Integrated conservation and development projects and efforts around Amani Nature Reserve, Tanzania, and their effects on livelihoods and forest conservation
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This Master Thesis describes and analyzes the Integrated Conservation and Development Projects operating in villages adjacent to Amani Nature Reserve (ANR). To improve compensation measures and increase equity and effectiveness of conservation policies and practices, various projects have been introduced from NGOs and other agencies. The focus is on improving livelihoods without harming nature, increasing environmental awareness and giving incentives for forest conservation. The paper is assessing these accordingly. The projects in the study are dairy production based on zero grazing, butterfly farming, fish farming, honey production, collection and selling of Allanblackia stuhlmannii seeds, and spice production. The lessons learnt are important factors to consider into forestry policies. A three-month fieldwork was conducted in villages bordering ANR during the fall of 2010. The study is predominantly based on qualitative interviews with villagers, project stakeholders, and key informants. Some quantitative information was also obtained. A total of 121 people were formally interviewed. My findings indicate that all the projects experience various challenges to such a degree that the overall objectives of conservation and livelihood improvement are seriously questioned. Some of the projects such as cattle keeping and butterfly farming improve livelihoods to a certain extent, but the scope, scale and outreach of the projects are not wide enough to include particular segments of the communities, and newcomers struggle to participate. The Allanblackia project is struggling to successfully establish tree nurseries. All projects depend on highly unstable or weak markets for their achievements, creating challenges for participants. Some projects seemed to have increased conservation awareness, even though this feeling was fragile. The projects in the study area are generally struggling in dealing with the actual motivations for using forest resources illegally, and there were little difference between participants and non-participants regarding dependence and use of forest resources. After NGOs formally have stopped funding the project activities, villagers have gradually stopped participating, particularly striking within fish farming and beekeeping. Other projects may experience likewise, as they institutionally and practically have changed somewhat detrimentally after funding has stopped. To various extents, all projects require quite good asset bases, such as larger lands, indicating a situation where already resourceful villagers are able to reap most benefits. Basic requirements for the success of a project, such as education, training, establishing systems for markets and sustainable provision and genetic maintenance of for instance dairy cattle and tilapia fingerlings, seemed to be weak in several of the projects. The projects’ future is therefore uncertain, undermining the long-term efforts of forest conservation and community development. Even though there are some levels of livelihood development and increased conservation awareness, improvements and new ideas are needed to revitalize the projects to sustainably compensate for, and preserve the ANR.
Assessment of projects introduced in buffer zone villages to a strictly protected area, Amani Nature Reserve, and consider their effects on livelihood improvement and forest conservation.