Welcome to the Global, Area, and International Archive (GAIA), a peer-reviewed publications program. GAIA is an initiative of the division of International and Area Studies, University of California, Berkeley, in partnership with the University of California Press, the California Digital Library, and international research programs across the University of California system. Its aim is to represent the best traditions of regional studies, reconfigured through fresh global, transnational, and thematic perspectives. GAIA volumes are published in both open-access digital and print editions.
Communities, Conservation, and Tourism-Based Development: Can Community-Based Nature Tourism Live Up to Its Promise?
This paper analyzes the opportunities and tensions generated by efforts to use conservation-based tourism as a catalyst for economic development. By exploring how historical legacies position actors and influence relationships between them, characterizing the nature tourism sector and its logic, and examining how liberalizing states are likely to engage with community-based tourism. I situate community-based nature tourism ventures in a broader political economic context. The paper draws from research on the Makuleke Region of Kruger National Park, South Africa to illustrate how these factors influence prospects for community benefit from protected area tourism. Like many other protected areas in Africa, contemporary dynamics in the Makuleke Region are a product of dispossession, forced removal, and conservation. The Makuleke, who consider the land their ancestral home, were forcibly removed in the late 1960s so that the land could be incorporated into Kruger National Park. They regained title in 1998, and have subsequently pursued economic development through conservation. While co-managing the Region with SANParks, the parastatal that manages all national protected areas, the Makuleke have sought to develop a tourism initiative that will produce economic self reliance and development. In adopting this strategy, the Makuleke are engaging with local, national, and international political economies over which community actors have limited room for maneuver.
This case brings three factors to light. First, the legacy of fortress conservation may make it more difficult for community actors to engage with their partners on an equal basis. Second, sectoral attributes of tourism pose special challenges to community based natural resource management initiatives; it is not clear that tourism projects will produce substantial benefits. Third, the coincidence of the shift to community based natural resource management with liberalization and democratization has altered the landscape on which all conservation efforts are situated. The confluence of these factors has created an environment in which state protected areas, community controlled conservation areas, and private game parks are competing for domestic and international tourist revenue. While nature tourism ventures hold substantial economic promise for some communities, tourism is not a panacea. Actors engaged in community based natural resource management initiatives should carefully assess the risks, challenges, and opportunities posed by tourism ventures.
Communal approaches to natural resource management have developed since the 1980s from a relatively untested set of conceptual stances to achieve the status of conventional wisdom in much development discourse. However, communal approaches have also come under attack, both from donor agencies impatient with the lack of evidence of immediate and positive results, and from scholarship in the narrative-counternarrative mode. The topic also has broader significance for the evolution of governance in Africa. What is happening in communal approaches to natural resource management provides in large measure a surrogate picture of elements of this evolution.
This article offers a brief and selective survey of the origins, objectives, and limitations of communal approaches to natural resource management, and it offers five characteristics deemed essential for the future development of this body of work. It also functions as a commentary on other essays in the UCIAS Digital Collection arising from the 2004 Breslauer Symposium on Natural Resource Issues in Africa.
Although terrestrial parks and reserves have existed in Tanzania since colonial times, marine protected areas are a much newer endeavor in natural resource conservation. As the importance of marine conservation came to the international forefront in the 1990s, Tanzania experienced a rapid establishment and expansion of marine parks and protected areas. These efforts were crucial to protecting the country’s marine resource base, but they also had significant implications for the lives and fishing patterns of local artisanal fishermen. Terrestrial protected areas in Tanzania have historically been riddled with conflict and local contestation, bringing about numerous debates on the best ways to involve rural residents in conservation planning efforts to establish new “community-based conservation” initiatives. Because marine protected areas do not have the same conflict-ridden history as terrestrial conservation in Tanzania, marine conservation programs present a new opportunity to pilot innovative techniques to involve local communities in protecting and managing their natural resources. The islands of Zanzibar are home to four community-oriented marine protected areas, each of which is sponsored by an external agency, and each of which involves some form of local community component. However, a number of issues arise when working at the community level, requiring nuanced attention to a variety of local factors. The Menai Bay program in southern Zanzibar provides an excellent example of the complexity of factors involved, which can result in dramatically different village-level responses to a single program. These factors include, but are not limited to, differences in geography and infrastructure, the potential for tourism development and alternative sources of income, pre-existing community structures within each village, and the relationship of conservation program managers to the Zanzibari government. While these factors are complex and difficult to predict, it is essential that conservation programs work to take them into account when trying to establish community-based marine conservation programs that will be sustainable in the long term.
When the U.S.-Korea military alliance began to deteriorate in the 2000s, many commentators blamed "anti-Americanism" and nationalism, especially among younger South Koreans. Challenging these assumptions, this book argues that Korean activism around U.S. relations owes more to transformations in domestic politics, including the decentralization of government, the diversification and politics of civil society organizations, and the transnationalization of social movements.
In just three decades, Great Britain’s place in world politics was transformed. In 1945, it was the world’s preeminent imperial power with global interests. By 1975, Britain languished in political stasis and economic recession, clinging to its alliance with the United States and membership in the European Community. Amid this turmoil, British intellectuals struggled to make sense of their country’s decline and the transformed world in which they found themselves. This book assesses their responses to this predicament and explores the different ways British thinkers came to understand the new international relations of the postwar period.