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Conservation and Society
An interdisciplinary journal exploring linkages between society, environment and development
Conservation and Society
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Year : 2007  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 534-561

Conservation, Commerce, and Communities: The Story of Community-Based Wildlife Management Areas in Tanzania's Northern Tourist Circuit

Department of Anthropology, University of Colorado at Denver, Campus Box 103, P.O. Box 173364, Denver, CO 80217-3364, USA

Correspondence Address:
Jim Igoe
Department of Anthropology, University of Colorado at Denver, Campus Box 103, P.O. Box 173364, Denver, CO 80217-3364
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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This article explores the convergence of poverty reduction and con­servation in Tanzania, focusing on the work of transnational conservation organisations. It outlines the ways in which this convergence has been con­ceptualised in the context of large-scale landscape conservation, most notably community-based Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs). We argue that the overriding priorities of large landscape conservation in Tanzania are revalu­ing landscapes in ways that make them desirable and available to private in­vestors, while keeping key wildlife migration corridors free of human habitation. We describe the ways in which these twin priorities actually exacerbate poverty and undermine democracy at the community level through a case study of communities living between Tarangire and Lake Manyara Na­tional Parks in Tanzania's northern tourist circuit. We then discuss how and why these realities are rendered invisible in the discourses and images of transnational conservation. We conclude by proposing alternative approaches that we believe would contribute to improved conservation governance and community prosperity.

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