Jipe area,
where there had been only limited Maasai cattle. From there they continued to move
along the Kenya-Tanzania border (on the Kenya side) towards the Katamboi waterhole
which was then being used in the rainy season by the WaKwavi. The WaKwavi sent
news to the administration that influx of Maasai threatened their grazing.
The Usambara lowland was also threatened with overgrazing by the Lsongoni
Maasai herds in the 1950s and 1960s. These Maasai originated in the Ruvu area and had
migrated via Kilometa-Upare to Ngulu Gap-Upare to Toloha-Upare and subsequently to
the WaKwavi grazing areas near Mnazi. These invasions upset the whole ecological
system of grazing outside the Reserve and ignited a chain reaction of land degradation
that threatened the natural habitat in the Reserve as well. It further threatened the
collapse of the planned utilization of the lowland area by the Wapare and Wasambaa and
their livestock. In response to this threat, Igoma, a section of land fringing the South Pare
Mountains, was excised from the Reserve in 1965 to provide additional land for the
Kisiwaini agriculturists. At the same time a small section of land in the Pangaro Valley
was added as it included an important dry season habitat for wildlife and was near the
Reserve's Dindira watering point (Harris 1972, Mangubuli 1992). In light of past
management challenges, MGR remains an ecologically important protected area in
Tanzania. As such, current management efforts continue to cautiously pursue
conservation objectives within the context of historically (and current) political, and
For my study of the three protected areas in Tanzania, I used a variety of methods,
including archival sources found in Tanzania and the University of Florida Special
Collection Library. In addition, face-to-face, personal interviews (informal, unstructured,
and semi-structured) were conducted with National Park and Game Reserve staff,
Tanzania Wildlife Division, Tanzania National Park (TANAPA) authorities, and two
former Mkomazi Game Reserve employees (David Anstey and Lawrence Harris). Other
methods included on-site observations, semi-structured questionnaire surveys (open and
closed ended), including households, village leaders, a women's group, and park staff
(Udzungwa and Mikumi National Parks only). Also I conducted a thorough review of
Tanzanian government's published and unpublished historical reports, and contemporary
SUA/TU Linkage Project
In 1990 Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA) in Morogoro, Tanzania, and
Tuskegee University (TU) in Tuskegee, AL (USA), signed a memorandum of
understanding (MOU) to link and collaborate in teaching, research, and outreach with the
purpose of positioning themselves to take advantage of emerging opportunities for
institutional development (SUA/TU report 1998). This agreement subsequently became
the SUA/TU Linkage Project. The first phase of this project, entitled "Enhancing
Teaching, Research, and Outreach Capabilities of Sokoine University of Agriculture",
was funded by United States Agency for International Development (USAID) at
$2,385,754 for five years (October 1, 1990 to September 30, 1995) (SUA/TU report
1996). In addition, the second phase of this project, entitled "Capacity Building for the
Development of Sustainable Agriculture Through Community-Based Management of
Natural Resources in Tanzania," was also funded by USAID on October 1, 1995, for a
five year period (October 1, 1995 to September 30, 2000) at a total cost of $2,714,943
(SUA/TU report 1996). This project is as a cooperative agreement between TU and
USAID to benefit SUA's efforts in capacity building for outreach in community-based
natural resource management at the village level in Tanzania.
Specifically, the second phase of this project, which is the focus of the following
discussions and research activities, was designed to produce seven "outputs": (1)
improved project management skills at SUA, (2) strengthen land management practices,
(3) improved management of resource use in horticultural production, (4) increased use
of sustainable crop production practices, (5) increased production of poultry, goats and
cattle, 6) increased technical services for community well-being, and (7) improved
community services to increase the use of tractor/animal power in agriculture (SUA/TU
The project activities focused on sustainable agricultural production, management
of natural resources, and environmental conservation. The implementation strategies,
therefore, involved a series of activities (e.g., consultation, baseline surveys, and etc.)
geared towards social and ecological needs, problem discovery, intervention, and impact
assessment (SUA/TU report 1996).
Consultation with USAID (Tanzania) resulted in the selection of three districts to
participate in the SUA/TU Linkage Project, namely Kilosa, Morogoro rural and
Kilombero. The respective district authorities subsequently narrowed the choices of
specific rural communities or target villages to benefit from the project activities and
assistance. As a result, 17 villages were selected throughout the three districts, five each
in Morogoro and Kilombero, and seven in Kilosa district.
Dedicated teams. Implementation of the proposed activities was carried out
through the use of "dedicated teams." These are core teams formed on the basis of
discipline and activity requirement for each of the 17 target villages. One of the teams
implemented a mini-project called, "Promotion of sound coexistence between protected
areas and neighboring rural communities." I participated directly in this mini-project
whose activities focused on two villages, Kisawasawa and Sanje, adjacent to Udzungwa
National Park, and two villages, Maharaka and Msongozi, adjacent to Mikumi National
Other dedicated teams provided assistance to select villages regarding
horticulture, vegetable production, food and cash crop production, poultry and goat
keeping, agriculture inputs and implements, milling machinery, construction of
dispensary building, and dairy farming.
Designated team members from the SUA/TU Linkage Project conducted two
types of initial data collection exercises between January and March, 1996. The first was
entitled, "Baseline Study for the SUA/TU Linkage Project Villages" (SUA/TU report
1996). A standard USAID (Tanzania) questionnaire was used in this exercise to sample
eight villages in the targeted district. Five of these sample villages fell within activities
of the SUA/TU Linkage Project. The questionnaires were comprehensive, covering the
socio-economic aspects of the villages. The second data collection exercise, entitled,
"Village Profiles" was conducted by the project in all of the 17 SUA/TU targeted
villages. This comprehensive study employed participatory rural appraisal techniques to
obtain information on the focus areas of the project, sustainable agriculture, and
management of the natural resources (SUA/TU report 1996). In each village a uniform
format was employed. A multidisciplinary team of SUA, TU, and local village leaders
conducted the study with the following chronology of activities: meeting with village
government, a field appraisal of the village, and separate discussions with groups of
women and men in the respective rural communities. The outcome of these data was a
profile of all collaborating villages and a useful document to gain insight into specific
village-level planning activities.
A one-day workshop and planning seminar was conducted in February and
March, 1996, in an effort to discern needed village-level activities (SUA/TU report
1996). The respective village chairperson, village executive officers, divisional
secretaries, and SUA/TU personnel attended these meetings. During the meetings,
proposed village activities were discussed, critically analyzed, and prioritized. The
output was a five-year program document that elaborated on specific activities or "mini-
projects" and the roles of SUA/TU customers in the Linkage Project.
Household. In an effort to provide more effective assistance to the villages in the
study area (Maharaka, Msongozi, Kisawasawa, and Sanje), a structured, face-to-face
household survey was conducted over a two-week period in August 1997 (Appendix A).
It included both open-ended and fixed or closed-response questions (Bernard 1994).
Through these surveys, respondents were asked questions relating to household
education, employment status, age, family size, conservation attitudes, wildlife
perceptions, park management strategies and suggestions, access to conservation
materials, and experiences with crop and livestock damage from wild animals.
Individual households were randomly selected from a list of residents prepared by
the village secretary. A total of 178 households in the four villages were randomly
selected for the questionnaire survey. Whenever possible, the head of the household was
interviewed with supplemental information provided by other household members who
were also present. The response time of respondents and the location of the households
dictated the total number of surveys administered. As a result, only subvillages located
close to the National Park headquarters and/or boundary were included in the field
survey. Enumerators, employed by the SUA/TU Linkage Project, were well-versed in
English and the local language, they administered the survey in Kiswahili. It is possible,
however, that because local people may have viewed the interviewers as being affiliated
with USAID or the National Park, they did not freely express their opinions. Although it
is difficult to evaluate the response bias, I believe the results accurately reflect local
opinion because of the nature of the responses.
In our effort to ensure the effective delivery of the survey instrument, a pre-test
was conducted in a nearby village (Dodoma) several weeks prior to the administration of
the actual survey. These results were then used to improve the survey, in terms of clarity,
deletion, or addition of specific questions, as well as to gauge the approximate time of
administration, and the comprehension level of the respondents to the questions.
The results of these surveys were presented to the village assembly in the
following year and were subsequently used to reprioritize project activities for the local
villages. The results were also presented to both UNP and MNP.
Village leader survey. Face-to-face structured questionnaire surveys were
administered to an assembled body of individuals (focus group) that represented the
village leaders or village government for each of the four respective villages, Maharaka,
Msongozi, Kisawasawa, and Sanje (Appendix B). The questionnaire was read to an open
forum of participants and administered by members of the dedicated team in Kiswahili.
The focus groups were asked to respond to a series of open and closed-end questions and
to rank order some of their responses. The purpose of this type of survey was to
stimulate open discussions among village leaders about their perception of major
concerns of their respective constituents.
The results of these surveys were ultimately used to assist in prioritizing village
concerns and provide appropriate SUA/TU Linkage Project guidance. In areas outside
the scope of our dedicated teams, village concerns were forwarded to members of the
appropriate SUA/TU dedicated team.
Park staff survey. Questionnaires were distributed to a number of Park Staff
employees at UNP and MNP: park warden, community conservation warden, ecologist,
conservation education and law enforcement officers (Appendix C). Followed by a brief
overview of each of the questions, ample time was allowed for the respondents to
individually complete the survey form. The survey instrument was self-administered
whereby responses were either ranked or open-ended. The completion of the survey by
the park staff presented an excellent opportunity for the Linkage team to gain feedback
on activities that could assist them with their community outreach programs and
Sanje women's group. Since women's issues were assumed to differ from
men's, special efforts were made to interview women separately, in each village.
However, only Kisawasawa and Sanje had organized women's groups. The Sanje
women's group was able to organize a forum for discussion; however, scheduling
logistics precluded the participation of the Kisawasawa women's group. Questionnaire
surveys used for the village leaders were also used to collect information for this focus
group. These discussions led to a series of concerns and requests for assistance from the
SUA/TU Linkage Project and/or the National Park.
Based upon the previous year's request from the villages, a visit to MNP and
UNP was organized in August 1998. The villages requested to visit the National Park in
their area for the purpose of viewing wildlife, establishing a dialogue with park officials,
and obtaining educational information on the National Park. The SUA/TU Linkage
Project provided transportation, lunch, and snacks for all participants.
During a preliminary visit to each of the four villages and to both National Parks,
the Linkage team members established the logistics of the study tours: number of
participants, departure/return times, and a tentative program of activities. Furthermore,
each village leader was asked to select an equal number of men and women, as well as a
wide array of age groups for participation in the study tours of the National Park.
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION: CONSERVATION MANAGEMENT APPROACHES
IN THREE PROTECTED AREAS
Since the emergence of formalized conservation throughout the world, protected
areas have rapidly expanded. However, a variety of conservation management
approaches have been initiated that have attempted to answer the challenges posed by the
increasing demands placed on natural resources in protected areas. Some of these
approaches have met with success, others failure, and still others continue to evolve and
build upon lessons learned from previous approaches. These approaches have typically
ranged from the strict protectionist or classical approach of top-down management, to a
multitude of innovative, multidisciplinary, site-specific, and bottom-up, participatory
This chapter presents the results of a case study that reviews a gradient of
conservation management strategies for Udzungwa (UNP) and Mikumi National Parks
(MNP), and Mkomazi Game Reserve (MGR). The framework for this approach
identifies and briefly reviews conservation management strategies that have subsequently
been abandoned and others that are currently being implemented.
For MGR, several published and unpublished government reports, and a review of
the University of Florida special collection archives were used to document past activities
and management recommendations. For the three protected areas, current management
options were obtained from various published and unpublished reports, articles,
interviews, and the world wide web.
Udzungwa and Mikumi National Parks
Unlike MGR, supportive financial resources, administrative flexibility and local
community relations have made it possible for UNP and MNP to employ a number of
innovative, site-specific management strategies that address community needs as well as
natural resource management.
Contemporary Conservation Management Approaches
Community Conservation Service. At a seminar held in 1985 at Serengeti
National Park, participants expressed the need to involve local people in conservation
activities (Chengullah 1998, Neumann 1998). Following the recommendations of the
seminar, Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA) officially established a unit called,
Community Conservation Service (CCS), to provide linkage between park management
and local communities surrounding National Parks (Chengullah 1998).
CCS is an outreach program with two fundamental functions, support of extension
and benefit sharing. The objectives of the CCS are (1) to improve relations between
individual National Parks and local communities, (2) to ensure that the interests of
National Parks with regard to natural resources and community welfare are represented at
all levels of the government, (3) to facilitate the planned sharing of benefits to target
communities, (4) to assist communities in gaining access to information, resources, and
services which promote sustainable development, and (5) to encourage community
conservation initiatives by different interested parties (Chengullah 1998).
Since its inception as a pilot project in Serengeti National Park in 1988, CCS has
slowly expanded to other National Parks, including Tarangire, Arusha, Lake Manyara,
Ruaha, and Kilimanjaro National Parks. Currently, the program covers all twelve
National Parks in Tanzania.
Funding for CCS enables local communities and National Parks to work together
on community development projects. Each park receives 7.5% of its recurrent budget to
assist communities with their self-initiative projects. Using Community Conservation
Wardens (CCW) appointed to each National Park to coordinate this program, CCS
provides support for community initiated projects (SCIP). TANAPA uses the SCIP
program as a direct benefit sharing mechanism for its communities. Some of the
achievements (completed and on-going) of the SCIP programme include the
following:(funding totals are in Tanzania shillings)
Mikumi National Park. (a) two classrooms constructed for Mikumi Mpya
Primary School (774,400), (b) contribution to Doma Village dispensary and repair of
doctor's housing quarters (5,488,842), (c) construction of Maharaka Village dispensary
(3,592,192), (d) construction of Ruhembe Village dispensary (4,307,538), and (e) two
classrooms built for Mikumi Secondary School (5,509,708). Other on-going projects
include the construction of Gomero and Idogobasi Village dispensaries, Masanze
Secondary School, Kilangali Primary School, and a chemistry laboratory for Mikumi
Second School (Ochinal998).
Udzungwa National Park. (a) Msolwa Dispensary (5,981,220), (b) laboratory
constructed for Mang'ula Udzungwa Secondary School (6,404,539.20), (c) Mlimani
Primary School desks (129,900), and (d) Kisawasawa Women's group fuel efficient
restaurant and toilet (1,959,886). In addition, there are several on-going projects which
combine with the completed projects to total 37,148,349.90 (Chengullah 1998).
Conservation Committees. UNP, through CCS, is currently assisting villages by
establishing a more formalized mechanism for integration into park management. With
the establishment of Village Community Conservation Committees (VCCC), it is
expected that a more successful partnership between the community and their park can be
achieved (Chengullah 1998). It is also hoped that the committees will help develop
programs for sustainable management of forest resources still remaining outside the park.
To date, 14 surrounding villages, out of 17 total (including two of the SUA/TU Linkage
Project villages, Kisawasawa and Sanje) have already formed these village committees
and names of nominees have been submitted to the CCS staff (Chengullah 1998). MNP
has not yet implemented conservation committees.
Memorandum of Understanding. Despite UNP's legal status as a National
Park, it is unique because it allows extractive use of the park's resources. Through a
memorandum of understanding between UNP and the District Council, this agreement
allows for the extraction of firewood and the collection of medicinal plants (Chengullah
pers. com., Hoyle 1997). A strict procedure of implementation (e.g., permits), allows
villagers to enter the park two days per week (Friday and Sunday), for the purpose of
collecting firewood (Chengullah 1998, Hoyle 1997). However, no cutting tools are
allowed. Firewood collection is only a temporary provision that will be discontinued
once the agro-forestry program (initiated in 1991) is well established to satisfactorily
provide alternative firewood to the communities (Chengullah 1998). In addition,
TANAPA also issues special permits for the collection of medicinal plants for traditional
healers, the collection of grass, and entry for traditional religious ceremonies (Chengullah
1998, Hoyle 1997). MNP does not currently have a mechanism in place that would allow
for the legal extractive use of the park's natural resources.
Education. UNP has an extensive environmental education program. These
activities, coordinated through CCS, are conducted for various age levels throughout the
community. A number of teaching materials have been prepared (the majority are printed
in Kiswahili), distributed, and made readily available to the local communities. Materials
available have included posters, books, and audio-visual presentations. Guided study
tours are also offered to the local schools at no charge. Guided study tours for local
schools are also currently provided by MNP. Because of the lack of educational
materials, they have not effectively conducted educational outreach programs.
Current State of Affairs
With the pending withdrawal of the SUA/TU Linkage Project and thus USAID
financial support in the four study villages adjacent to UNP and MNP, the long-term
sustainability of community development and park relationships is questionable. The
Linkage Project was instrumental in providing a variety of community development
projects which theoretically should reduce local community animosity and conflicts with
park management and conservation objectives. However, the extent to which this and
other conservation objectives were accomplished is not known. In addition, the
sustainability of village-level activities in light of the withdrawal of financial and
technical assistance and support remains to be seen.
Mkomazi Game Reserve
Since it's gazettement in 1951, there have been a number of suggestions for
alternative uses of the Mkomazi Game Reserve (MGR), other than wildlife conservation
(Anderson 1967, Harris 1972, Watson 1991). Recommendations have included National
Park status, free range grazing, multi-purpose game reserve, cattle ranching and game
cropping, and professional hunting.
National Park. In an April 10, 1965 report, entitled "The Potential of the MGR
as a National Park," Phillip Thresher (member of IUCN) assessed MGR's capacity to
achieve National Park status (Thresher 1965). In his report he recognized the importance
of MGR as an important wildlife refuge, particularly for the oryx, gernuk, elephant,
rhino, and klipspringer. He also recognized the shortcomings of MGR in terms of scenic
value that did not compare to other east African National Parks (e.g., Serengeti and Lake
Manyara) and thus could not attract a steady flow of tourists.
The report recommended that Tanzania National Parks should give no immediate
further consideration to the creation of a new National Park in place of the MGR unless
maintenance and operating expenditures could be met from funds not likely to be
available to it at that time. Another reason for not becoming a National Park was the lack
of available water for human and wildlife consumption. If funding and water supply
concerns could be addressed, MGR may be able to attain National Park status. However,
today it remains a Reserve and a National Park.
Grazing land. Professor Leslie Robinette, an instructor from the College of
African Wildlife Management in Mweka, directed a team of instructors, 33 students, and
representatives from the Tanzania Game Division to complete an assessment of range
conditions and trends within the MGR from March 14-19, 1996 (Robinette et al. 1966).
This report is entitled, "Appraisal of Range Conditions on the Kalimawe Controlled
Area." The study area was that portion of the Kalimawe Control Area (KCA) which
covers approximately 92,000 acres and was a part of the MGR up until 1957 when it was
excised in response to demands for grazing land by the local people (Anderson 1967,
Harris 1972, Robinette et al. 1966).
The findings of this report confirmed the poor to very poor vegetation condition
classifications for the Kalimawe region. It also noted that the only good grazing area
remaining in the KCA lay in the mbugas north and south of Semtula Hill and could
therefore sustain no more than 5,000 cow months of grazing annually. Finally, this report
stopped short of offering a solution to MGR current land-use concerns; it recommended,
however, that "providing additional grazing inside the MGR is not the answer, because
given time it would be overgrazed and denuded also" (Robinette et al. 1966:4).
Multi-purpose game reserve. The "Anderson Report" as it has been commonly
referred to, is more formally entitled, "A Reconnaissance Survey of the Land Use
Potential of Mkomazi Game Reserve and an Appraisal of Factor Affecting Present and
Potential Land Use and Productivity in its Environs" (Anderson 1967). G.D. Anderson
conducted this survey in 1967, under the authority of the Ministry of Agriculture with
assistance from the Research Unit and Land Planning Team of the Ministry at Tengeru.
The objective of the report was to present a factual account of the factors affecting
the present and potential land-use of the MGR. This report provided a list of
recommendations, while the overall concluding points stated that "the Mkomazi must
remain a workable unit with its present boundaries; it must also be developed as a multi-
purpose Reserve with game cropping and visitors contributing to the Reserve..."
(Anderson 1967:37). This report has since become one of the most widely recognized
documents on the land use of the MGR.
Cattle ranching and game cropping. A.C. Parker, Wildlife Services Limited,
Kenya, completed a report that presented the results of two elephant cropping projects in
the MGR in 1969 along with an assessment of the Reserve's overall economic potential.
This report, "Results of Two Elephant Harvests in the MGR, accompanied by
Considerable Background Information Extracted from Previous Research and Synthesis
Efforts," concluded that the "foreseeable monetary returns from cattle far exceed the
wildlife possibilities" (Parker 1969:1). This reports further recommends that a
"detailed assessment of the cattle ranching potential of the MGR should be
undertaken immediately ..., if the results of such assessment were to confirm the
feasibility of beef production, the MGR be degazetted as such and redesignated as
a multiple use area for the exploitation of cattle and game" (Parker 1969:58).
In addition, this report recommended that elephant cropping be maximally exploited on a
sustainable yield basis.
Professional hunting. J. Barry Turner, a Canadian University Services Overseas
(CUSO) volunteer, served a two-year term as Game Management Officer of the MGR
starting September 1, 1969. A review of Turner's monthly and annual progress reports
shows that he supported and possibly advocate professional hunting in the MGR, which
was subsequently introduced on an experimental basis on February 1, 1970 (Turner
Today the MGR's scientific and aesthetic values have practically become
overshadowed by extraneous demands placed upon it (Mangubuli 1992). Recently, the
Reserve has been thrust into the international spotlight and is at the center of an ever-
increasing and volatile scientific, and human-rights debate.
In comparison to many of the more well-known protected areas in East Africa, the
MGR remains a relatively unknown tourist destination, in large part because it does not
support many of the major megafauna species, and it suffers from a lack of aesthetic
appeal compared to other more "stereotypical" images of parks in the region (Coe et al.
1999). Nevertheless, for reasons unrelated to its ecological significance, the MGR has
become a valuable tool for those championing the rights of indigenous people and those
aspiring to protect its threatened ecosystem. Heated debates fueled by local and
international players, using highly questionable reports, papers and websites, pit
misconceptions and hostility surrounding the best land-use of the Reserve against local
communities' customary land right claims.
In light of its past management difficulties, MGR has now embarked on
community-based initiative projects. The details are described below.
Rehabilitation project. In 1989 the Tanzanian government designated MGR as a
National Priority Project (Fitzjohn 1998, MGR 1999a, Mangubuli 1992, Zacharia 1990).
Such designation committed the government to implement and support activities aimed at
restoring the MGR as a significant wildlife area. In light of this recognition, the
Tanzanian government invited Tony Fitzjohn, under the auspices of the Tanzania
Wildlife Division, to lead a program of habitat restoration (MGR 1999a, 1999b, Watson
1991). This was the start of a new partnership that would include the difficult task of
revitalizing a damaged ecosystem. As such, the MGR Rehabilitation Project (Project)
was launched (Watson 1991). This Project has been generously supported by an
extensive network of fundraising efforts on behalf of the George Adamson African
Wildlife Preservation Trusts (Trusts), whose networks extend throughout the United
States, Canada, Europe, and Tanzania. Contributors include small groups of individuals,
corporate sponsors, and charitable institutions. To date, the Trusts have invested over a
million dollars in this undertaking and continues to contribute financial support and
technical assistance to the Project.
This important, yet unique endeavor began the tedious task of rebuilding the
Reserve's infrastructure, reintroducing wildlife, and establishing the MGR Outreach
Programme (MGR 1999a, 1999b). The components of this Project are described below
in greater detail.
Infrastructure. By the late 1980s the Reserve's infrastructure was in a desperate
state of disrepair and neglect (MGR 1999a). During this time, the Tanzanian government
lacked adequate financial resources and was hard pressed to meet the demands of
competing claims on its meager resources (Watson 1991). As a result, MGR was given
low priority and suffered from the lack of manpower, transportation, equipment, and
With Field Director Tony Fitzjohn at the helm of the Project, however, rebuilding
of the infrastructure proposed: clearing roads and airstrips, installing a radio network,
recruiting and equipping game rangers, repairing the electric and solar powered
equipment, remarking portions of the Reserve boundary, identifying and pumping water
sources, and organizing aerial and ground anti-poaching patrols (Fitzjohn 1998).
Endangered species reintroduction. By 1988 the Reserve's wildlife population
was severely threatened by poaching, illegal encroachment, land degradation, and
deliberate burning (MGR 1999a). Poaching in the mid to late 1960s, in part, was led to
the total extermination of the Black Rhino (Diceros bicornis) and the decline of several
other wildlife species in the Reserve (MGR 1999a).
To reintroduce the rhino, in November 1997 the MGR translocated four East
African Black Rhinos from Addo National Park in South Africa, with an additional six
expected (MGR 1999d). In actuality, the Black Rhinos obtained from South Africa were
descendants from a group of seven animals that had been shipped there from Tsavo
National Park in Tanzania in the early 1960s and thus belonged to the subspecies,
Diceros bicornis michaeli (Coe et al. 1999). Shortly after their arrival they were released
into a holding compound within the newly constructed Rhino Sanctuary (Fitzjohn 1998,
MGR 1999a). The Sanctuary, constructed in 1995, covers an area of 43 km2 and is
equipped with an electric fence and security patrol (MGR 1999d). All animals were
subsequently fitted with telemetry transmitters prior to their release from the holding
compound into the sanctuary (Coe et al. 1999, MGR 1999d). To date, the Rhinos are
reported in excellent health and security remains a high priority.
The second reintroduction program was that of the African Wild Dog (Lycaon
pictus lupinus) (Fitzjohn 1998). It was launched in 1997 through a joint program with the
Kenya Wildlife Service (MGR 1999e). Twenty-five wild dogs (15 males and 10 females)
were captured from Maasai Steppe (approximately 100 km from MGR) and placed in
three breeding compounds, one each at Kisima, Lendenai, and Sangito (Coe et al. 1999,
MGR 1999e). Before their release all of the adult dogs were radio-collared, and
subsequent intermittent aerial flights tracked their approximate locations (MGR 1999e).
Also during their first year of captivity, all of the dogs received intensive medical
attention, including on-going vaccinations, blood and serum samplings, and feces
analysis (Fitzjohn 1998). Six adult dogs were released in Tsavo National Park in Kenya,
while the others, including pups, will be used to maintain a breeding stock and released in
a series of staged reintroductions (Coe et al. 1999).
Outreach programme. Also included among the Project's priority was the
establishment of a community-based initiative to assist with conserving biodiversity of
the Reserve through a series of village outreach projects (MGR 1999b).
In 1993, the MGR Outreach Programme (Programme) was launched at the request
of the Tanzanian government (MGR 1999a). The original idea of the Programme was
developed and coordinated by Harrie and Truus Simons; later this responsibility was
assumed by the Tanzanian government and assisted by the Trusts. The goal of this
Programme is to establish community programs for the residents of the villages
surrounding the Reserve. These efforts are a long-term commitment to provide local
communities an opportunity to derive benefits from the Reserve. Needless to say, this is
a major task at hand, especially considering that there are 41 villages and three districts
bordering the Reserve (MGR 1999b).
With funding obtained from the Trusts, several projects have been completed and
include the following: roofing of a regional secondary school, rehabilitation of several
primary schools, expansion of women's groups, improvement of medical dispensaries,
establishment of outreach offices, provision of physiotherapy equipment for disabled
children, employment of a District Game Officer, salary of a teacher, sponsorship of a
teacher to attend a Wildlife College, payment of secondary school fees, and the
sponsorship of the MGR football team (Fitzjohn 1998, 1999, MGR 1999b). The Trusts
have contributed funds to build a secondary Technical and Environmental College in
Kisiwani village. Additional funding is being sought for the completion of school
buildings, construction of the main office and "headmaster's" house, and provision of a
clean water supply for the school facilities and laboratories (Fitzjohn 1998, MGR 1999a).
Future plans include a coordinated effort to focus on literacy and natural resource
education programs and the construction of a local hospital (MGR 1999a).
Ecological research programme. In 1989 the Ministry of Natural Resources and
Tourism and the Tanzania Wildlife Division invited the Royal Geographical Society
(London) to conduct an ecological inventory survey of the MGR (Coe et al. 1998, Habari
za Mkomazi 1995). This request came as a result of increasing concerns about land
degradation, and loss of biodiversity, as well as National Priority Project status given to
the MGR, designating the area for rehabilitation (Coe et al. 1999). In 1994 the Mkomazi
Research Programme was officially established. This was a five-year study with the goal
"to describe the habitats of the MGR in both floral and fauna terms, in order to generate
models which will delineate the factors responsible for their observed patterns of
distribution, abundance and species diversity" (McWilliam and Packer 1998:3). The
ecological inventory of the MGR, including a pilot survey, was conducted between 1993
and 1997, and involved "surveying, sorting, cataloguing, quantifying and mapping of a
variety of ecosystem components" (Coe et al. 1999). Research activities collected
baseline data on the floral and fauna diversity of the MGR (Habari za Mkomazi 1995).
This included collecting data on climate, soil, vegetation, arthropods, vertebrates, and
human aspects of the MGR (Coe et al.1999).
The main objective of the study was to develop a viable management plan to
provide for the long-term conservation and sustainable use of the Reserve, incorporating
both ecological concerns and anthropogenic pressures (McWilliam and Packer 1998).
This project was a large collaborative endeavor with financial investments and other
support obtained from British Airways, British Petroleum Tanzania, British Council,
Land Rover, Sheraton Hotel (Dar es Salaam), Friends of Conservation, Darwin Initiative,
and the Trusts (Habari za Mkomazi 1995).
Current State of Affairs
During the past three years, several events have and probably will continue to
have a dramatic impact on future conservation management decisions, approaches, and
policies for the MGR.
High Court decision
In 1997 consolidated Civil Cases No. 33 of 1994 and No. 33 of 1995 were filed
in the High Court of Tanzania at Moshi (High Court of Moshi 1998, Mustafa 1997). This
suit was filed on behalf of 38 plaintiffs, represented by S.E. Mchome and I.H. Juma of
the University of Dar es Salaam Legal Aid Clinic against the Ministry of Tourism,
Natural Resources and Environment, Director of the Tanzania Wildlife Division, Project
Manager of Mkomazi Game Reserve, and the Attorney General (Mustafa 1997). After
several delays, this case was finally heard before the High Court on June 19, 1998.
According to the judgement filed, the plaintiffs claim: (1) the customary residents
of the MGR are not subordinate to the rights of the wildlife in the MGR, (2) the forceful
eviction or otherwise of the residents of the MGR was not done in accordance with the
law, (3) neither the Fauna Conservation Ordinance Cap. 302 nor the Wildlife
Conservation Act 1974 expressly or implicitly extinguished the customary pastoral land
rights of the Alalilai Lamwasun (expansive plains) pastoral Maasai residents of the MGR,
(4) the exorbitant compounded fines imposed on the evicted pastoral Maasai by the third
defendant were unlawful and unconstitutional, and (5) any other relief deemed fit by the
Court (High Court of Moshi 1998). In this suit the pastoral Maasai asserted their
respective customary land rights over the MGR and testified that their eviction from the
Reserve in 1988 kept them from living where their ancestors had lived. The defendants
represented by the Principal State Attorney denied the plaintiffs' claims. The following
are excerpts of the findings from the Civil Court Case (High Court of Moshi 1998):
First issue. Whether the plaintiffs and their families had customary land rights in
the MGR prior to their eviction.
Finding. The judge ruled that the plaintiffs did have customary land rights in the
Umba Game Reserve (eastern half), the portion of the MGR located in the Lushoto
District, Tanga Region. This was corroborated by a list ofpastoralists compiled by the
former Game Warden, Tanga and Same. However, the testimony provided by David
Anstey (former MGR Game Ranger) was upheld to which evidence on the Same District
of the MGR indicated that there were no customary land rights in this area as the
boundary was altered to exclude them. The judged advised the plaintiffs that the case
should have therefore been pleaded before the High Court of Tanzania at Tanga as the
customary land rights were in the UGR located in Lushoto District.
Second issue. Whether the eviction of the plaintiffs and their families from the
UGR was lawful.
Findings. The judge ruled that the eviction of the plaintiffs and their families
from the Umba section of the MGR was unlawful in that customary land rights were not
properly extinguished within the provisions of the 1967 Land Acquisition Act and Land
Ordinance Cap. 113 before the Reserve's gazettement (establishment) in 1951. In
addition, although the eviction was unlawful, their plea was time barred since the eviction
took place more than ten years previously.
Third issue. Whether by virtue of the forceful eviction the plaintiffs and their
families suffered damages.
Findings. The judge ruled that the plaintiffs were seriously inconvenienced, had
suffered a crisis, and had been evicted from the Reserve without resettlement assistance
in terms of providing alternative land. However, the claim for damages was time barred
under the Law of Limitation Act No. 10/71.
Fourth issue. Whether the plaintiffs and their families were entitled to
alternative land and compensation.
Findings. The judge ruled that they were entitled to alternative land and
compensation. The compensation would redress for the inconvenience, hardship, and
dislocation of the plaintiffs as well as for provide new shelter, foodstuff, domestic gear,
and etc. The judge awarded each of the 38 plaintiffs compensation of 300,000 Tanzanian
Fifth issue. What reliefs were the parties entitled to.
Findings. The judge ruled that the complaint regarding the exorbitant fines for
compounded offences was not proved, since the plaintiffs could have appealed to the
Director of Wildlife. The judge denied a request by the plaintiffs to be returned as lawful
residents of the MGR, for the suit has been overtaken by events.
Finally, the judge issued no declaration regarding whose rights were superior,
customary land rights or rights of wildlife in the MGR (plaintiffs plea for compensation
that their customary land rights had been made subordinate to the rights of wildlife in the
MGR). She also ruled that MGR is a Reserve for wildlife and therefore any customary
land rights had ceased to exist. She ruled that the defendants should relocate the
pastoralist plaintiffs in an area with sufficient grazing land for plaintiffs to resettle on a
self-help basis. A set compensation was paid to the plaintiffs to enable and facilitate their
resettlement, while others who found alternative settlement were not bound to take up
any new settlement offer.
Following the gazettement of MGR in 1951, illegal encroachment concerns have
steadily increased from about the mid 1960s to the present day (Harris per comm.).
Official Tanzanian written reports as well as unofficial documents (e.g., field notes,
diaries, and personal communication) provide definitive information on the increasing
difficulties faced by former Reserve officials and employees in combating illegal
encroachment of people and their livestock.
Reported difficulties include, the lack of available transportation for routine patrol
of the Reserve, low priority given to illegal encroachment cases by the local judicial
officials and game department administrators, and extremely low fines for offenders.
With this backdrop, it is frustrating to report that illegal encroachment continues today,
although the level and thus frequency of occurrence is uncertain. But nevertheless, there
has been personal observation of people with livestock within the Reserve boundary
despite the 1988 eviction ofpastoralists and livestock (pers. corns., D.Anstey 1999 and S.
During the current Information Age, use of the World Wide Web (www) has
experienced phenomenal growth. The technological advances made via the Internet have
become an almost indispensable tool for many individuals seeking pertinent information
on conservation and a multitude of other topics (Collins 2000). Despite the
overwhelming benefit provided via the Internet, determining the accuracy of the
information on the www can be quite difficult. Unfortunately, some of the information
obtained is erroneous, misleading, and based upon unsubstantiated claims.
Today the Internet has become a playground for many advocacy groups who seek
to "inform" the masses. For instance, within the last five years, the Internet has exploded
on the scene for MGR and has since become a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it
has served as an invaluable medium, reaching massive worldwide audiences that were
inaccessible in the past. While on the other hand, the Internet has served as a volatile
battleground where the MGR has become a cause celebre for those advocating human
rights and those wishing to retain its protected status as a game reserve (Coe et al. 1999).
The result is a war of words, often distorted by questionable motives, erroneous truths,
and exaggerated "facts."
In an attempt to comprehend this powerful tool, I summarized a list of "hits" (the
number of web sites encountered) for the MGR. Five search engines were used to review
sites for MGR and Mkomazi, respectively. The results for each search engine are
presented as follows (Table 2). The relevance of this brief analysis highlights how
emerging technologies (via Internet) can thrust a relatively unknown area and issue (e.g.,
MGR) into the global spotlight where its future can be examined, and debated by an
international audience. The resulting benefits and potential negative consequences are
difficult to measure. The impacts of such technology may be fully realized or understood
only after a considerable expanse of time when such impacts can reasonably be assessed,
that is, after the dust has settled. The challenge, however, will be to achieve a defined
level of creditability and sustained quality of information (Collins 2000).
Table 2. Internet searches for the Mkomazi Game Reserve
Search engine MGR Mkomazi
AtlasVisa.com 200 20
Go.com 32 46
GoTo.com 26 48
Lyso.com 14 14
Msn.com 79 138
For MGR, past management problems, development activities, unresolved human
occupancy issues, competing land-use potentials, and internet implications have all
contributed to the current state of affairs. Therefore, taken together, the current political,
ecological, and economic situation can best be described as a "mess." According to the
Merriam-Webster Dictionary (2000), "mess" when used as a noun, is defined as a
"disorderly mass or accumulation, jumble, a confusing state of affairs." By no means is
the use of this term meant to be derogatory or offensive in nature, but when used
properly, it accurately defines the current state of affairs of the MGR.
These three case studies were selected because they provided a discernable
continuum of conservation approaches that incorporated varying degrees of park
management strategies, implementation, enforcement, and community-level participation.
Along this continuum of top-down and bottom-up approaches, the three case studies are
arranged midway between the top-down and community level co-management approach
(Figure 1), with MGR being closer to the top. This is followed by MNP, with UNP being
closer to the co-management approach than the other two.
Along this gradient, co-management can be viewed as a "compromise" or middle
ground for meeting conservation and development goals that involve either local
community input, participation and/or cooperation. The idea behind this approach is to
move beyond the paternalistic approach ofprovisionary services and strict enforcement
to a system whereby immediate tangible benefits are provided to local communities
through their cooperative efforts of sustainable biodiversity conservation.
One of the goals behind this analysis was to provide evidence to suggest that these
three protected areas are making an earnest attempt to move past the rhetoric of
community-based conservation to actual implementation. Although it is too early to
speculate about their success or failure, it is clear that all three of the protected areas are
approaching their individual management challenges with creativity, flexibility,
optimism, and caution.
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION OF SURVEYS AND STUDY TOURS: UDZUNGWA
AND MIKUMI NATIONAL PARKS
This chapter presents the results of surveys taken to assess local attitudes and
conservation awareness among the population adjacent to Udzungwa and Mikumi
National Parks. Participants in the surveys included, park staff, household, village
leaders, and women's group from four communities adjacent to the parks; specifically,
Maharaka, Msongozi, Kisawasawa, and Sanje.
This portion of the study compliments the previous chapter (chapter 4) for in
addition to quantitative data, it provides community-level insight that can be used by each
National Park to review the effectiveness of their current management approaches. Such
a review can be used to guide future management strategies and conservation policies.
A structured face-to-face household survey was conducted in four villages in the
study area, Maharaka, Msongozi, Kisawasawa, and Sanje. Through these surveys, 178
households were asked questions relating to their socio-economic status, knowledge of
conservation, attitude towards the park and conservation, and estimates of crop damage
and animal loss.
Socio-economic and background information
Overall, 44% of all the local people surveyed stated that they had always lived in
their respective village. On average, 29% of the respondents had lived in their present
village at least 21-30 years, while 23% had lived there for more than 40 years (Table 3).
Male-dominated households accounted for 83% of the respondents, with an
average household size of 5 (22.5%), composed typically of two adults and 3 children.
The combined highest education level attained per household was 5-8 years (77.5%),
while over 97% had traveled from their local community to either other villages or cities
(Table 3). Finally, although present employment occupations varied, only 5% had ever
been employed by either National Park (Table 3). However, over 13% of the respondents
in Maharaka had previously worked for Mikumi National Park.
Knowledge of conservation
Each respondent was asked to define the word "conservation." There were no
correct or incorrect answers; the question was used merely to determine if this was a
familiar term. Seventy-five percent defined conservation, whereas 25% did not recognize
the term (Table 4). Access to audio or printed conservation materials was available to
58% of the overall respondents; this information was more readily available to
Kisawasawa and Sanje villages than the other two. While only 15% stated that there was
a conservation group or organization in their area, 43% of the respondents in Kisawasawa
associated the local women's group with conservation efforts in the community.
0 C 00 0 b d
oo (- N
v- m-4 ""( (^
r 00 oo
) 0 0
NC 0 mr- tn
\0 Oc 00040N
0 oo m so
o 8f ~ 'mo
-o I I
CC t ;~
1p 0 I T- 0w 0= 0
\c re- e
id'orj o o