Governance of Protected Areas in the Serengeti Ecosystem, Tanzania




Kisingo, Alex Wilbard

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The purpose of this dissertation is to assess the contribution of protected areas (PAs) to the attainment of both conservation and social outcomes including poverty reduction within the Greater Serengeti Ecosystem in Tanzania. The research focused on the role of governance as a factor influencing the attainment of these goals. This research was carried out in the Serengeti, Ngorongoro and Meatu districts of Tanzania in 2012. Two villages were selected from each district using stratified sampling techniques to obtain villages bordering many PAs including the core PA (i.e. Serengeti National Park). A mixed methods approach was used in this research which comprised of quantitative interviews with 389 households, key informants interviews with 88 stakeholders, 12 focus group discussion and document analysis. The study used a quantitative questionnaire to measure the effectiveness of governance as perceived at the household level. The questionnaire yielded 10 governance factors that accounted for 85% percent of the explained variance using factor analysis. The findings indicated weak governance particularly for Ikorongo-Grumeti Game Reserve. When examined across the ecosystem, weak linkages were evident between the PA actors and other actors such particularly at local community level. There was no difference in governance scoring between community-based PAs and the more traditional top-down government owned PAs. Furthermore, local communities were not adequately represented in PA governance despite being important actors. Findings indicated mixed results in terms of conservation and social outcomes. Results indicate implied relationship between mixed outcomes and weak governance with weak outcomes thought to be related to weak governance. This study recommends adaptations in the Serengeti ecosystem particularly the re-engineering of the ecosystem governance structure to bring on-board more actors in decision-making and management processes and actions through increased linkages between governance actors, governance structures and processes.



Conservation outcomes, Social outcomes, Serengeti ecosystem, Protected area governance