Global environmental governance and community-based conservation in Kenya and Tanzania Public Deposited

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  • March 21, 2019
  • Kabiri, Ngeta
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Political Science
  • This study examines the possibilities of executing Community-Based Conservation (CBC) as a viable environmental governance regime. It focuses on the contestations over access and control of natural resources with specific reference to wildlife. These contestations emanate from competing claims over natural resources between the state and the local communities. The study frames these contestations within the context of a property rights paradigm. It inquires as to whether the state in Africa, as presently constituted, can devolve authority over national natural resource control to communities so as to engender a private property right consciousness that the CBC model is premised on. The study contends that African states as they currently exist are unlikely to devolve property rights to local communities in a way that would induce a private property right consciousness. It demonstrates that the interests of the African state in the distributional gains from national natural resources are perhaps too vested for it to devolve power if that devolution would cost it control of these resources. Moreover, there is the factor of the social forces that the state is embedded in and this complicates both its willingness and capacity to devolve wildlife property rights to local communities. Given such predicaments, the study shows that the state is capable of conceding in theory and defecting in practice, thereby undermining the institution of an environmental governance regime that favors CBC. The study thus suggests that accomplishing environmental protection through the CBC model is problematic given the nature of the existing African states. Nevertheless, in spite of the devolution predicaments, the study shows that communities can still accommodate a conservation regime that is not necessarily predatorial, thus suggesting that there may still be some hope for biodiversity conservation even in the absence of the desirable CBC. The study concludes by specifying the conditions under which devolution of property rights in wildlife to local communities could take place in order to engender the private property rights consciousness anticipated by the proponents of CBC.
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  • Newbury, Catharine
  • Open access

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