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Participatory land-use planning and conservation in northern Tanzania rangelands




In developing countries, participatory land-use planning is seen as a panacea to mitigate land-use conflicts and enhance land productivity. This assumption has not been thoroughly tested in wildlife corridors. Three villages were selected for this study. Several methods were used to provide indication of the performance of the plans against their stated objectives of mitigating conflicts and conserving wildlife corridors. Three hundred and fifty-eight households and eight park and extension workers were interviewed. In addition, focus group discussion with the nomadic Barabeig, field assessment and review of land-use plan/general management plan reports were carried out. Results reveal that land-use plans failed to achieve their set objectives. For example, 75% of the households held this view. Major causes of failure were insufficient participation by stakeholders in the planning process, lack of robust, transparent and accountable implementation strategies, inadequacy of qualified staff and lack of ‘holistic approach’ to the planning process. Taking these findings into account, an improved buffer zone land-use planning framework is suggested. For the framework to enhance both conservation and development and to enable policies and legislation, equitable benefit sharing and conservation education, initiation of compensation schemes for depredation caused by wild animals and intensification of patrols are required.