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Conservation and Society
An interdisciplinary journal exploring linkages between society, environment and development
Conservation and Society
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ARTICLE
Year : 2011  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 65-79

Strangers in their own land: Maasai and wildlife conservation in Northern Tanzania


Department of Geography, University of Colorado-Boulder, Boulder, CO, USA

Correspondence Address:
Mara J Goldman
Department of Geography, University of Colorado-Boulder, Boulder, CO
USA
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0972-4923.79194

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Despite dramatic transformations in conservation rhetoric regarding local people, indigenous rights, and community-oriented approaches, conservation in many places in Tanzania today continues to infringe on human rights. This happens through the exclusion of local people as knowledgeable active participants in management, policy formation, and decision-making processes in land that 'belongs' to them and on which their livelihoods depend. In this paper, I focus on a relatively new conservation area designed on the Conservation Trust Model-Manyara Ranch in Monduli district in northern Tanzania. I present this case as a conservation opportunity lost, where local Maasai who were initially interested in utilising the area for conservation, have come to resent and disrespect the conservation status of the area, after having lost it from their ownership and control. I illustrate how the denial of Maasai memories, knowledge, and management practices in Manyara Ranch threaten the future viability of the place both for conservation and for Maasai use. The paper contributes to a growing literature as well as a set of concerns regarding the relationship between conservation and human rights.


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