Zanzibar. Photo source: ©© Alecs S.
The sustainable development goals of community conservation in Zanzibar raise more complex issues than just protecting ecosystems. Contingent socio-economic and cultural factors must be taken into account when planning and implementing conservation initiatives if they are to endure, let alone succeed.
The problem investigated by Fred Saunders in his thesis is why community conservation often falls short on its promises to deliver conservation, increase democracy and bring development opportunities to poor people in the rural South. His findings indicate that community conservation projects commonly fail because they are too mired in concern about regulating, or perhaps more accurately constraining, the ‘direct’ relationship between resource use and users.
The thesis argues that participants in community conservation should be seen not just as local rational resource users, as they largely are now, but as people with differentiated socio-economic and cultural interconnections and interests…