'Facing conservation' or 'conservation with a human face'? People-park interactions in southern Ethiopia

'Facing conservation' or 'conservation with a human face'? People-park interactions in southern Ethiopia

Author: 
Genaye Tsegaye
Place: 
Oxon
Publisher: 
Taylor & Francis Group
Date published: 
2017
Record type: 
Responsibility: 
Dondeyne, Stefaan, jt. author
Mulugeta Lemenih, jt. author
Abraham Marye, jt. author
Nyssen, Jan, jt. author
Deckers, Jozef A., jt. author
Journal Title: 
Journal of Eastern African Studies
Source: 
Journal of Eastern African Studies, Vol. 11, No. 2, May 2017, pp. 290-309
Abstract: 

Whereas some conservationists argue that 'people-oriented approaches' failed to achieve conservation goals, Nechisar National Park presents a case where 'strict conservation approaches' have at best been only partly successful. Nechisar National Park, heralded as a success in the 1990s, today shows a collapsed population of the endemic Swayne's hartebeest and severe degradation of the emblematic grasslands of the plains. The park is also heavily under pressure from firewood collectors and fish stocks have plummeted. Drawing on the concepts of 'indirect' and 'direct' costs/benefits of conservation areas - as proposed by Richard Bell - we wanted to get beyond the 'strict' versus 'people-oriented' conservation debate. Based on semi-structured interviews (12 women, 4 men) and oral testimonies (19 women, 17 men) we analyse how access to natural resources evolved under different political regimes and conservation strategies. The strict conservation approach resulted in strong opposition against the park. By considering both the 'indirect' costs (such as loss of land) and the 'direct' costs' (such as historical and cultural ties with the land) important insights for a conservation strategy with a 'human face' could be gained. Conservation with a human face will require: first formally involving the local people in the management of the park; second, that the historical rights of the pastoralists and the farmers over the area, as well as the legitimacy of their grievances with regard to the past management, are recognised. Such a new conservation strategy will however require political commitment and strong institutions at all levels.

Language: 
Country focus: 

CITATION: Genaye Tsegaye. 'Facing conservation' or 'conservation with a human face'? People-park interactions in southern Ethiopia . Oxon : Taylor & Francis Group , 2017. Journal of Eastern African Studies, Vol. 11, No. 2, May 2017, pp. 290-309 - Available at: http://library.au.int/facing-conservation-or-conservation-human-face-people-park-interactions-southern-ethiopia