Conservation as Disturbance: Development, Diversification, and Social Networks near Tarangire National Park, Northern Tanzania Public Deposited

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  • March 22, 2019
  • Baird, Timothy David.
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Geography
  • While the prevailing trend in scholarship on the social dynamics of biodiversity conservation in the developing world has been to focus on the social costs associated with protecting natural resources, some recent studies have identified poverty reduction near parks and protected areas (PAs). Taken together, these studies suggest that socioeconomic constraints as well as opportunities may be present in the areas that border PAs, however little comparative research has addressed how local groups may respond to these factors. By focusing on PAs as centers of uncertainty, upheaval, and disturbance, this dissertation examined social adaptive responses to constraints and opportunities associated with proximity to Tarangire National Park (TNP) in northern Tanzania. I examined six communities in Simanjiro District located at varying distances to TNP to address three primary questions: (1) How have community-level development projects been distributed across the study area since the park was created in 1970? (2) To what extent are households economically diversified in each of the study communities? and (3) How are social networks to spread risk related to livelihood diversification? A mixed methods approach to data collection and analysis was adopted to address these questions. Semi-structured group and stakeholder interviews (n=64) were conducted with local land users, government officials, religious leaders, NGO administrators, school administrators and others living or operating in the study area. Also, a standardized survey of households was conducted with an opportunistic sample of 36 households in each of the 6 study communities (n=216). Lastly, basic infrastructure was geo-coded using a GPS receiver (n>100). Methods of analysis included content analysis of qualitative interviews, simple descriptive statistics of data from interviews and surveys, spatial analysis of infrastructural development, and regression analysis of household survey data. The findings indicate that: (1) infrastructural development and external financial support are greater close to the park compared to distant communities; (2) livelihood diversification is also greater close to the park; and (3) utilization of traditional social networks of exchange is inversely associated with livelihood diversification. These results help to elucidate some of the mechanisms by which communities and households adapt to conservation related constraints and opportunities.
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  • ... in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the Department of Geography.
  • Doyle, Martin W.
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  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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