Citation
We don't know that we have been left behind

Material Information

Title:
We don't know that we have been left behind the neoliberalization of conservation in the Burunge Wildlife Management Area, Northern Tanzania
Creator:
Croucher, Elizabeth Ann
Place of Publication:
Denver, Colo.
Publisher:
University of Colorado Denver
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
xi, 154 leaves : ; 28 cm

Thesis/Dissertation Information

Degree:
Master's ( Master of Arts)
Degree Grantor:
University of Colorado Denver
Degree Divisions:
Department of Anthropology, CU Denver
Degree Disciplines:
Anthropology
Committee Chair:
Igoe, James J.
Committee Members:
Brett, John
Brockington, Daniel

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Wildlife management areas -- Social aspects -- Tanzania ( lcsh )
Conservation of natural resources -- Tanzania -- Burunge Wildlife Management Area ( lcsh )
Burunge Wildlife Management Area (Tanzania) ( lcsh )
Genre:
bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

Notes

Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 149-154).
General Note:
Department of Anthropology
Statement of Responsibility:
by Elizabeth Ann Croucher.

Record Information

Source Institution:
|University of Colorado Denver
Holding Location:
Auraria Library
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
268661852 ( OCLC )
ocn268661852
Classification:
LD1193.L43 2008m C76 ( lcc )

Full Text
WE DONT KNOW THAT WE HAVE BEEN LEFT BEHIND:
THE NEOLIBERALIZATION OF CONSERVATION
IN THE BURUNGE WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT AREA,
NORTHERN TANZANIA
by
Elizabeth Ann Croucher
B.A., Catholic University of America, 1981
A thesis submitted to the
University of Colorado Denver
in partial fulfillment
of the requirements for the degree of
Master of Arts
Anthropology
2008


2008 by Elizabeth Ann Croucher
All rights reserved.


This thesis for the Master of Arts
degree by
Elizabeth Ann Croucher
has been approved
by
(r '
Date
Daniel Brockington


Croucher, Elizabeth Ann (M.A., Anthropology)
We Dont Know That We Have Been Left Behind: The Neoliberalization of
Conservation in the Burunge Wildlife Management Area, Northern Tanzania
Thesis directed by Assistant Professor James J. Igoe
ABSTRACT
Poverty alleviation policies in Tanzania are focused on market development and
local economic transformations as primary contributors to the countrys growth.
These policies are intertwined with government legislation creating Wildlife
Management Areas (WMAs) near protected areas which encourage local people to
use village land for ecotourism activities which will add value to natural resources
while providing local opportunities for expanded livelihood options. Actively
promoted by international conservation NGOs, WMAs are marketed as a people-
friendly way to protect wildlife while encouraging conservation-friendly livelihood
strategies. This study uses qualitative ethnographic methods to determine the
effects of the Burunge WMA in northern Tanzania on people living in nearby
villages. Results indicate that the needs and priorities of local people were not
adequately or equitably identified and that WMAs actually reregulate land and
resources in a way that allows external stakeholders to gain control of village
assets, exclude local people, and capitalize on newly available economic
opportunities. Moreover, because WMAs merge economic and conservation
objectives in a way that is consistent with both the global neoliberal framework and
powerful Western images and beliefs about nature and consumption, the rhetoric
regarding this newest form of community-based conservation has been transformed
into an officially legislated truth that is difficult to challenge. Suggestions for


countering this discourse and for future research into the effectiveness of
community-based conservation as a viable mechanism for environmental protection
and economic development are offered.
This abstract accurately represents the content of the candi
recommend its publication.
Signed


DEDICATION PAGE
To Lance, my favorite son.


ACKNOWLEDGMENT
First and foremost, many thanks to my advisor, Jim Igoe, for his guidance and
support throughout this endeavor. I have learned more from working with Jim than
I could ever have hoped for, and I am forever indebted to him for allowing me to
invite myself to Tanzania, live with him and his wonderful family, and share in his
research opportunities. Many thanks also to Lengai Mbamoti and Lobulu Sakita,
my field assistants and translators, without whom my experiences in the field
would have been much more difficult and far less productive. Thank you to Dan
Brockington and John Brett for their expertise in reviewing my thesis and offering
valuable recommendations to improve it. Although I cannot thank them in person,
I would like to acknowledge the assistance and kindness of all the individuals in
Minjingu, Vilima Vitatu, Mswakini Chini, Mswakini Juu, and Oltukai who took
valuable time out of their days to be interviewed. My heart goes out to everyone in
these villages in their struggles to build better lives for themselves and their loved
ones. Finally, thanks to my friends and family for their amazing support and
especially to my son Lance who has unhesitatingly encouraged me to follow my
dreams and not look back.


TABLE OF CONTENTS
Figures..................................................x
Tables............................. .....................xi
CHAPTER
1. INTRODUCTION..........................................1
2. WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT AREAS AND THE HISTORY OF
CONSERVATION IN TANZANIA..............................15
3. THE LEGAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE STRUCTURE OF
WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT AREAS.............................36
4. THERES A PLACE WHERE ANIMALS LIVE AND WE ARENT
ALLOWED TO GO THERE. ITS CALLED THE WMA..............52
We are now a village inside a Park!..............55
Conservation and the Community of Minjingu.........68
Minjingu and the Practical Realities of
Participatory Conservation.........................74
Displacement for Conservation......................83
This is a war, and unfortunately it is a war against people
who understand the law much better than we do.....93
5. THE BUSINESS OF CONSERVATION AND THE BUSINESS
OF BUSINESS...........................................96
Virtualisms, Reregulation and Territorialization in the Burunge
Wildlife Management Area.........................96
viii


6. CONCLUSION.............................................113
APPENDIX
A. METHODS................................................123
The Setting: Minjingu and Vilima Vitatu.............124
Research Design and Qualitative Methods.............127
Data Collection Methods...........................130
Semi-Structured Interviews......................130
Additional Informants...........................133
Documentary Investigation.......................136
Data Analysis.....................................136
Study Limitations.................................138
Additional Data Collected.........................141
B. SEMI-STRUCTURED INTERVIEW GUIDE........................144
C. ACRONYMS...............................................148
BIBLIOGRAPHY...................................................149
IX


LIST OF FIGURES
Figure
2.1 The Research Area....................................................30
2.2 The Burunge WMA......................................................34
4.1 Villages, Roads and Parks in the Burunge Area........................60
x


LIST OF TABLES
Table
A.l Distribution of Interviews by Gender, Village, and Sub-Village.......134
A.2 Immigration to the Study Area........................................134
xi


CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION
A friend once told me that research is a journey, a passage that can take you
places you have never been before, not just geographically, but also intellectually
and emotionally. It can challenge you and shift the foundation of who you are right
out from under you. But it can also transform and inspire you if you stay open to
possibilities and new ways of thinking. To do this, my friend advised, you have to
learn as much as you can about what you will be investigating, and then be
prepared to abandon everything you have learned once you get to the field. This is
because fieldwork rarely goes the way you planned, and what you end up finding
out from your research may be quite different from what you expected to learn.
But more importantly, what you think you understand when you start your journey
is almost never the same as what you know at the end.
In January, 2006,1 went to Tanzania to study community-based
conservation. I spent five months learning about the Burunge Wildlife
Management Area (WMA) which is located in the northern part of the country
between two national parks, Tarangire and Lake Manyara. Simply put, a WMA is
a portion of village common land that is set aside for conservation and for
environmentally-friendly economic ventures, like ecotourism, which are meant to
1


protect wildlife while they generate income to help alleviate local poverty. I knew
when I started my research that international conservation NGOs had been focusing
much of their attention on the impacts of protected areas on local communities and
on the importance of local support for long-term conservation plans. As such,
efforts have been made to integrate traditional fortress conservation approaches1
with programs to increase social equity by including local people in the process and
application of conservation and by providing benefits to communities directly
affected by conservation benefits such as limited use of resources, sharing in the
profits generated by protected areas, and being provided services and assistance
from protected area employees (Barrow et al. 2001; Bergin 2001; IUCN 2004).
Since a WMA is established on village-owned land and at the request of village
residents, I thought that perhaps it would be a good example of how a community-
based conservation program can actually accomplish conservation goals without
increasing the vulnerability of already marginalized people.
To find out if this was correct, I first spent time examining the legal and
administrative aspects of WMAs so I could understand how they are supposed to
work. I also took classes at the College of African Wildlife Management and
joined students on multi-day field trips to villages and parks to learn about how
1 Fortress conservation, or the national park model of conservation, revolves around the idea that
wilderness is naturally... free of human beings and their activities, but also that people must be
forcibly excluded from nature in order to save it (Igoe 2004). In Chapter 2 I will explain more about
fortress conservation and its role in Tanzanias conservation history, and I will discuss how the
vision of this model continues to inform the practice of conservation in Tanzania to the present day.
2


communities are involved in conservation initiatives like WMAs. Since I wanted
to explore the specific effects of the Burunge WMA on people living in
participating villages, I interviewed local residents and village officials about their
experiences with the WMA and I went to village meetings where the WMA was a
central topic. I had numerous opportunities, in both formal and informal settings,
to listen to representatives of conservation NGOs and officials of the District in
which the Burunge WMA is located explain why conservation is so important for
Tanzanias citizens, not just its wildlife, and I heard these same spokespeople talk
about how the Burunge WMA was going to be such a good thing for people living
in the area. Finally, I even got to see what conservation looks like from a tourists
perspective by spending two weeks on a safari with my son at the end of the five
months, traveling again through the same area (although in somewhat more
luxurious conditions). At the end of it all, I could see clearly how WMAs have
become a popular medium for participatory conservation, local economic
development, and poverty alleviation in Tanzania, and just as clearly how the
Burunge WMA was directly and negatively affecting the livelihoods and culture of
local people. This thesis will describe those effects and clarify why, despite official
rhetoric that predicts a vastly different outcome in a WMA, the effects that I
observed are really the outcomes that we should expect.
Officially, it appeared that support for WMAs was enthusiastic and
unqualified. WMAs appear to embody the positive aspects of both conservation
3


and development, and they serve as a vehicle for the benefits that can arise when
the objectives from these two imperatives are combined. From a conservation
perspective, as environmentalists have come to recognize that ecosystems do not
follow man-made political boundaries the emphasis of conservation has shifted to
the protection of large-scale ecological processes that will address the fundamental
causes of biodiversity loss more effectively than a narrow focus on specific
localities or species. For this reason, conservation initiatives in Tanzania have
moved outside of the geographic islands that most national parks have become and
into the surrounding landscape. Since WMAs are typically located near or adjacent
to established protected areas, they provide physical links from parks and reserves
to community conservation zones, thereby encompassing more of the local
ecosystem, ensuring that natural migration routes are kept open for wildlife, and
enriching the vitality of biodiversity.
From a development perspective, one that is focused on poverty alleviation,
WMAs are a natural convergence of biodiversity conservation and economic
growth, drawing tourists by appealing to Western ideals of nature and wilderness
while using the money those tourists bring to improve the lives of the people who
have made parts of that wilderness possible. Enriching the vitality of biodiversity
and making it more accessible to tourists generates opportunities for local people to
economically benefit, moderating concerns about involving those who are directly
affected by conservation in its implementation and management (community-based
4


conservation) while giving life to a vision that conservation can play an important
role in individual, community, and national prosperity, especially in impoverished
countries (conservation is good business). In a place like Tanzania, where
protected areas cover nearly 30% of the countrys surface area and tourism
accounts for 17.5% of the annual GDP (URT 2008), pursuing environmentally-
friendly economic ventures is strongly encouraged as a more sustainable use of
scarce resources, and establishing a WMA is now considered the most practical
way for local people to capitalize on the value of those resources as coveted
commodities in a global tourist market.
y
As a model for neoliberal conservation ideals, one that is eagerly promoted
by the Tanzanian government and transnational conservation NGOs, WMAs are
designed to ensure that wildlife is protected by the same people who stand to gain
from that protection. They are presented as a strategy for devolving responsibility
for wildlife management, and access to its associated income, to local communities
after they are assisted in legally securing user rights2 3 to wildlife outside of
protected areas (URT 1998: §3.3.4v). By giving them control over natural
resources, WMAs afford local people the opportunity to pursue livelihood options
2 Neoliberalism includes the commodification of resources which previously had no monetary value
and the appropriation of these resources under the mantle of free markets. I will discuss
neoliberalism in detail in Chapter 5.
3 User rights include the right to use wildlife resources in a WMA and enter into investment
agreements with the private sector for wildlife utilization and investment in the WMA (URT 2005:
§3 & Parts II & IV).
5


that add value to those resources, options that include payment for their use by
safari companies and other investors. As local residents participate in more
sustainable and profitable management of their own land, WMAs demonstrate that
conservation can be a viable form of land use in rural areas. At the same time,
tourists get to enjoy nature as they imagined it would be, and wildlife is protected
for future generations.
Yet, as I listened to what villagers had to say about the practical effects of
the Burunge WMA on their lives and livelihoods I learned that, for them, it was
something very different from what it was supposed to be. Despite the enthusiasm
and official support surrounding the Burunge WMA, my research found that local
participation, transparency, and consensus were illusory. I discovered that most
people in the villages affiliated with the WMA did not really understand what it
was. Moreover, although selected villagers had attended government and NGO
sponsored seminars held to explain the particulars of establishing a WMA, most
people had not participated in the creation of the Burunge WMA, nor were they
benefiting from it in any way. Many villagers had lost access to resources critical
for maintaining their livelihoods, and some villagers had actually been displaced
from their homes when the WMA was established and were living a precarious
existence on the fringes of the communities. Finally, the much flaunted investment
opportunities, which should have been providing cash to replace direct resource
use, had not transpired. In fact, for the villages involved with the Burunge WMA,
6


cumbersome regulatory requirements and manipulation by powerful vested
interests had made the likelihood of any real local economic progress doubtful
indeed a situation that became more apparent as villagers began to realize just
how much land and resources they had to surrender to be a part of that progress.
The inconsistencies between what the Burunge WMA is supposed to be and
what its tangible effects have actually been for local people are obscured by a
narrative that validates and encourages that convergence of biodiversity
conservation and economic growth. This union is accepted as both natural and
necessary while its practical consequences are effectively ignored or even actively
concealed by those stakeholders bent on spinning the narrative. Grounded in
historical precedent that defines and circumscribes what conservation is in modern-
day Tanzania, it revolves around the construction of an image of African
wilderness that is separate from people, one that has been carefully crafted and
marketed to tourists by travel companies, government agencies and conservation
NGOs. This image is reinforced by the ongoing production of virtual experiences
for these tourists, experiences which give them the Africa they expect to see the
only Africa they are actually allowed to see (my safari experience made this
embarrassingly clear) but one that does not actually exist for Africans. In this
Africa, one that has been created for tourists, local people are a peripheral part of
the landscape; they are only visible to the extent that their activities do not detract
from the tourist experience, and they are only important as long as their local
7


economies contribute to the global economy that makes these experiences possible.
In other words, their activities must enhance the economic value of the landscape
while they complement and advance that vision of wild Africa.
To this end, their subsistence-based livelihoods must be converted into ones
more attractive to foreign tourists certainly in terms of the visible impact those
livelihoods have on the landscape (after all, tourists come to Tanzania to see
wildlife and wilderness, not poor farmers and scrawny cattle) but also with respect
to the compatibility of those livelihoods with a market economy. This
transformation is set in motion by the reregulation of their communally-owned
resources into tradable commodities (Castree 2008), making them available for sale
to consumers with ready cash. For the villages in my study area, the tradable
commodity is wildlife and it is only valuable and marketable to the extent that it
can be protected for tourists and put on display for their consumption. This kind of
protection is most easily accomplished through internal policies of territorialization
(Vandergeest and Peluso 1995) that permit and oblige the inclusion and exclusion
of certain activities and people within distinct geographic areas. The result is a
literal partitioning of land into what Ferguson (2006: 48) refers to as selective
zones of exclusion where resources, as well as people, can be controlled for the
sake of more universal concerns like the environment and economic growth, and
often in the name of the very people being controlled. The Burunge WMA is just
such a zone. The focus there is on the value of nature and wildlife as marketable
8


goods, on the economic incentives that are available to those local people who have
the ability to appreciate and the initiative to act upon the enterprise potential of
their ecosystem, and on the role that conservation can play to help make all this a
reality. The fact that those local people must actually relinquish control of their
land and resources in order to benefit from that untapped enterprise potential is
glossed over, or even concealed. Ideals of democracy, participation and benefit-
sharing notwithstanding, the creation of a WMA ultimately redefines a village
landscape to suit a business agenda, one that requires residents to become
responsibilized individuals accountable for preserving the value of their
landscape even while their relationship with and access to that landscape is legally
reconstituted (Goldman 2001) and effectively severed.
This notion of separation is everywhere in Tanzania from the literal
enclosure of land and property, complete with guards and guns to let some people
in and keep others out; to more subtle kinds of disconnection, like the one
evidenced by my safari truck-mate who asked me to stop talking about how
difficult life is for people living outside protected areas lest I ruin his vacation.
The virtual and physical segregation of people and nature, and people and people,
is presented to foreigners and native Tanzanians alike as something that is both
normal and necessary, and the moral and practical consequences of these divisions
are not often questioned. In this presentation, humans can be generally accepted as
part of ecological systems and even part of the landscape while their actual
9


relationships with the environment, and the needs and rights of individuals who
depend on the environment for their daily needs, can be discounted or ignored.
This is especially true for developing states where large parts of the population still
live in rural areas and are dependent on natural resources for survival, but where
the actions of these states are often constrained by externally-driven financial and
environmental commitments that ultimately determine how those resources can be
used, and who gets to use them.
For instance, because Tanzanias current poverty alleviation strategy
(MKUKUTA)4 is directly linked to its UN Millennium Development Goal
commitments, the countrys leaders are all but required to direct their attention to
meeting time-bound and quantifiable national economic goals that may not actually
reflect any tangible local economic progress. MKUKUTA specifically recognizes
the value of wildlife and conservation ventures in contributing to the countrys
sustainable development, and it calls for collaboration among local citizens, the
private sector and development partners in decentralizing environmental economic
activities so that those citizens who are most affected by conservation policies can
participate in the financial benefits that can arise from their implementation.
WMAs are seen as a principal instrument for realizing these kinds of alliances.
However, local development is merely one element of the economic
4 MKUKUTA is the Swahili acronym for Tanzanias National Strategy for Growth and Reduction of
Poverty (URT 2005a and 2005b).
10


transformations envisioned by MKUKUTA, and the formation of a WMA
ultimately redirects the economic ambitions of rural communities toward the
realization of broader, national objectives. So, while free enterprise is promoted as
the axis around which conservation agendas and poverty alleviation campaigns
should converge, a convergence which suggests that financial and environmental
goals are equally achievable everywhere and by everyone, in fact the countrys
poorest citizens can wind up separated from their land and resources even as they
become the model for participatory conservations role in Tanzanias economic
expansion.
By keeping the focus on the bigger picture, one that successfully unites
seemingly unrelated imperatives to protect the environment, make money, and end
poverty, the implicit and literal kinds of separation that are inherent in a WMA
become an essential prerequisite for, and an accepted side-effect of, reaching these
goals, even as their existence is never publicly acknowledged.5 Detaching people
from their resources in order to protect and enhance the value of those resources is,
then, not only justifiable but essential in a world where only a limited number of
resources are available to accomplish a wide variety of presumably equally
important objectives. Likewise, reregulation and territorialization of local land and
5 Mosse (2004) argues that, rather than practice being produced by policy and regardless of the
actual effects that result from practice, development actors must always maintain coherent
representations of their actions as products of the policy they are charged with implementing. The
ethnographic question then, according to Mosse, is not whether a project succeeds, but how success
is produced. This is a question that I will address in Chapter 5.
11


resources become necessary parts of a process for mainstreaming these people into
the global economy even while the consequences of this process are obscured by
ambiguous administrative constraints and ambitious marketing campaigns that
encourage green consumption but discourage close scrutiny of the means by which
green commodities are made available, and by whom. The only task that remains
is to convince local people, like the ones involved with the Burunge WMA, that
nature is not being protected from them but for them and to ensure that while local
authorization for community-based conservation is obtained as required, local
involvement is consigned to a place less likely to interfere with more far-reaching,
and therefore more important, concerns.
The results of my research show that, for the villages which were part of the
Burunge WMA, the structures designed to provide transparency and include local
people actually operated quite well without them. Villagers recognized that their
participation was more symbolic than real and they understood that their continued
involvement was simply not necessary to maintain the illusion of participation.
Although many people had been hopeful that the WMA would provide much
needed benefits, they did not seem all that surprised when they were, in fact,
forgotten as the WMA process unfolded and essentially took on a life of its own.
For them, this was simply more proof that conservation is ultimately incompatible
with their livelihood priorities. As a conservation strategy that requires significant
diminution of the local resource base and more limited access to land, conditions
12


that contributed to these communities impoverishment in the first place, the
Burunge WMA produced effects that were direct and acute but still rather easily
disregarded by its most vocal proponents international conservation NGOs,
private and corporate interests, and the Tanzanian government. This thesis will
describe these effects and outline the reasons why they are so different from the
outcomes put forth by these proponents. To do this, I will begin by briefly situating
WMAs in an historical context with respect to Tanzanias conservation policy
before and after the countrys independence. In Chapter 3,1 will provide details
about the administrative structure and legal nature of WMAs as outlined in various
government regulations, policies and guidelines. Chapter 4 will present an
ethnography of the effects of the Burunge WMA on the residents of two villages,
Minjingu and Vilima Vitatu. I will recount how residents understood WMAs in
terms of transparency, participation, and benefits and compare this to the realities
they were facing when I left the field. Chapter 5 will discuss WMAs with respect
to reregulation and territorialization and demonstrate how these fundamental
processes are obscured by the administrative and technical requirements with which
villages must contend, by the powerful ambitions of better-positioned stakeholders,
and even by the all-important expectations of foreign tourists. Finally, Chapter 6
will conclude by highlighting the lessons learned from this research and offering
suggestions for future research into the effectiveness of community-based
13


conservation as a viable mechanism for environmental protection and economic
development.
14


CHAPTER 2
WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT AREAS AND
THE HISTORY OF CONSERVATION IN TANZANIA
Wildlife Management Areas are presented as a redefinition of conservation-
an innovative approach that necessitates community involvement while focusing on
the value of wildlife as a unique natural resource that can, if properly developed
and managed, play an integral role in Tanzanias economic growth. Because they
require local participation and local management, WMAs are by definition distinct
from a traditional fortress conservation paradigm premised on the exclusion of
local people a paradigm around which Tanzanias colonial and post-colonial
conservation history has revolved. As a model for participatory conservation, a
new standard that operates outside protected area boundaries and independent of
protected area constraints, WMAs are seemingly removed from that history.
However, they are structurally and ideologically derived from the same kinds of
fortress conservation frameworks that produced protected areas like Serengeti, the
countrys first national park and the prototype for all other parks gazetted in
Tanzania. These frameworks are direct legacies of colonial land laws which were
premised on state control and the protection of external interests, concerns which
have remained largely intact since Tanzanias independence in 1961. Indeed, these
15


concerns have become even more magnified and entrenched as economic and
political liberalization have paved the way for Tanzanian and foreign elites to
impose new kinds of control on what are now lucrative conservation resources,
control which is far more insidious but equally as repressive. Since conservation is
now enhanced by a profit motive, the current argument is that nature and wildlife
must be kept separate from people not just to protect it but also to protect its value
as an economic resource. But even though the outcome for local people is the same
as a park a boundary is imposed to keep them out of an area they used to be in -
their exclusion is made to appear voluntary. In the end, although a WMA is
packaged to look like a different kind of conservation, one that is participatory,
equitable, and sensible, its effects make it essentially a modem-day extension of the
traditional fortress conservation paradigm. And efforts to dissociate WMAs from
this paradigm serve not only to deny the historical context that gave them life, a
context fraught with conflict, but also to disallow the possibility of adverse effects
from what is deemed an ideal alternative to conventional forms of exclusionary
conservation.
Conservation in Tanzania has always been about wildlife. An
internationally recognized setting for biologically-rich habitats and unique
concentrations of wildlife, the country has an extensive network of protected areas,
including national parks, game reserves, and game-controlled areas, dedicated
16


solely to the protection of its wildlife resources.6 Unlike parks in North America,
which were created either to keep natural resources out of private hands or to
preserve vast expanses of natural beauty (Nash 2001), protected areas in Tanzania
were established for the express purpose of protecting wildlife from natives so that
it could be directly or indirectly exploited by non-natives. The first game reserves,
demarcated in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, were essentially hunting blocks
set aside for the use of foreign settlers and wealthy tourist hunters. These areas
were chosen specifically for their concentrations of megafauna, and the protection
of resident wildlife was not intended to benefit native inhabitants who, it was
believed, lacked the capacity to appreciate the practical or aesthetic value of the
natural world. Instead, forest and game laws enacted by colonial authorities sought
to promote conservation efforts that would directly benefit settlers and tourist
hunters on land that was often considered economically useless (especially in terms
of agriculture) and essentially uninhabited. To the extent that an indigenous
presence was acknowledged, it was usually not associated with wildlife in
meaningful or positive ways. Moreover, traditional land use practices, such as
firewood collection, coordinated herding systems, and controlled fires, which were
successfully employed by indigenous groups to maintain landscapes and their
6 National parks prohibit human settlement and resource use; game reserves allow hunting on a
permit basis but no human habitation; game-controlled areas allow limited farming, grazing and
controlled hunting (Goldman 2003).
17


related ecological systems were largely ignored and later criminalized by colonial
authorities (Goldstein 2005; Igoe 2004; Neumann 1998).
National parks as we know them in the West did not exist in Tanzania until
after World War II when international conservation groups concerned about the
future of African wildlife and the effects of growing European settlement,
commercial exploitation of game, and increased hunting by elite foreign sportsmen
called for the official establishment of parks reminiscent of the Yellowstone
n
model. In keeping with this model, one based on the Western notion of parks as
pristine, uninhabited wildernesses, native and tourist hunting was forbidden inside
newly gazetted national parks, and human settlement, at least by African humans,
was officially prohibited.7 8 Accordingly, indigenous groups that still remained in
these areas were removed or, when allowed to remain, were required to live
7 The membership of these conservation groups consisted primarily of socially and politically elite
members of the British and American public. These individuals had connections to colonial
governments and personal interests in preserving their access to big-game hunting, a pastime which
required that wildlife be safeguarded inside parks so it would be available to them outside parks.
Indeed, many game reserves in Tanzania are located immediately adjacent to national parks.
Hunting, as both a conservation strategy and an economic strategy, is still strongly encouraged in
Tanzania.
8 For non-African humans, especially conservationists, the restrictions on settlement were rather
more lax. For instance, Bernard Grizmek, founder of Frankfurt Zoological Society, lived inside
Serengeti for many years after he called for the removal of all human beings (black and white) from
the park. He is buried along with his son on the rim of Ngorongoro Crater (Igoe 2004). Tony
Fitzjohn, field director of the Tony Fitzjohn/George Adamson Wildlife Preservation Trust, still lives
inside Mkomazi Game Reserve, although indigenous pastoralists in the Reserve area were
permanently evicted by July, 1988 (Brockington 2002).
18


traditionally (Igoe 2004).9 In due course, pressure from Western conservation
groups resulted in the relocation of all indigenous groups from inside Tanzanias
national parks and the eventual elimination of indigenous access rights to park
resources.
The progressive alienation of local people from their land and resources in
the name of conservation has been mirrored by the progressive expansion of state
control and external influence over those lost assets. With the countrys
independence, authority over public lands officially moved from the British crown
to the President of Tanzania who, as trustee for the nation, also has authority over
all the countrys wildlife, authority which is exercised through the Wildlife
Division in the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism. Although Tanzania
National Parks (TANAPA) holds sway over what goes on inside the national
parks,10 the Wildlife Division has absolute jurisdiction over the utilization of
wildlife outside of parks and the impact of this authority is most clearly reflected in
the Divisions control over hunting.11 Just as in colonial times, hunting is big
9 An example of one such traditional group was the Maasai which inhabited the Serengeti Reserve
prior to its designation as the first national park in East Africa in 1940, and its re-designation in
1948 as Tanzanias first national park (Goldstein 2005). Maasai were allowed to live in Serengeti
until 1958 at which time the park was divided and the pastoralists were confined to Ngorongoro
Conservation Area. Maasai settlements were forced out of the interior of the Ngorongoro Crater in
1974 and their movements have continued to be restricted ever since (Igoe 2004).
10 TANAPA is a quasi-govemmental authority that operates under a separate budget and is
administratively independent from the workings of the Tanzanian government.
11 Recent changes in the regulations governing photo safaris and other forms of non-consumptive
tourism will also provide the Wildlife Division a measure of control, in the form of access to fees,
over non-hunting activities (URT 2007).
19


business in Tanzania and the lucrative income stream generated from hunting
blocks leased to safari companies, blocks which are controlled by the Wildlife
Division and which can be located essentially anywhere national parks are not
(including on village land), ensures that this branch of the central government and
its affiliated employees in regional and district offices wield inordinate levels of
power. No matter where wildlife is located on village land, inside a national
park, or in a WMA it is always owned by the state and rights to its utilization,
whether through consumptive activities like trophy hunting or non-consumptive
activities like photo safaris, can be assigned by the state to stakeholders at it sees fit
(URT 2005, 2007 and 2007A). Accordingly, all human-wildlife interaction must
be formally sanctioned (i.e. by permit), but official sanction is typically reserved
for the types of clients whose livelihoods do not depend on lost land and resources.
Instead, it is most often granted to those patrons whose investment in and support
of conservation efforts coincide with Western-inspired conservation goals while
contributing much-needed revenue to the central governments coffers.
The exclusive power of the state over wildlife is directly reflected in top-
down approaches to conservation which have been adopted in the policies, laws
and regulations enacted by the independent government, directives which were
created under the advice and guidance of Western conservation agencies, if not
simply written by them. These directives, starting with The Wildlife Conservation
Act of 1974 and continuing through various revisions mirroring changes in
20


conservation methods, emphases and goals, have upheld and reinforced the
dominion of the state over land and resources even while they conferred upon
external conservation agencies extraordinary management powers over large areas
of the country and, consequently, over significant numbers of Tanzanian citizens.
These agencies point to the invitation issued by the countrys first President Julius
Nyerere, in his celebrated Arusha Manifesto, to contribute money, expertise and
manpower to help Tanzania manage its wildlife resources as justification for their
initial and continued role in conservation policy and practice.12 It is certainly
accurate to say that, as one of the poorest countries in the world with a per capita
income of only US$319 per person (US DofS 2008), Tanzania does not have the
financial wherewithal to autonomously protect all of its wildlife resources. To
achieve Western-inspired conservation goals it needs Western resources. But the
application of those resources by conservation agencies in response to Nyerere
directly reflected the colonial-style attitude that Africans lacked the necessary
qualifications and mind-set to successfully practice conservation without outside
intervention (Igoe 2004). Until very recently, this belief was manifested in the
absence of local participation, if not the absence of African participation, in
Western-sponsored conservation initiatives. It was further expressed in the ways
12 These agencies neglect to mention that this invitation, part of a speech given by Nyerere at a
conference organized by international conservation NGOs to discuss the future of colonial
conservation policies in independent African countries, was actually crafted by consultants for the
World Wildlife Fund (Igoe 2004; Neumann 1998).
21


that Western conservation ideology and practice have been institutionalized in
Tanzania through donations of equipment and vehicles, training of protected area
personnel at facilities such as the College of African Wildlife Management at
Mweka, and direct involvement in the creation and management of the countrys
national parks (Igoe 2004).
The influence of Western conservation NGOs is pervasive in Tanzania and
the evidence is everywhere you look. At Mweka it seemed as if every building,
uniform or piece of equipment had some organizations logo slapped on it
somewhere, a constant reminder that if not for the largesse of these agencies
whatever object you were looking at simply would not exist. Similarly, in addition
to TANAPAs insignia, national park signs and vehicles and buildings often have
conservation NGO logos affixed to them along with cheerful disclosures about that
agencys financial and technical generosity.13 14 Also, you soon discover that many
of the educational displays and materials provided for the public at national parks,
exhibits which convey very specific (and very Western) ideologies, were designed
and installed by the conservation NGO with jurisdiction over that park.
Jurisdiction is the correct term because, as I explained above, although these
agencies are not branches of the Tanzanian government, they have been given
13 Funding and support for establishment of the College of African Wildlife Management at Mweka
has been provided by African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) and World Wildlife Fund (WWF) along
with various other international development agencies (Igoe 2004, Neumann 1998).
141 often wondered if employees and citizens didnt tire of being constantly reminded that then-
countrys conservation infrastructure teeters on external munificence.
22


official authority over conservation activities in different parts of the country.15
Consequently, conservation NGO personnel have virtually unfettered freedom of
movement in the areas where this authority has been granted and the dictates and
tactics of the agencies they represent (and their own actions as well) are not often
questioned, at least not in public. For example, employees at the AWF office
located in Namanga, Kenya, which coordinates work in the trans-border
Kilimanjaro Heartland encompassing parks and community lands in both Kenya
and Tanzania, regularly cross national boundaries without passing through
customs.16 Needless to say, whether you are a native Tanzanian or a foreign
researcher, challenging these organizations is difficult and Tanzanian officials are
quick to defend the practices and policies bankrolled and administered by them.17
In my research area, African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) has dominated
conservation for decades. Its influence is far-reaching, but its reputation among
residents of the area is somewhat less than illustrious. AWF was instrumental in
the establishment of Tarangire and Lake Manyara National Parks, and it continues
to promote efforts to address threats of habitat fragmentation and degradation of
15 Specifically, GTZ (Gesellschaft fur Technische Zusammenarbeit) directs conservation efforts in
the central Selous region, WWF has the southwest part of the country, Frankfurt Zoological Society
(FZS) manages Serengeti and its environs, and the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) is in control
of the northeast part of the country, including my research area (Igoe and Croucher 2007).
16 This information came from Clive Jones, former AWF Director of Land Management, at a
presentation given at AWFs Arusha office on February 22,2006. I attended this presentation as
part of a Conflict Resolution and Management class at the College of African Wildlife Management.
7 See Chapter 4 for a personal account of what this kind of programmed defense looks like.
23


wildlife migration routes in areas around and between the parks. The organization
has been primarily fixated on marketing its large landscape conservation approach,
the African Heartlands Program, to local people living in the Tarangire area even
while it works vigorously to discourage human activities that it maintains are
incompatible with conservation, such as farming and settlement in areas where
wildlife lives or moves around. Practically speaking, the entire area between the
Tarangire and Lake Manyara is one huge migration corridor and wildlife is
everywhere, a fact not lost on AWF which recently privately acquired, through its
affiliate non-profit Tanzania Land Conservation Trust (TLCT), the 44,000 acre
government-owned Manyara Ranch an action which directly reflects the
organizations solution for land protection: acquiring or piecing together critical
wildlife areas threatened by private development (AWF 2007a). This piecemeal
solution involves other kinds of strategies for separating people from land and
resources in the name of conservation, including programs that encourage farmers
to convert their farms into conservation easements18 19 and also including, of course,
18 According to AWFs website, Far larger than any park or reserve, an African Heartland
combines national parks and local villages, government lands and private lands into a large,
cohesive conservation landscape... people and wildlife live side by side, and the needs of both are
balanced (AWF 2007). The Maasai Steppe Heartland, which encompasses a total area of 6,327 sq.
miles, includes Tarangire and Lake Manyara National Parks and all the villages and open areas
between and surrounding the parks (AWF 2007b).
19 Investment in conservation easements in effect paying people not to farm so that their land
remains undeveloped and open for wildlife movement is a new concept in Tanzania. In my
research area, AWF and TLCT were for a time urging people living in the Kwa Kuchinja corridor,
an historical migration route running from Tarangire to Lake Manyara that also includes the
centrally located Manyara Ranch, to become part of a program called KKEEP Kwa Kuchinja
Easements for the Environment through Partnership. Residents quickly became less enamored with
24


the Burunge WMA. When looked at collectively all of AWFs projects in the
Tarangire ecosystem are directed toward the broader goal of linking the core
protected areas (Tarangire and Lake Manyara National Parks, and now Manyara
Ranch) into a single stronghold that AWF argues is necessary for effective land
management and the success of long-term conservation goals (AWF 2007 and
2007a).
This argument is ingrained into the history of the Tarangire area and it has
turned up time and again as part of various conservation campaigns. It revolves
around the concept of maintaining (or creating, depending on your perspective) safe
passage for wildlife between these protected areas and ensuring that any humans
who inhabit that space do not interfere with wildlife or its habitat. This concept
gained even more momentum (at least among Westerners) after Tanzania became a
party to the CITES agreement in 1980 (see Bonner 1994), especially as a dramatic
increase in elephant populations due to CITES has resulted in increased pressure on
21
lands surrounding protected areas. 20 21
the project when they discovered that payments they would receive for not farming were one-time
only and living in the corridor with no means of subsistence was both impractical and dangerous
(also see Appendix A).
20 Given their lack of access to the kinds of technology (like computers and the internet) that we in
the West take for granted, looking at the collective direction of AWFs programs can be a very
difficult task for local people and even for local government officials.
21 The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora is a
voluntary international agreement that is meant to ensure that international trade in wild animal and
plant specimens does not threaten their survival (CITES 2008). Elephants were declared an
endangered species under the treaty in October, 1989 (Bonner 1994).
25


From a practical perspective, ensuring that humans do not interfere with
wildlife is virtually impossible today given the livelihood choices of most people in
the region. To survive people must farm even members of traditional pastoral
groups like the Maasai have resorted to at least some part-time farming to fill the
gaps that livestock herding alone can no longer fill.22 But farms either block
wildlife, or they are simply destroyed by wildlife as it passes through. Prior to the
establishment of the WMA, wildlife had mostly stayed within the boundaries of
Tarangire. Elephants in particular knew exactly where the park borders were and
had avoided traveling through the villages, instead moving to the south or north of
the villages on their way to Lake Manyara. When people and farms were moved
out of the WMA, informants told me that elephants began to fearlessly venture into
new areas, confronting humans they had formerly avoided, and causing damage to
homes and farms in areas of the village that had historically been relatively safe
from wildlife activity. The acquisition of Manyara Ranch by AWF intensified this
destruction as elephants now had shorter distances to travel between the two parks
with a safe haven in between. In the end, although the presence of villagers in and
near the community forest reserve between the village and Tarangire had created a
22 Interestingly, AWF claims that a priority in the Maasai Steppe Heartland is empowering people
[by] working with Maasai pastoralist communities (AWF 2007b). It also claims that Manyara
Ranch successfully manages cattle in conservation-friendly ways (AWF 2007a). Maasai that I
interviewed complained that not only had they been excluded from prime grazing land in the Ranch
when it was acquired by AWF, but also that grazing land throughout the Tarangire area was quickly
becoming less available as areas set aside for conservation continued to expand (also see Appendix
A).
26


buffer that ensured wildlife would stay nearer the park, the lack of a human
presence in the area after the establishment of the WMA meant that the buffer
essentially no longer existed.
So, given that wildlife and farming are often ill-suited (even the locals will
agree with this), the focus of conservation has always been on moving farms and
people out of the way of wildlife rather than on making sure the needs of both are
balanced (see footnote 18). Indeed, while on a visit to Manyara Ranch as part of a
field safari with students from Mweka, the community outreach representative told
us: These people need to understand that they are in the wrong place. It is no
longer safe for them here. Our job is to help them understand this. However, this
focus on moving farms and people ignores the fact that many people in the
Tarangire area had already been displaced from other parts of Tanzania for similar
reasons, sometimes on multiple occasions. People had been living and farming in
this area for quite some time (see Table 2) but most everyone I spoke with was
originally from somewhere else. A common story among interviewees concerned
displacement by a new protected area or a large-scale commercial venture (and in
at least one case, a military complex) or forced migration when available farmland
became scarce due to the displacement of others. As with WMAs, these kinds of
displacements often assume that local people will simply stop farming and be 23
23 See Chapter 4 for a discussion of the community forest reserve.
27


effortlessly integrated into the newly created market economy. Unfortunately,
assuming there is enough industry to go around (and there NEVER IS), rural
producers seldom possess the necessary skills for an industry-based economy and
they subsequently become a problem that must be dealt with. Alternatively they
can just be ignored, a more common response in Tanzania considering that the kind
of capitalism going on there is less concerned with social impacts or absorbing
people than it is with making money in ways that involve minimal risk and outlay.
According to conservationists, the problem in the Tarangire area was too
many people living in all the wrong places. People all over my research area (see
Figure 2.1) talked about being repeatedly informed by AWF or TANAPA officials
that they lived smack in the middle of a wildlife corridor and that they needed to
provide a passageway for animals to move between the parks:
In 1991-1992 [we] were told that [we] lived in a corridor area for wildlife.
(Interview 07M Mdori Evictee)
People were told to provide [a] wildlife corridor in their area and people
said we do not have land to make it a wildlife corridor. (Interview 02M
Almasi Evictee)
AWF came and said we need to connect Tarangire and Lake Manyara. Idea
for conservation area came from this. (Interview 1 IF Songa Mbele)
In the year of 1999-2000, they said they need a wildlife corridor so the wild
animals from Tarangire could pass and go to Manyara National Park up to
Ngorongoro. Again people came in 2005 looking for wildlife corridor but
the village did not agree. We told them if they want that corridor by force,
ok, take it but if for hiari [choice, option], we are not ready. (Interview 07M
Mswakini Chini)
28


We fought for 10 years to keep this place [Minjingu] from becoming a
corridor. (Speaker at a Special Committee meeting of Minjingu village
assembly)
Kwa Kuchinja has always been known as a corridor but no restrictions on
settlement or farming or wildlife. AWF came in and said, Lets make it
official! (Interview 01M Shimamo)
One interviewee in the area of the Kwa Kuchinja corridor remembered that on at
least two occasions beginning in the late 1970s there was talk of joining Tarangire
and Lake Manyara into one park and everyone in between being forced to move
(Interview 10M Shimamo). Another person in Minjingu stated that in the 1970s
some white people wanted to move everyone from Makayuni all the way to
(Minjingu) out of the area [they] didnt say where, just get out (Interview 19M
Kakoi). Many individuals were aware that on numerous occasions the idea of
moving entire villages had been explored:
1974 -1 heard about people being moved. Nothing since then, except in
2000 heard people in Mswakini Juu were to be moved to make a wildlife
corridor. (Interview 02M Almasi Evictee)
Three years ago rumors that the whole western side of the village
[Minjingu] might be moved somewhere else. (Interview 2IF Songa Mbele)
We heard at one time that the government would come to move us because
we heard it on the radio.. .said that people living near the Park will one day
be moved so that the animals have a chance to breathe. (Interview 04F
Olevolos)
29


30


AWF wants to move people in Oltukai to expand Manyara Ranch
boundaries more wildlife areas and less grazing land. Lake Manyara
National Park, Tarangire, Manyara Ranch this is what AWF wants.
People will have to move, Oltukai is surrounded by protected areas its an
island. Look at Minjingu surrounded by Tarangire, Lake Manyara,
Manyara Ranch, the WMA its going to be an island too, whether we like
it or not. Because AWF has an interest eventually we will have to move.
(Interview 02M Makao Mapaya)
10 years ago an American in Tarangire [a donor] had idea of moving the
village of Minjingu and compensating everyone. [He said] the area is good
for a corridor. (Interview 23M Songa Mbele)
At least six other people had the same recollection as the Songa Mbele
resident regarding the American in Tarangire and the plan to move the village of
Minjingu. They remembered specific details about the plan, including surveys
which counted the number of people, households, livestock and trees (oddly
enough) in an effort to determine how costly the move would be. They also
remembered that the plan was abandoned when the cost was deemed prohibitive.
Nevertheless one of my interviewees, after introductions had been made and before
I could even ask my first question, immediately blurted out, Are you going to
move us? (Interview 2IF Olevolos)
Many interviewees ridiculed AWF and TANAPA for their unceasing efforts
to define boundaries for and then hypothetically enclose wild animals, scoffing at
the notion that wildlife can be made to stay in a corridor any more than it can be
made to stay in a park:
Wildlife is all around us, silly to think theyd stay in a corridor. (Interview
06M Shimamo)
31


The whole idea of a corridor for animals is ridiculous because they go
wherever they want. (Interview 10M Shimamo)
The whole village seems like a corridor now since wildlife goes wherever it
wants to. (Interview 05M Shimamo)
Animals go wherever they want. Call it a corridor if you want to, doesnt
make any difference to us. (Interview 01M Randilen)
By far the majority of people I spoke with in the Tarangire region were well aware
that their close proximity to the nearby protected areas made them extremely
vulnerable to the aggravations and hazards caused by resident wildlife. Indeed,
they deal with this on a daily basis.24 But they were just as conscious of the fact
that they have little influence over how this situation is ultimately managed.
Because they live in what AWF has identified as a key conservation landscape
(AWF 2007), they know they are equally as vulnerable to the whim and power of a
government that cannot afford to lose control over valuable conservation resources
as they are to a conservation agency with sometimes far different ideas about what
is best for them than what they imagine for themselves.
The Burunge WMA is a quintessential example of what this vulnerability
can look like. As I stated earlier in this chapter, the Burunge WMA was identified
24 Although my field notes are filled with stories about crops being eaten or trampled and roofs of
houses being ripped off by elephants bent on snarfing up just-harvested grain, my favorite story of
people coping with wildlife is one I witnessed personally. During an interview with a subject who
lived quite near Tarangire and immediately after a herd of giraffe had passed right next to his house,
a neighbor walking by pointed vaguely to the tall grass and said in a rather ho-hum tone of voice,
Theres a lion out there. While this incident, which had yet to result in loss of life or livestock,
was obviously routine for my interviewee and his neighbor, it was positively surreal for me.
32


as one of the pieces needed to put the landscape of the Maasai Steppe back
together (AWF 2007c: 1). To be sure, this particular piece ties Tarangire to Lake
Manyara in a way that leaves no doubt about the overall conservation objective -
its corridor-like nature is rather easy to see (see Figure 2.2). However, because a
village must formally and legally resolve to create a WMA, the very existence of
the Burunge WMA suggests that people in this area had finally decided that this
conservation strategy was one they could support. The fact that the Burunge WMA
became a reality implies that swapping direct use of land and resources for indirect
benefits from ecotourism must have seemed to villagers a more judicious use of
scarce village resources. Since the focus of the WMA approach is unquestionably
on encouraging private enterprise to harness the power of the market to achieve a
kind of economic growth that is compatible with conservation goals, WMAs seem
to offer local people opportunities which were not previously available to them -
opportunities which are intended to help satisfy their livelihood needs while
protecting wildlife. However, while both these objectives are formally codified in
official government regulations, the bureaucratic complexity and unwieldiness of
these regulations obscures the fact that because non-village stakeholders are far
better positioned to manipulate the technical nature of the WMA process, local
people have little control over how the economic power inherent in WMAs is
actually expressed. To understand how this control is simultaneously attained and
lost, Chapter 3 examines WMAs from a legal and administrative viewpoint to help
33


Figure 2.2 The Burunge WMA
34


illuminate why this form of community-based conservation ultimately denies local
participation while it effectively quashes attempts at local self-determination and
economic progress.
35


CHAPTER 3
THE LEGAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE STRUCTURE OF
WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT AREAS25
To assist in achieving the combined goals of biodiversity conservation,
community participation, and economic development, the Tanzanian government
enacted The Wildlife Conservation (Wildlife Management Areas) Regulations,
2002 [Revised Edition 2005] (hereafter the WMA Regulations), as a formal
mechanism to govern the formation and management of WMAs. The WMA
Regulations are an amendment to The Wildlife Conservation Act of 1974 (hereafter
the Act), the countrys original principal legislation governing the protection and
utilization of wildlife resources. The WMA Regulations outline and stipulate
specific steps that must be taken by a village to create and manage a WMA. Read
literally, they operate in a linear fashion (e.g., first complete Step A, then Step B,
etc.) with the village being the catalyst for initiating the WMA process and then
continuing to have the leading role as that process evolves. In reality, however, the
successful execution of the provisions of the WMA Regulations simultaneously
produces and is produced by a legal and administrative framework that provides
25 Much of the material for this chapter also appears in an article titled Conservation, Commerce and
Communities: The Story of Community-Based Wildlife Management Areas in Tanzanias Northern
Tourist Circuit in Conservation and Society (Igoe and Croucher 2007).
36


non-village stakeholders virtually unobstructed control over tasks, objectives, and
benefits. This control is hidden within an officially holistic approach which
presupposes the existence of mutual needs, expectations and goals among all
stakeholders. Because this approach appears comprehensive, there is an underlying
assumption that the realization of broad objectives, such as creating a cohesive
conservation landscape and enhancing national economic growth, will
automatically mean the achievement of smaller, more specific ones, such as
alleviating poverty in one rural village. As such, the manner in which the WMA
Regulations are construed and implemented by non-village stakeholders obscures
the negative effects of this conservation strategy on local people even as those
people are portrayed as the very foundation of its success and the primary
beneficiaries of its outcomes.
This portrayal is an essential one since local people and their land are
critical components of the WMA structure without a local decision to participate
there can officially be no WMA. Hence, first and foremost, the WMA Regulations
emphasize the role of a village or group of villages in independently resolving to
create a WMA and in having the capacity, or the ability to gain the capacity, and
the legal authority to manage it. Other stakeholders are expected to step in when
they have specific tasks to perform, including the relevant District Council, the
District Natural Resources Advisory Body, the Director of Wildlife, the District
Game Officer, authorities of Tanzania National Parks and the Ngorongoro
37


Conservation Area Authority (where applicable), the Minister of Natural Resources
and Tourism, the relevant international conservation NGO (see footnote 15 in
Chapter 2), and the private sector, all of whom have different responsibilities for
ensuring the success of the WMA project before and after its execution (URT 2005:
Part V & §77). Still, the village is always depicted as the primary stakeholder, and
the stakeholder who must fulfill the necessary prerequisites of the WMA
Regulations and officially move the process along if a WMA is ever to be
established. From this official perspective, non-village stakeholders merely help to
facilitate the process so as to ensure the exclusive use of the WMA for wildlife and
biodiversity conservation and for investment in wildlife resources so that member
villages can obtain benefits from the WMA.
The process of creating a WMA formally begins with the approval by a
village assembly, at the recommendation of the village council, to officially set
aside land for a WMA, which approval is reflected in a certified copy of village
assembly meeting minutes.26 The village is then required to establish a
Community-Based Organization (CBO) and register it with the Tanzanian
government for the purpose of managing the WMA. The village assembly, through
the CBO, should then approve a Land Use Plan and a General Management Plan or
Resource Management Zone Plan, which include specific biological and socio-
26 A village assembly includes all the adult members (male and female) of the community. A
village council is comprised of elected members of the village assembly.
38


economic data about the land and village, an Environmental Impact Statement, and
boundary descriptions of the proposed WMA, all in accordance with the WMA
Regulations and applicable land tenure laws. If multiple villages are involved then
Joint Land-Use Plans must be prepared and they must all be then submitted to the
District government for final approval.
The Land Use Plan must correspond with existing village by-laws for
natural resource management which are also approved by the village assembly; if
by-laws do not yet exist they must be created. Finally the CBO applies to the
Director of Wildlife to become an Authorized Association (AA). If the Director
endorses the authorization of the CBO as an AA, he will then forward the
application to the Minister of Natural Resources and Tourism for approval. If the
Minister approves, then s/he issues a Certificate of Authorization declaring the
CBO to be an AA and authorizing it to manage wildlife in a particular WMA.
Simultaneous with this declaration and authorization, the WMA is gazetted by the
Minister. The Director is then, according to the Regulations, expected to grant the
AA user rights in the WMA based on the General Management Plan or Resource
Management Zone Plan (user rights are not automatically granted with the
Certificate of Authorization). These user rights include the right to enter into
investment agreements with the private sector for wildlife utilization and
investment in the WMA (URT 2005: Parts II & IV).
39


This process, although long and convoluted, appears mostly administrative
in nature. And once these administrative tasks are completed, it appears that the
village(s) will gain autonomous decision-making power and become the primary
beneficiaries. However, this situation is actually different than it looks at first
glance. The fact is that establishment of WMAs, and access to the opportunities
that come with them, is actually restricted by the § 17 of the WMA Regulations to
locations previously designated by the Wildlife Division. These locations, called
Pilot WMAs, were specifically chosen for their proximity to core wildlife
protected areas (ibid.: §11.1) and, as a practical matter, WMAs are only allowed in
villages which contain portions of land that have historically served as buffer zones
for a protected area or are considered natural passages for wildlife. This exercise in
delineating land for future WMAs a process of territorialization that I will discuss
further in Chapter 5 was undertaken by the Wildlife Division with help from the
private sector and international conservation NGOs long before any rural villagers
knew that they controlled land that is critical to the success of the WMA model.
Instead, the fact that village land meets the required criteria for WMA status must
first be conveyed to residents, and then they must be educated about the economic
potential of their resources and instructed as to how to participate in conservation
activities which will allow them to utilize their valuable assets and become the kind
of stakeholders the WMA Regulations intended them to be.
40


Transforming themselves into conservation producers and protectors -
those responsibilized individuals I spoke of in my introduction is not something
that villagers can be allowed to attempt on their own. Instead, the engineers of
WMA Regulations foresaw that this would be a task for stakeholders with prior
experience in this arena. For instance, the Guidelines for Wildlife Management
Areas and their accompanying Reference Manual, both of which were provided by
the Wildlife Division as supplemental to the WMA Regulations (URT 2002: 6),27
simply declare that villages cannot decide whether to establish a WMA until they
are made aware of the importance and cost-benefits of conserving wildlife
resources through vigorous sensitization by the Wildlife Division along with
other stakeholders (URT 2003: 11). Accordingly, the Guidelines place a great deal
of emphasis on initiating, facilitating and training by non-village stakeholders of
village stakeholders, targeting specific community groups, e.g. school children,
elders, women, youth, poachers, local leaders, politicians and other influential
people (ibid.: 11). In other words, since rural villages have no experience
managing wildlife and WMAs are a new approach to wildlife conservation in
Tanzania, local people must be made aware of the value of wildlife resources on
27 Although the Guidelines and the Reference Manual have no legal power on their own, they are
referred to several times in the WMA Regulations. The Foreword to the Guidelines states that they
were intended to support the Wildlife Policy and rationalize in practical terms the WMA
Regulations in a more user-friendly way, and to amplify and try to clarify certain matters which
are contained in the Regulations (URT 2002: 6).
41


village land and they must be shown how they can get involved in conservation in a
participatory and lucrative way.
However, even after this enlightenment occurs, villages are not expected or
even allowed to implement or manage the WMA on their own. Non-village
stakeholders remain collaborative partners throughout the process and continue to
have officially described responsibilities after the WMA is gazetted, even as those
responsibilities are portrayed as being rather general in nature (URT 2005: Part V
& §77). Clearly, the designers of the WMA model anticipated that rural villagers
would need to be guided through the process of establishing a WMA step by step,
and would need constant monitoring after the fact. Of course, from a practical
perspective, it is true that rural villagers often lack the legal and technical skills
necessary to fulfill the rather onerous requirements of the WMA Regulations,
especially the provisions governing the initial establishment of a WMA. But this
potential incapacity is not specifically addressed. Rather the WMA Regulations are
written in such a way that villagers and village leaders are presumed to possess the
skills needed to follow the steps required to have a WMA after simply being made
aware of the value of having one. In this case the general nature of non-village
stakeholder responsibilities makes sense: collaborating, coordinating, facilitating,
and overseeing are more appropriate activities if a community can follow the law
and accomplish community-based conservation on its own.
42


But following the law and accomplishing the kind of community-based
conservation that a WMA entails means that local people must have the ability to
negotiate the complexities of the Tanzanian legal system. For example, in addition
to the provisions of the WMA Regulations, members of village councils and village
assemblies also need to understand their legal rights and responsibilities with
respect to land laws and the applicable rules governing tourism and hunting.28
However, Tanzanian laws and regulations are often contradictory and downright
confusing. Sweeping powers granted to officials to enforce rules and enact changes
in one government sector may actually conflict with rules and changes enacted in
another. Moreover, many rural Tanzanians are illiterate and must rely on their
leaders for accurate interpretations of laws and regulations and truthful
dissemination of information about how those laws and regulations may affect
them. Compounding this burden, some laws and regulations are only written in
English (although English is an official language, Kiswahili is the national
language), and most rural Tanzanians (including village leaders), do not speak or
read English, or at least not well enough to decipher legal minutiae. Furthermore,
Kiswahili translations of English documents, when available, sometimes differ
from the originals in substantial ways. Interestingly, Section 82 of the WMA
28 The Wildlife Conservation (Tourist Hunting) Regulations 2000 [Revised Edition 2002] and The
Wildlife Conservation Act No. 12 of 1974 play a major role in establishing jurisdiction over
consumptive and non-consumptive use of wildlife resources in Tanzania. The Village Land Act No.
5 of 1999 and the Land Act No. 4 of 1999 detail Tanzanias land tenure framework at local, district,
regional and national levels.
43


Regulations stipulates that in the event of a conflict of interpretation between the
Kiswahili and English versions, the English version prevails.29
In addition to understanding the legal side of WMAs, villager leaders and
assemblies must also have the technical capacity to initiate, or at least play a part in
assembling, the Land-Use Plan, General Management Plan or Resource
Management Zone Plan, the Environmental Impact Statement, WMA Data Sheets,
etc., that are required for WMA approval. With respect to the WMA data and
forms required to be prepared by a village and submitted to the Director of Wildlife
by the village CBO, most are quite technical in nature and assume training of
villagers in workshops and seminars that may not have occurred.30 In most cases,
to complete the forms required by the WMA Regulations, villages will require
professional advice from and collaboration with outside experts, advice that may
not always serve the villages best interest. Interestingly, Tanzanias protected
areas often lack management plans and the plans that do exist were largely created
and undertaken by international conservation NGOs.31
29 Although there most certainly are English words and concepts for which no suitable Kiswahili
translation exists, our rural informants were quick to imagine that translations are different for other
reasons, not the least of which is a deliberate attempt to confuse or mislead the Kiswahili reader.
30 The General Management Plan format (URT 2005: Seventh Schedule) actually makes reference
to using a Logical Framework Approach in analyzing problems and presenting the purpose [and]
objective of the WMA and management strategies in a logical manner. It also refers the preparer to
the Consultative Workshop and Technical Session to obtain information needed to complete the
Plan. Nowhere in the WMA Regulations or Guidelines are these terms defined, nor is there
information given about how to participate in the training described.
31 See Chapter 4 for a discussion of the creation of Land Use Plans for two of the villages in the
Burunge WMA.
44


If a village is successful in navigating its way through the administrative
and regulatory labyrinth in which WMA gazettement resides, it is still stuck
waiting for the Director of Wildlife to grant those all-important user rights before it
can proceed with any economic plans it may have. Here it is important to
remember that legal ownership and control of land in Tanzania is separate from
legal ownership and control of wildlife. As I have said before, a WMA can only be
established on village land and this land remains village property after the WMA is
gazetted. So, technically, land management in a WMA is subject to Tanzanian land
tenure laws and, theoretically, under the legal control of the village or villages
involved.32 The village retains the right to determine exactly how the land will be
used, and by whom. The right to manage and benefit from wildlife in ways that are
most useful to it should logically follow from this. However, as I explained in
Chapter 2, wildlife is always an asset of the state and under the specific jurisdiction
of the Wildlife Division (WD). Protecting wildlife in a WMA basically means
protecting the interests of the WD, whether or not this results in any advantage for
a village. Essentially, once a WMA is gazetted and the land is officially off-limits
to villagers for subsistence activities, rights to the use of resources on that land
essentially disappear, only to reappear under the authority of the WD.
32 The Land Act No. 4 of 1999 (§l(l)(k)(4)) establishes three categories of land: general land,
reserved land (the category under which most wildlife management falls), and village land. The
Village Land Act No. 5 of 1999 (Part IV, §7-8) defines village land and establishes the village
councils authority (with village assembly approval) to manage village land and resources (Nshala
2002).
45


This authority is virtually all-inclusive and seemingly unassailable. Since
hunting blocks continue to be allocated by the Director under the Tourist Hunting
Regulations no matter where they are located (URT 2002a: Part II), a hunting
company can be allocated a hunting block that is located in a WMA and issued
hunting permits by the Wildlife Division (with authority granted under the Act), but
have no permission from a village (with authority granted under the Village Land
Act) to actually establish a hunting camp on that land. Moreover, since hunting
companies typically have long-standing relationships with the WD, which has both
the legal authority and political clout to force rural villages to comply with its
directives, the reality of this kind of inconsistency usually means that villages have
no direct legal control over what goes on in a WMA. Conversely, a contract
between a village and an investor that existed prior to the establishment of the
WMA may be worthless or inoperative if a WD-approved hunting company has
rights to a hunting block on village land that overlaps with the land used by the
villages investor.33 With respect to non-hunting activities, under the recently
enacted Wildlife Conservation (Non-Consumptive Wildlife Utilization)
Regulations, 2007, the Director now has the authority to issue permits and collect
fees for non-consumptive wildlife utilization activities as well. Non-consumptive
wildlife utilization consists of every activity conducted in game reserves,
33 This very situation occurred in Minjingu while I was in the field see Chapter 4 for details.
46


controlled areas, wildlife management areas and open areas outside Ngorongoro
Conservation Area and those under TANAPA, including but not limited to
walking safaris, commercial and non-commercial photographic safaris, game
viewing, sport fishing and even educational research (URT 2007: §14).34 These
new regulations conveniently filled a gap between the Tourist Hunting Regulations
and the WMA Regulations which had allowed villages to independently collect
fees for non-consumptive wildlife activities and which had also allowed these
activities to occur in a hunting block without Director approval if that block was
located in a Wildlife Management Area. The WMA Regulations have always
required that prospective investors of any type in a WMA, whether a hunting outfit,
photo safari company, or any other sort of economic venture, be approved by the
Director (URT 2005: §65.4), and the Director has the power, again at his/her
discretion, to withdraw or revoke any investment agreement (ibid.: §66.5). Now
any activities that involve wildlife in a WMA, including just looking at it, require
permission from the Director and payment of substantial and cumulative fees
directly to the WD (ibid.: Third and Fourth Schedule). Needless to say, since the
official terms of the WMA Regulations favor it, the Wildlife Division has every
reason to support the implementation of WMAs. WMAs can indeed be a valuable
34 Although the 2007 Regulations are a bit murky in terms of what qualifies as research and
educational activities in non-consumptive wildlife utilization (§5), I can only imagine that if I
wanted to conduct research on WMAs today I would be required to apply for a permit from and pay
a fee to the Wildlife Division for that permit, assuming I could even get one considering the
controversial nature of my research topic.
47


tool for conservation of wildlife and economic enhancement village land used
exclusively for wildlife protection and to augment wildlife habitat is the next best
thing to a protected area, especially if that protection increases wildlife numbers,
helps to guarantee sustainable wildlife utilization, and contributes necessary tourist
and hunting fees to the Wildlife Divisions bottom line.
Unfortunately, the economic power of WMAs does not appear to be
trickling down to the villages that invested their land and future in the promise of
prosperity from conservation-oriented, ecotourism-based, wildlife investment
activities. Indeed, as I explained earlier in this chapter, villages that decide to
demarcate land for a WMA are then at the mercy of the Wildlife Division for
access to user rights so they can utilize wildlife inside the WMA, utilization which
is critical if they are to have any chance at cashing in on that potential prosperity.
Without user rights they cannot negotiate with investors or seek approval of the
Director for proposed economic ventures.
Even if a village is awarded user rights and its legal agreement with a
WMA investor does meet with the approval of the Director, the WMA Regulations
are not clear about where the revenues from these investments actually go, referring
the reader to circulars issued by the Government from time to time to determine
48


how benefits should be allocated.35 The WMA Regulations do, however, provide a
reminder that benefit sharing shall adhere to mechanisms of equitable distribution
of costs and benefits targeted at economic development and poverty eradication
(URT 2005: §73.1). Tanzanias Wildlife Policy calls for distribution of revenue
and benefits to stakeholders which considers their relevant roles in different
categories of land, the effort invested in conservation of the resource, and the
institutional and management costs (URT 1998: §3.3.9). The Guidelines argue
that, in addition to the village and the AA, the Wildlife Division, Tanzania National
Parks, Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority, Tanzania Wildlife Research
Institute, Tanzanian Wildlife Protection Fund, the Department of Treasury, and
District Councils are all stakeholders to the benefits, revenue and cost sharing in a
WMA (URT 2002: §12.10). And, lest we forget, the villages investor will also
want to make money. Truly, it is difficult to contemplate how a village can
actually earn significant amounts of money from a WMA with so many other
stakeholders to accommodate.
35 The WMA Regulations do state that the AA is required to direct not less than 50% of its annual
gross revenue to member villages of which there can be many. Of the 15 Pilot WMAs, for instance,
3 had 19 or more member villages, and 7 had 6 or more. Of that 50%, not less than 15 % must go
toward resource development reinvestment (not defined), and not less than 25 % must be used to
strengthen (also not defined) the Authorized Association (§73.2). Assuming that only the
minimum requirements are met for these categories, there is no mention of how the remaining 10%
should be spent, nor is there specific direction as to what happens with the other 50% of the gross
revenue except that it is absorbed in various administrative overhead costs (ibid.).
49


To complicate matters even further, some stakeholders are probably less
interested in the revenues generated from WMA investment and filtered through
multiple layers of government than they are in maintaining or improving their
respective status quo. A hunting company that was established in a hunting block
before a WMA was gazetted, and which cannot be forced by a village to relinquish
its hunting rights, may consider its position more secure if villagers are no longer
able to use WMA land for subsistence and the land reverts to a wilderness that is
better for business. Nearby protected areas gain ready-made additions to protected
area land, which often are critical to the health of the protected area and the wildlife
and biodiversity within it, without having to go through the messy politics of
establishing a new protected area. And conservation NGOs get official proof of
conservation success that is signed and sealed by the Minister of Natural Resources
and Tourism. Whether or not that success is compatible with the short and long-
term economic needs of local people is beside the point. Continued donor funding
for conservation requires that real conservation be achieved. In Tanzania, there
is no easier way to realize this than with the official designation of a Wildlife
Management Area. Not only does it accomplish conservation objectives, but it
demonstrates, however superficially, that rural Tanzanians are participating in
conservation and easing into a market economy in a way that provides them with
opportunities while it protects wildlife. This is, in the end, the fait accompli of the
50


WMA: participation and benefits that do not really interfere with the business of
conservation or the business of business.
For villagers on the receiving end of the opportunities available from
WMAs, transparency, participation and benefits can be rather elusive even as they
are touted as the very essence of this community-based conservation strategy. I
have demonstrated that the predefined agendas that gave rise to WMAs, and the
legal and administrative frameworks that sustain and strengthen them, effectively
render local peoples involvement cursory and irrelevant. As a result, the needs of
these people are often ignored. In fact, their involvement is simply not necessary to
maintain the illusion of participation, and the local benefits that do not materialize
are simply the cost of doing business. For the villages in my research area, the
ideals of fostering participation and transparency in the establishment of the
Burunge WMA did not mean that villagers got what they wanted, or even that they
understood what they got. It did mean, however, that external stakeholders were
able to profit from conservation and, in the process, effectively dispossess the
villagers from their land and push them deeper into poverty.
51


CHAPTER4
THERES A PLACE WHERE ANIMALS LIVE
AND WE ARENT ALLOWED TO GO THERE.
ITS CALLED THE WMA.36
As I mentioned in my introduction, many people in my research area had
been hopeful that the WMA would provide them with much needed benefits.
Specifically designed to promote local economic growth, this conservation strategy
appeared to offer them unprecedented opportunities. The emergence of these
opportunities was directly related to the fact that local people controlled an
essential input to WMAs village land. Because their jurisdiction over this land
seemed to be protected by Tanzanias legal framework, most people in Minjingu
village felt that the collective wishes and decisions of the village would always
guide how the land was utilized. And since they also understood that wise use of
this land was critical for maintaining and improving their livelihoods, they were
willing to explore the idea of setting aside some of it to obtain indirect benefits
from ecotourism. However, the villagers I spoke with overwhelmingly insisted that
this exploration was far from complete and most were still waiting for information
about how the WMA would directly help them. As one resident put it We dont
36 From Interview OIF Songa Mbele in the village of Minjingu.
52


hate animals, we know they have benefits but we havent been educated as to how
to reap those benefits (Interview 19M Kakoi).
Familiarity with and understanding of the details about WMAs often
differed from one person to another and from one end of the village to the other.
However, by all accounts neither village leaders nor residents ever intended that
their land would be carved out and made inaccessible to them. Nevertheless,
according to almost everyone I interviewed, this is exactly what happened. Local
people had watched as concrete beacons demarcating the boundaries of the WMA
were plunked down on village land without their involvement and in locations that
were often far from the borders of the conservation area that had been contemplated
by the village, sometimes right in the middle of farms. They later discovered that,
although their own village assembly meeting minutes reflected that the WMA had
not yet been approved, a different set of these minutes approving the WMA was on
file at the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism in Dar es Salaam. Finally,
instead of being positioned to benefit from the WMA, some villagers were 37
37 While this may appear to be just another example of the sort of corruption we in the West have
been taught to expect from African governments and officials, it is important to remember that
simply calling it corruption implies an ideal of how things should work, an ideal that just does not
exist in most African states (or in the U.S. for that matter can we say Enron?) and the consequent
distortion or falling short of this ideal. Moreover, labeling the creative coping mechanisms that
elites and non-elites use to survive and improve their circumstances as nothing but corruption
excuses the colonial and post-colonial influences, including neoliberalism, that are ultimately
responsible for the conditions that make what Westerners might consider deceitful practices
virtually compulsory at every level of Tanzanian society (see Chabal and Daloz 1999). As such, I
have adopted a more nuanced view of corruption as an inevitable manifestation of these influences
rather than merely a failure to achieve an ideal.
53


compulsorily displaced from it and others suddenly found themselves living
perilously close to wildlife that was regularly causing damage to homes and farms
that they simply could not afford. Although, as I mentioned in Chapter 2, residents
of the area had been coping with wildlife problems for years, the people I
interviewed were nearly unanimous in their belief that the WMA had intensified
these problems. As one person who was regularly dealing with destructive
elephants observed, I go to bed rich and wake up poor (Interview 12M Kakoi).
Conditioned as they were to the imposition of external policies by the central
government and foreign agencies (We were told we cant compete with the
government we should agree to do this),38 most people were not really surprised
that they were effectively barred from their own land even though they were
struggling to understand how this had actually happened. Leaders and ordinary
citizens alike were unquestionably frustrated over the near absence of transparency
and participation in a program that was allegedly specifically designed for their
direct involvement and benefit. As the following ethnography demonstrates, this
confusion and frustration was reflected throughout the village of Minjingu before
and after the WMA became a reality. In the end, villagers were left wondering how
their needs had been so profoundly ignored even as those people suffering most
from the ill effects of the WMA searched for alternate ways to survive on what had
38 From Interview 17M Kakoi in the village of Minjingu.
54


become for them an even more constrained and more hostile landscape.
We Are Now a Village Inside a Park!39
One day in late April, about halfway through the field season, I happened to
run into the Minjingu Village Chairman alighting from a bus that had just arrived in
the village from Dar es Salaam. Greetings were brief and rushed (which is unusual
in Tanzania) and, visibly upset about something, he hurried on his way. By chance,
later that day my translator and I happened on his house and, invited in for tea, we
asked the Chairman about his trip to Dar. Still clearly distressed, he explained that
village leaders had heard rumors earlier that month that the WMA had been
approved. Knowing that the village had not given its official sanction, and after
their inquiries were rebuffed by District officials, he and the Village Secretary
along with two elders had decided to travel to the capital to speak directly with the
Director of Wildlife. After several days of getting the run-around at the Ministry of
Natural Resources and Tourism and the Land Commission,40 they finally verified
that Minjingu was indeed part of a WMA. They also learned that the Ministry had
39 Comment made by a Minjingu villager in a discussion about the WMA at a village assembly
meeting, May 3, 2006.
40 In the May 3 village assembly meeting, the Village Chairman described how employees at the
Ministry were obviously alerted to the fact that they were on their way and, in his words, Next
thing you know, no one is in the office when we get there. Committed as they were to ferreting out
the truth and with few other options for accomplishing this task, I got the distinct impression that
these four gentlemen parked themselves in the Directors office and refused to budge until they were
heard.
55


on file a copy of Minjingus August 19,2003, village assembly meeting minutes
which discussed the formation of a village conservation area, and they were
shocked to discover that the minutes explicitly authorized the establishment of a
WMA in the village. This was a shock for them as the minutes on file in the village
office specifically state that villagers refused to approve the WMA plan at that
time, but asked for more information about it so they could understand their rights
and responsibilities under Tanzanian law in case they decided to go forward with
the plan. To add insult to injury, when at long last they were able to meet with the
Director of Wildlife about the WMA he told them, This doesnt belong to you. It
belongs to the citizens and I will only listen to them. He then added, You are in
and you are going to have to get yourselves out. But if you refuse [to stay in the
WMA], then dont touch any animals.
Alarmed and disheartened that a completely different version of a village
legal document had somehow made its way to Dar es Salaam and was now the
foundation for Minjingus participation in the WMA,41 the Chairman was further
exasperated to learn that, while he and the others were in Dar trying to get to the
bottom of the WMA rumors, our research team had received an e-mail from the
41 The surfacing of the pro-WMA minutes explained how approval of the WMA could have
occurred administratively, although how these minutes came to exist in the first place caused
outrage and dismay among villagers when they were told about it in subsequent village meetings.
56


IUCN heralding the fact that on March 31,2006, the Minjingu village conservation
area had been officially gazetted as the Burunge WMA one of the first four
WMAs in Tanzania. Attached to the e-mail was the official announcement from
the Tanzania Government Gazette, a public document which is supposed to provide
time for interested parties to comment on government decisions before they are
finalized.42 The publication of this announcement was never disclosed to the
village of Minjingu and, although the e-mail extolled the success of WMAs as a
model for participation and transparency in community-based conservation, it took
a long and expensive trip to Tanzanias capital by people who could ill afford it,
and an auspiciously timed e-mail to a researcher who just happened to be working
in the village, for the people of Minjingu to finally confirm rumors about the
WMA. Stunned to discover that the WMA had been officially gazetted and that
Minjingu was part of it, and greatly perturbed that village leaders and residents
were the last to find out about it (If people decided this thing then why doesnt
anyone know about it?),43 the Chairman was at a loss as to how to undo what had
happened. He was confused about the villages rights and responsibilities and said
to me, We are blind on whose property the WMA is at the end of the day is it
community or Wildlife Division property? He was also concerned as to what this
42 This e-mail was sent to Jim Igoe on or about April 21, 2006, and I learned about the function of
the Tanzanian Government Gazette in a conversation with him around that time.
43 The Chairman made this comment at an April 28, 2006, Village Council meeting.
57


turn of events meant for villagers continued access to resources that were vital for
maintaining local livelihoods.
The sentiments expressed by the Chairman uncertainty about tenure
rights, concern over local access, and frustration over the lack of participation,
transparency and even honesty in the creation of the WMA were echoed by
people throughout my research area.44 In interview after interview, villagers told
me that they were not involved in the formation of the WMA, that no one told them
what would happen inside it, that they knew of no benefits coming from it, and that
removing people from the area had done more harm than good. In particular, the
majority of villagers claimed that since there was no longer a buffer between the
village and Tarangire National Park, wildlife had become bolder and was straying
into the village far more often causing damage to crops and houses that villagers
could ill afford, especially in the parts of the village that bordered the WMA.
Indeed, as with most development-oriented programs focusing on the
community, I quickly discovered that the costs and benefits of the Burunge
WMA were not equitably distributed and instead followed clear spatial patterns that
were determined by geographic location and the economic, social and political
status that can accompany living in a particular place.
44 Although there are 5 member villages in the Burunge WMA, my discussion focuses on the
villages of Minjingu and Vilima Vitatu and their sub-villages. Information about the methods I used
can be found in Appendix A.
58


Peoples familiarity with and experience of the WMA was directly
influenced by their proximity to it, by distance from the paved road that runs
through the northeastern part of the village, and by the opportunities and
disadvantages that resulted from these geographic circumstances. The paved road,
which was built to more comfortably shuttle tourists from park to park in the
northern tourist circuit (see Figure 4.1), is an east-west artery that runs from
northeast Tanzania near Kilimanjaro through Arusha, the largest metropolitan area
in the region, then west past Manyara Ranch and straight into the tiny commercial
center in Minjingu. At the village of Makayuni just east of Minjingu, the paved
road intersects with a road that leads north and west to Lake Manyara National
Park, Ngorongoro Crater, and eventually Serengeti National Park. At Minjingus
commercial center the paved road connects with the road leading south to the
entrance of Tarangire National Park, and then it continues southwest where it ends
rather abruptly about a mile and a half later when the pavement on the far side of
the village center crumbles (literally) into the dirt road that leads to the District
offices in Babati. If youre moving too fast and not paying attention you can get
quite a jolt transitioning from the black top of modernity to the potholed reality that
is most of the rest of Tanzania, an experience that happened to me several times
along this road. This paved road is the road in northern Tanzania and the people
living nearest to it have much greater access to merchants, transportation, and
tourist dollars, not to mention schools for their children and limited medical care,
59


Figure 4.1 Villages, Roads and Parks in the Burunge Area
60


than do people living farther away from the road. In the case of Minjingu, farther
away from the road meant closer to the WMA and to Tarangire and therefore closer
to the attendant negative impacts that go along with living at the bottom of the
village and nearer to destructive and dangerous wildlife. Furthermore, living far
from the road also meant being excluded from decisions and processes that
ultimately had drastic impacts on some villagers ability to survive.
You can see from Figure 4.1 that Minjingu butts up against the northeast
comer of Tarangire National Park and extends northward all the way to Lake
Manyara National Park. As I explained in Chapter 2, the livelihood options of
people in this area are severely limited and the majority of villagers in Minjingu are
farmers who also do some livestock-keeping. Pastoralists are scattered throughout
the village, especially on the northwest side of the paved road where the alkaline
nature of the soil close to Lake Manyara makes farming all but impossible. I
encountered several villagers living close to the road who were primarily
shopkeepers, but they almost always had small farms somewhere else in the village
that supplemented their meager incomes. Where the population was more crowded
near the road and available farmland more constrained, informants often disclosed
that they were forced to farm plots far away from their homes, or hire someone else
to farm for them, to make ends meet. Indeed, there are farms all the way down to
the bottom of the village and prior to the gazettement of the WMA there were
farms all the way down to the national park.
61


The further you go from the paved road the more hostile the environment
becomes, and the visibly poorer people are.45 There are houses where youd least
expect to find them often not on clear paths or dirt roads, seemingly far from
reliable water sources, and definitely far from the attention paid (however limited
that may have been) to the parts of the village that sit right next to the road. As I
worked ever closer to the WMA, I became very conscious of the fact that I needed
to pay attention to my surroundings and watch out for potentially dangerous
wildlife. Nevertheless, people popped out of the bush in places where it seemed
they could not possibly survive places where my instincts told me it was not safe
to live. But people with few alternatives, especially those who have been displaced
from other regions or from the nearby protected areas and forced to live wherever
they can find available land, can and will find ways to live and farm almost
anywhere even in places that were completely inhospitable and downright
frightening to me. Furthermore, because these people are no longer rooted in place
and spatial disconnection has become an everyday reality for them, they are far
more likely to be displaced again and to even harsher areas.
I mentioned in a footnote to Chapter 2 that my field notes are full of stories
about crops being eaten or trampled by wildlife and houses being destroyed by
45 Although I had little exposure to the 3rd World before I went to Tanzania, I could still recognize
that there were different degrees of poverty depending on where you were and to whom you were
speaking. In particular, the Barabaig pastoralists that we stumbled upon were just barely able to eke
out a living on the tiny patches of grazing land that were becoming ever more scattered and far-
flung. Their degree of poverty was, I think, life-threateningly severe.
62


elephants looking for stored foodstuffs. Nearly everyone I spoke with had
experienced close encounters with wildlife, or else knew someone nearby who had:
I had 48 bags of com. He [the elephant] ripped off the door and started
eating maize. Then he came back the next day and knocked down the
whole house. He ate three bags of com and mined my house. After that I
decided to sell the com before he finished my com and my house.
(Interview 08M Olevolos)
The elephant comes into the kraal.. .then he puts up his trunk and smells.
From that he knows which houses have people and which do not. He
knows which houses have com and which do not. He goes to the house
with the com and he rips off the roof. Then he begins to take out the bags
of com. If there are 10 he makes sure that he gets all 10. Then he rips them
all open and he eats everything inside. At first elephants went into farms,
and they realized that it tasted good. Then they smelled the com that was
drying outside peoples houses and they ate that. Then they realized that
there was com inside peoples houses and they ate all that. (Interview 05M
Kakoi)
At least the zebras leave something for us, but the elephants take it all. Two
elephants can finish 5 acres of com in a night. They come from the bwawa
[dam or water hole], they come up the road and look for the fields with the
com in it, and they know which ones they are. (Interview 06M Kakoi)
When we moved here in 1988 we never heard [of] elephants breaking into
peoples houses. Nowadays you have to guard your crops when theyre in
the field. You have to guard them while they are drying outside your house.
Even when you take them in the house you are not certain enough to say
this is my food. (Interview 06F Songa Mbele)
Far and away most of the people who had not been directly affected by wildlife, in
other words people who had not suffered personal damage to crops or their
property, lived in areas closest to the paved road:
People to the south of here dont sleep at night for all the elephants; more
problems for people on the periphery [of the village]. (Interview 2IF Songa
Mbele)
63


No house breaking over here close to the Park and WMA in the south are
those problems. Elephants follow forest/WMA back and forth to the Lake.
No real problems here. (Interview 07M Almasi)
People who live in Makao Mapaya, they dont have the same kinds of
elephant problems as us, so they dont really understand what kinds of
problems we have here. The people who live near the road wanted the thing
[the WMA] because we are the fence that protects [them] from the animals.
(Interview 02M Olevolos)
I have not had a house broken into; bad problem with sub-villages near to
Park. (Interview 07M Makao Mapaya)
And far and away most of the people living closest to the WMA and Tarangire,
where wild animals roam free, spent a disproportionate amount of their time
guarding their farms against intrusions by wildlife:
In the past only Francolin birds ate seeds after planting. Today wildlife
[zebras, wildebeest] eat crops; elephants even go to the extent of breaking
into houses. I have them in my fields almost every year they know
exactly when crops are ripe, especially this farm closer to the [Tarangire]
River my other farms are more in the center of the village. If I dont sleep
in my farm the elephants will eat the whole thing [they] always get at least
a quarter. (Interview 17M Kakoi)
Between 1970 and 1978 there was very little crop damage, but now its like
we are raising them [wildlife] as our own children. (Interview 18M
Olevolos)
There are zebra, but if you chase them off they run away. But if its an
elephant you are [the] one who will get chased off not him. The elephants
have become habituated to us. We used to hit a piece of metal and he
would run away. Now if we hit a piece of metal he knows that there is
something here to eat and he comes right over. (Interview 05M Kakoi)
Animals can come into your farm at night and when you wake up in the
morning all thats left to do is to pick up whatever you can from the ground.
(Interview 06F Songa Mbele)
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Elephants have eaten my farm; cant do anything about it except try to
chase them away. (Interview 12M Kakoi)
More importantly for this discussion, the people who lived farthest from the
village center and who were experiencing the majority of wildlife-related problems
were also those who appeared to have been the least involved in the creation of the
WMA. As a practical matter, people living nearest the village center probably had
more opportunities to learn about the meetings scheduled to discuss the WMA and,
for reasons of distance and the time involved in traveling on foot from one place to
another, more opportunities to actually attend the meetings in person. Conversely,
interviewees at the bottom of the village indicated that although they sometimes
knew that meetings were scheduled, attending these meetings in person was often
far beyond what they could manage. As a result, they were frequently uninformed
or misinformed about the positive or negative impacts a WMA could have on their
lives. A man in the sub-village of Kakoi which borders the WMA put it like this,
There were meetings at the village office, but we didnt go because it was too far
away. I dont have a lot of time to go to their meetings. So I dont know what the
WMA is really supposed to do for us (Interview 06M Kakoi). In addition, several
informants in the bottommost parts of the village flat told me that they were not
aware of any meetings about the WMA:
I know theres something over there; never invited to any meetings about it.
(Interview 13M Kakoi)
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I was never invited [to] any meeting. I heard about it from other herders.
When we met at the water, people told me this isnt our eneo [area/space]
anymore. (Interview 05M Olevolos)
We heard about the WMA, never invited to meetings. Our husbands
probably went. (Interview 09F Almasi)
Those people who were dealing with WMA did not involve the people in
Mbulungu about the issue of WMA. (Interview 02M Mdori Evictee)
Many people believed that village leaders were less concerned with the
needs of people outside the village center than with the needs of people living
nearer the village center. As one person in a group of men I interviewed in the sub-
village of Almasi observed, The village government may not consider [our]
concerns. Sub-village chairmen are with communities. Village government is less
involved with communities (Interview 02M Almasi). Like most rural
communities in Tanzania, Minjingu encompasses a number of sub-villages: Kakoi,
Songa Mbele, Olevolos, Almasi, and Makao Mapaya. Each has its own elected
Chairman, just as leaders are elected at the village level, and it is to these
individuals that many residents turn to for government news and updates that affect
them.46 Many people in the sub-villages felt that the disparity in knowledge about
the WMA was due to or at least compounded by the fact that information
46 People also relied on their neighborhood balozi to provide them with news from the various levels
of government. Under single party rule, this person had been responsible for keeping tabs on what
were essentially political cells comprised of 10 household units. This function technically went
away with the institution of a multi-party system in Tanzania in 1992 (URT 2008a) but many
interviewees still referred to their balozi as a person who represents 10 households on the village
assembly this person should give and take information (Interview 02M Almasi).
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disseminated in village meetings sometimes did not make its way to the sub-village
Chairman much less the rest of the sub-village. Indeed, the Chairman of Songa
Mbele told me, In the first meeting about a conservation area they promised to
meet with everyone before the beacons were put in, then [they] just put them in -
didnt consult with sub-village leaders at all (Interview 1OM Songa Mbele).
Moreover, many people throughout the village recognized that the District officials
who were involved with the WMA plan, and who are not popularly elected but
instead are appointed by the central government, were not beholden to villager
opinion as to whether or not the WMA was a good idea for their village.
As the field season progressed and the number of interviews began to
mount, it became clear that the people of Minjingu were not all privy to the same
information regarding the WMA, nor did they suffer equal costs or receive equal
benefits from its creation. It also became clear that despite these intra-village
differences, the vision of prosperity inherent in the WMA concept succeeded in
achieving what the African Wildlife Foundation had been unable to accomplish for
decades convincing at least some inhabitants of the Tarangire area that it was in
their best interest to set aside land for conservation and stay out of the way of
wildlife. To be sure, it is far easier to convince residents of a key conservation
landscape that they should set aside land for environmental protection, and for the
economic ventures that can result from this protection, if those residents are not
dependent on that landscape for their very survival. Certainly villagers living
67


nearest the paved road were least likely to suffer ill effects from diminished access
to natural resources and most likely to benefit from the economic opportunities that
WMAs are supposed to produce. Likewise, they were more accessible and so more
likely to be part of the community that proponents of the Burunge WMA were
required to produce and include. Yet, I came to realize that even when villagers
supported the idea of a WMA, they were never completely informed as to how this
sort of endorsement might actually play out, especially when non-village interest
groups in the WMA had their own agendas to advance.
Conservation and the Community of Minjingu
As I described in Chapter 2, since the 1990s there had been numerous
meetings facilitated by AWF and Babati District officials involving village leaders
and other members of the Minjingu community with respect to safeguarding
wildlife in the area and maintaining viable migration routes between Tarangire and
Lake Manyara National Parks. Villagers involved in these meetings reported that
the central theme had always involved setting aside village land for wildlife and
biodiversity conservation. Promotion of the WMA concept had been going on for
several years, albeit usually only among a select group of local officials and
villagers:
There was a seminar, but only people from the village government went,
not regular villagers. (Interview 12M Songa Mbele)
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We heard that people were going to seminars, but they didnt explain
anything to us when they came back. The village leaders and their wives
went to the seminar. (Interview 03M Kakoi)
We werent consulted when area was made just a few people in village
office were involved. Were still confused about it not involved in it.
(Interview 19M Kakoi)
District officials and AWF had, predictably, touted the economic benefits of having
investors in the village WMA and the need to protect wildlife so as to attract
tourists and generate revenue for village projects:
One of main things we were told is that the conservation area is for the
villagers. Village will take care of it. Investor area can be for one of
those. The conservation area is for the benefit of the village no matter who
invests in it for our childrens future. (Interview 23M Songa Mbele)
I knew that what was expected from WMA was that money comes back to
the village from photographic investors and from people hunting there.
(Interview 10M Olevolos)
I was told at the meeting that established the WMA [that it could be used
for] camps for money to be generated. Camps will pay fees to village
government and money is used for village projects like building schools.
(Interview 04M Almasi)
They told us that if we set that area aside that we could get an investor and
that would help us. (Interview 04M Kakoi)
I know about WMA area given by village government...heard from other
villagers there was a land use plan livestock grazing permitted, investor
camps are permitted there to make money, money supposed to be used to
build schools, administrative costs, etc. (Interview 01M Almasi)
AWF [told] the villagers that we need this area Mbulungu to protect
and conserve wildlife for your benefits, i.e., you will be selling wild
animals.47 (Interview 01M Mdori Evictee)
47 Many informants identified parts of the area encompassed by the WMA as Mbulungu.
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These efforts dovetailed nicely with MKUKUTA directives to promote community
based ecotourism schemes capitalizing on Tanzanias abundant natural attractions.
In my introduction I explained that MKUKUTA, Tanzanias current poverty
reduction strategy, specifically recognizes the value of wildlife and conservation
ventures in contributing to the countrys sustainable development. Accordingly, it
calls on all stakeholders to collaborate in strategies that will conserve biodiversity
while creating opportunities for economic activities that will help to alleviate rural
poverty.48 WMAs, with their emphasis on collaboration, local participation and
economic growth, are exactly the type of strategy that MKUKUTA planners had in
mind.
According to villagers, the area in question, which loops west from the
southern side of the village all the way north to Lake Manyara (see Figure 2.2), has
historically been what they termed a forest reserve that could also be used for
livestock grazing, gathering firewood, and collecting reeds for basket weaving, an
important source of cash income for many villagers:
The area beyond the beacons and before the Park is a future farming area
for children. [We] can collect dry wood, no cutting of trees thats
restricted by the village government.49 (Interview 14F Olevolos)
48 However, MKUKUTA fails to acknowledge that individual citizens will experience tremendous
difficulties transitioning from a land-based economy to a market-based economy in a place where no
viable market-based industries, other than tourism, exist. Even tourism, with a long history of hiring
people from other countries like Kenya and South Africa, offers few opportunities for rural citizens
and would be hard pressed to generate enough local cash to sustain the populations currently
surviving on subsistence-based livelihoods.
49 Villagers also referred to these beacons as drums or tins.
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A place you cant cut trees, a place you can graze livestock, no firewood
gathering allowed. (Interview 09F Olevolos)
During the dry season we graze in the forest.50 (Interview 08M Almasi)
Conservation area is good if trees are cut there wont be any water and no
animals. Also, theres reserve pasture in there we can use if theres a bad
year. (Interview 1 IF Songa Mbele)
They put in the beacons in 2000, but even before that it was called hifadhi
[reserve]. (Interview 03M Olevolos)
As indicated in the first quote above, most villagers also thought of the area as a
reserve for farming in the event that land grew scarce in the village and young
families needed room to grow. In fact, villagers were already living and farming in
the proposed conservation area:
There were people in the WMA all the way to Mdori. (Interview 10M
Almasi)
I lived for 7 years in Mbulungu given a piece of land 10 acres by the
village government. (Interview 06M Almasi Evictee)
I came here to Minjingu in 1996 and went to Mbulungu where I was given a
shamba [farm] by the Village Secretary. (Interview 07M Almasi Evictee)
I moved from Manyara Ranch to Mbulungu, met a few people there and
joined them and [we] became 56 people. Those people they settled as the
village and they elected their leaders. Majority of people in Mbulungu were
[from] different tribes from Tanzania, such as Wagogo, Wafipi, Wanyatum,
Wanyeremba, and Warusha, and were neighbors.51 (Interview 12M Mdori
Evictee)
50 The forest is the wooded area between the village and Tarangire, in other words the WMA.
51 Another interviewee identified 66 people and their families who lived in Mbulungu when it
became the WMA.
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Before the conservation area, I had a farm there a few years ago.. .my
husband found the land got it for the future for their sons. My husband
chopped trees and planted sisal, had not planted yet; had about 100 acres.
There were people farming in the conservation area taken out and put in a
very small place Vilima Vitatu. (Interview 15F Songa Mbele)
As I indicated at the beginning of this chapter, by all accounts the citizens of
Minjingu, both leaders and residents, never intended to restrict any part of village
land to a single use, nor did they intend to completely bar villagers from access to
that land or its resources. They had already taken steps toward sustainable
management of village land, and in fact the Minjingu Village By-Laws for
Development Activities prominently make mention of the need for protecting water
sources and prohibiting tree-cutting or burning of forest without a permit, and the
charge of every resident to farm and graze livestock responsibly (MVC 2005, §10-
13). There is no mention of a WMA or of a conservation area per se. In our
discussions with villagers, it was clear that although they were sometimes leery of
just how beneficial wildlife could really be for them, they understood perfectly the
need for environmental management and they were often miffed by what they
perceived to be a misconception on the part of outsiders as to their inability to
perform this task. As one person living near the WMA put it, they [AWF] said,
also lets not cut trees here. And we were surprised because we take care of our
trees already and we dont need lessons in that department (Interview 08M
Olevolos). Then again, local ideas about sustainable land management are bound
to be different from the kinds of sustainable development initiatives that can be
72


found in the agendas of international conservation NGOs like AWF. Moreover, the
goals of a Minjingu environmental management plan probably also fail to fall
within the larger development profile envisioned by those for whom the area
presents an ideal investment climate.
Even though most villagers understood the importance of protecting their
natural resources, many people sensed that the act of demarcating land specifically
for conservation was tantamount to losing the land completely:
If area becomes a WMA, then Division of Wildlife controls it and can
charge a 300,000 TSH fine if anyone is caught doing things on land other
than investor activities from which we receive very little. Basically land
becomes Division of Wildlife land; they manage, they collect fines and keep
[fines], villagers have to stay away completely. (Interview with Minjingu
Village Chairman and Executive Secretary, April 25, 2006)
It cuts across peoples farms and only leaves little pieces of farms. They put
drums in the ground and if you go on the other side of those drums you get
arrested. (Interview 06F Songa Mbele)
TANAPA is patrolling now and restricting grazing. WMA is more like it
belongs to TANAPA than village like an extension [of the Park].
(Interview 18M Kakoi)
We think that the government took this land, but we as jamii [community]
cant do anything about it. We think it is for their livestock, which is
wildlife. (Interview 06 Olevolos)
Furthermore, questions concerning the value that could be brought by investors,
versus the costs of relinquishing village land and making it unavailable for other
uses, had yet to be answered:
73


I personally havent seen any benefit from the WMA. I really dont know
how community conservation could benefit us. (Interview OIF Songa
Mbele)
We dont know what the objective of the conservation area was to begin
with dont know if its accomplished what it set out to do just know we
get no benefits and we pay a cost in lost farms. Farms are in the middle
now elephants can come from all sides. (Interview 17F Songa Mbele)
We appreciate the importance of the environment. We live here, we already
protect the environment. Problem is that things were promised to us if we
set this land aside, but those things have not happened. There are investors
down there, but the income they make is just for them. (Interview 16M
Songa Mbele)
Minjingu and the Practical Realities of Participatory Conservation
According to villager accounts, and in spite of this confusion and tension,
the District formed a CBO on the villages behalf and then identified and
recommended to the village the most appropriate citizens to be members of it.
These citizens were taken to a hotel in the city of Arusha in 2003 to attend an
AWF-sponsored seminar designed to explain the doctrine and procedures of a
WMA. Later, these villagers did acknowledge to us and to their fellow citizens that
they had participated in this and other seminars, but they claimed that they never
really understood what was being discussed. These claims seem credible given that
the 2003 workshop was conducted in English, even though village representatives
did not speak English. Several informants said the workshop was confusing and,
because of the presence of district and parliament officials and academics, they felt
74


intimidated and compelled to remain silent. Moreover, the CBO participants
claimed that they did not comprehend the consequences of forming a WMA in the
village or how a WMA differed from the forest reserve the village already had.
Former village leaders made similar assertions, maintaining that the plan for the
proposed conservation area was always presented as part of a village land use plan,
not a WMA plan:
In 1995 we had a village meeting to make a village land use plan road,
shops, farms, pasture, and forest. And we made the appropriate by-laws.
We didnt know about any of this WMA stuff. We set that land aside as a
forest reserve and thats how it should be.. .A lot of stuff has been done in
our name, but none of us understands what has happened. Weve created a
boma of people, which is completely surrounded by animals. (April 28,
2006 Village Council Meeting)
In this village we had seminars about forest reserves. But I never
understood that it was going to be a WMA. (Former Ward Councilor and
CBO member at the May 3, 2006 Minjingu Village Assembly Meeting)
The people from CBO didnt know what was going on. A few people
passed all this; not in the way it was meant to be passed. (May 3, 2006
Special Minjingu Committee Meeting)
The plan that was presented as a village land use plan is not a village land
use plan, its a WMA plan. The English plan has a lot of details about
WMAs, but not the Swahili plan. (April 28, 2006 Village Council Meeting)
The Minjingu village land use plan, which is formally titled Participatory
Land Use Management Plan of Community-Based Wildlife Management Area
(CWMA) Programme Minjingu Village, Babati District, Manyara (hereafter, the
LUP), was actually prepared by AWF with input from District officials. In it
there is an account of how broad-based participation by villagers helped
75


determine a zone from within the village that would be for Community-Based
Wildlife Management Area purposes, an area that just happened to encompass
the entire area which is normally used as passage by wildlife when migrating to and
from the two national parks Tarangire and Lake Manyara (AWF 2004: §6.3).
The LUP also discusses village by-laws that were prepared to guard and guide the
agreements arrived [at] by the whole village (ibid.: §7.3), by-laws that the village
has no record of. Ultimately, the LUP set aside 3,747 HA for tourist hunting,
tourist photography and video-shooting, camping sites, and tourist hotels in the
WMA approximately 16 per cent of total village land area (ibid.: §6.5). The
remaining village land was earmarked for other uses, including farming and pasture
land, and a forest reserve area (ibid.: §6.4).
It is important to note that both English and Kiswahili versions of the
Minjingu LUP were prepared by AWF. My translator and I spent several hours
comparing these versions word for word and we discovered some interesting
irregularities between them.52 53 54 The first page of the English version, a page that is
missing in the Kiswahili version, is sub-titled This Document in Brief and it
explains that the LUP is divided into two parts. Part One is the Project Proposal
52 The only by-laws the village has on file are the By-Laws for Development Activities described
earlier in this chapter.
53 The neighboring village of Vilima Vitatu, one of the other 4 villages included in this WMA, lost
even more land: 12,830 HA out of a total of 19,800 HA, almost 65 per cent of total land area in that
village (AWF 2004: Executive Summary).
54 There are also inconsistencies between the English and Kiswahili versions of the WMA
Regulations.
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which is supposed to provide an overview of the general concept that AWF had in
mind which led to it funding and facilitating the entire project (AWF 2004: i).
Part Two is comprised of the planning process of each individual village out of
those 5 villages which AWF earmarked as CWMA (Community Wildlife
Management Area) pilot project (ibid.). As you read through Part One you
quickly realize that this section was written far in advance of any village
involvement. It appears to be geared solely toward convincing AWFs donors of
the viability of the CWMA plan as it relates to the organizations PLUM
(Participatory Land Use Management) mode of approach and its goals of achieving
sustainable ecosystem development in the Burunge area (AWF 2004), all in a sort
of past-tense fashion. In other words, it talks about the WMA (or the PLUM
Project as it is most often defined in this document) as if it was already a done deal,
and the process of actually gaining village approval, formal endorsement by the
Director, and a Certificate of Authorization from the Minister were merely
administrative formalities. The Kiswahili version, the only version that the CBO
members, the leaders of Minjingu, or anyone in the village assembly could read and
understand, merely discusses use of the land in the village as that was determined
by the work group and blessed by the village assembly. Part One does not
exist.
Part Two relates AWFs PLUM Project to the village of Minjingu, making
specific references to the CWMA as the project. The word project is used
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repeatedly throughout this section, as it is in Part One. Consequently, it is difficult
to think of this document as a self-governing land use plan that has any kind of
organic connection to the village. Instead, with its constant references to capacity
building, obstacles and (my personal favorite) resistance to change, it is quite clear
that the villagers of Minjingu are as much the project as the land on which the
the project was supposed to reside land which they legally controlled. This sort
of focus on local education and attitude changing is not so surprising given the
ongoing efforts of AWF to convince residents of the Tarangire area that they
needed to rethink their relationship with their land (see Chapter 2). However, my
point is that this LUP is less a local endeavor to manage the villages natural
resources than an external endeavor to manage the village. In other words, rather
than Minjingus Land Use Plan creating a legal space, in a geographic sense, for
the PLUM Project (i.e. the WMA) to exist, the PLUM Project actually created a
legal need for the Land Use Plan. Therefore, whatever villager participation there
may have been in the development of the LUP was irrelevant since the acceptance
and execution of this document by the representatives from Minjingu was merely a
required administrative step in the discharge of a larger project that was already
well underway.
Even so, §6.1 of the LUP states that after a series of capacity-building
meetings with different stakeholders of the project (i.e. village community, AWF
officials, National Parks officials and District authority interdisciplinary staffs)
78


consensus on [the] Minjingu Land Use Plan was reached. Then, after land parcels
were earmarked for the project, the proposal was tabled before the whole village
assembly meeting where it got all the blessings required (AWF 2004: 30).
Finally, even though village leaders and residents believed, and village council and
assembly meeting minutes confirmed, that plans for a WMA were still being
explored, concrete beacons were situated on village land to demarcate the
boundaries of the soon-to-be conservation area. According to the majority of our
interviewees, placement of those beacons was often in areas far from those
discussed in the meetings and, as I mentioned earlier, sometimes right in the middle
of farms:
In 1994 they [District Game Officer] began to come here and educate
people. At first they deceived us. They said it would be on the other side of
the korongo [ravine, channel]. Then after we agreed they put the beacons
in, and it was on this side. (Interview 03M Olevolos)
Villagers told district and village leaders that theyd put in beacons with
them this didnt happen. Instead, beacons just appeared one was inside
my farm. I dug it up, took it 'A kilometer to where I thought it should be.
[When] people came to look for beacon, I told them they put it in the wrong
place so I dug it up.55 (Interview 12M Songa Mbele)
My farm goes right up to the beacons. Surprised to see beacons appear; car
with no markings. When questioned, [workers] said they were putting up
beacons. Asked if they could be moved to the other side of the [Tarangire]
River so wed have grazing room, told no this was where they were told to
put them. [We] should have been the ones putting in the beacons, not
outsiders. (Interview 19M Kakoi)
55 This villager was arrested for moving the beacon, thrown in jail for a day, fined 50,000 TSH, and
forced to put the beacon back where it had originally been placed.
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Villagers are mad that beacons were put in places that werent agreed to -
agreed to straight lines [baobab to baobab, etc.]. Instead [there are] jagged
lines think maybe it was an attempt to just get more land for conservation
area. (Interview 13M Songa Mbele)
One interviewee described how villagers dug up a beacon that they believed was
deliberately placed in the wrong location and, after realizing that they could not lift
it, peeled off the metal band containing its identifying number and turned it on its
side. She also said that villagers dug up another beacon and managed to heave that
one some distance into the Tarangire River (Interview 17F Songa Mbele).
Although the Minjingu LUP states that the relevant working group from
AWF, National Park and relevant district authorities trekked along the village
boundaries [and identified] reference points for future demarcation of [the]
Community-Based Wildlife Management Area (AWF 2004: §6.2), villagers had
conflicting stories about who was responsible for placing the beacons. However,
most informants agreed that non-villagers were in charge of this process and there
was little that villagers could do to stop it:
No one from the village was involved in putting in the beacons. A team
from the District came and put in the beacons. (Interview 05M Kakoi)
Villagers said ok, but lets put beacons up together so they wont interfere
with established settlements. Next thing we knew TANAPA people were
putting up the beacons without them. At the same time, a white Land
Cruiser with AWF logo on the side went with the TANAPA car to put
beacons up. (Interview 17M Kakoi)
As I remember, it was the people from Tarangire who put in those beacons.
(Interview 09 Songa Mbele)
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Beacons put up by District Wildlife Officer, Village Chairman, Village
Secretary and Ward Councilor [they] determined where they went.
(Interview 13M Songa Mbele)
Beacons put in with only a few leaders involvement, not with the whole
communitys involvement. (Interview 16M Songa Mbele)
People from AWF [put the beacons in]. AWF had a meeting about where
they should put the beacons, but everyone boycotted it so they [AWF] went
out and put the beacons up. (Interview 1 IF Songa Mbele)
By far the majority of villagers in all parts of Minjingu resented the fact that the
placement of the beacons demarcating the village conservation area did not follow
the borders that had been talked about in village meetings. Furthermore, they were
angry that the act of delineating a village conservation area seemed to mean that
now they were restricted from land they should, as villagers, still be able to use:
When the WMA started, we heard it belonged to the AWF. (Interview 02M
& 03M Songa Mbele/Mbulungu)
Weve probably been cheated people had farms down there -1 had 32
acres that I lost. Not like village land anymore -1 guess we were cheated.
No farming, no grazing land is [in] the hands of the government.
(Interview 12M Olevolos)
When the conservation area was first discussed, the idea was that Tarangire
River would be the dividing line, plus main highway would be dividing line,
rest would be village. This is what the village wanted, but people promoting
the idea said this wouldnt work needed a wider corridor, even though the
villagers said elephants were already going through farms and they could
deal with that. So, agreed to move beyond rivers in straight lines.
Ultimately this wasnt done either; conservation area took even more land
into village. (Interview 13M Songa Mbele)
They came in and put in the beacons. They said, On the other side of this
beacon is no longer yours. You can herd your livestock in here, but
otherwise youd better stay on the other side. We still havent seen a
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benefit. If someone takes something from you and promises something in
return, then you expect to see that thing someday. Up till now, all theyve
given us is [those] beacons sticking in the ground over there. (Interview 04F
Olevolos)
To me it looks like the land doesnt belong to the village anymore because
there were people living inside and they were moved out. (Interview 08M
Kakoi)
When asked what the beacons mean: You get arrested by village
government if you go on the other side. (Interview 08M Almasi)
One informant who identified herself as a former village councilwoman
said she had resigned her office when the beacons started going in. She said that
people began to accuse her of being in cahoots with outsiders who were pushing for
the conservation area and selling the land in the conservation area.56 57 She told us
later that she thought we were there to bribe the old men sitting on her porch into
giving us information so we could take more land for the conservation area.
Although she was adamant that Minjingu villagers all knew that land was being set
aside for conservation we all agreed to do the management area, no one should
be complaining now she also admitted, when asked about the money coming
from the WMA, that things had not really worked out as people were led to believe
they would: There should be lots of services there are none. None coming to the
village, no one knows where its going no hospitals, no schools. If this is really a
56 This woman was extremely suspicious of us, actually positioning herself about 15 feet away from
us the entire time we talked.
57 Actually, she also said the old guys were stupid, so she came to intercede. She clarified this by
saying, In my experience, land is taken away because people are illiterate. People come from
outside and ask them to sign something, thats how they lose their land.
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reserve it has to be administered as such, animals should be guarded; benefits
should go to the village. Now its called a reserve, but thats not really what it is.
No one benefits from it now; its just a big, empty area now.
While this woman was clearly better off than most people we encountered
(after all, she had a porch'), she was also clearly disgusted with how the process of
establishing and managing the WMA had unfolded saying if things continue this
way without clear laws well wind up selling our whole country without even
knowing what we got for it. Finally, she ended the interview by telling us that she
believes people who started the conservation area will ultimately fail. Its cursed
because people worked hard to prepare farms over there and the farms were taken
away.
Displacement for Conservation
As it turned out, we were able to locate and interview 23 of the people who
had been living and farming in the forest reserve and who had subsequently lost
those farms and been forced to leave when the beacons were placed. These
CO
informants had been moved to the sub-villages of Almasi and Mdori and they
were able to collectively identify at least 66 separate households that had been 58
58 Mdori is a sub-village of Vilima Vitatu, a neighboring community.
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evicted from the WMA area, in some cases forcibly, and scattered throughout
northern Tanzania. According to our informants, these 66 households would have
included approximately 200-250 family members, a range which is not implausible
(and it is probably too small a range) considering the average size of a rural
household in Tanzania. The evictees were given little direction as to where they
should go and little assistance in replacing the farmland they had lost. When they
were given farmland, and many were not, it was neither comparable to what they
had lost nor enough to fulfill their needs and the needs of their families:
The village government did not tell us where to go. They just removed the
people from WMA and brought them to this area [Almasi] like wakimbizi
[refugees]. (Interview 03F Almasi Evictee)
We were told to move ourselves otherwise the government will use force to
remove us. The evicted people were to find themselves where to go without
any assistance from the village. (Interview 01M Almasi evictee)
The village government had tried to allocate evicted people just a plot to
live but not even good for cultivation. (Interview 02M Almasi evictee)
The people within the village did not support the village government and its
partners [the District Game Officer] on the issue of removing people from
WMA. Instead they village asked, Where are [you] going to put these
people from WMA? (Interview 06M Almasi evictee)
People from WMA were to be given a place to live in the villages, [but] no
place was prepared for those people. (Interview 01M Mdori evictees)
They did not given enough land to farm and the small land people were
given was very salty, not good [for] agriculture activities. That is why most
of people sold their shamba [farm] here in Almasi, went to the other places
like Mto wa Mbu to farm there. (Interview 09M Almasi evictee)
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Mbulungu was very fertile; you can grow crops and have enough yields so
you can send the children to school. Here [in] Mdori is a dry area not
suitable for growing crops and now we are not able to send children to
school. We do not have any things to sell and buy materials when they are
needed in the school. (Interview 04M Mdori evictee)
The people who got kicked out of the WMA got split up. Some moved
here, others moved to Almasi. Others moved to Magara and Kiteto. When
we moved out we were told to go to the village office to be allocated a new
area of land. When we got to the village office, however, they told us that
there were no plots left. We asked where we should go. They told us to go
back to where we came from in the first place. (Interview 05M Songa
Mbele)
It is important to note that this process of displacement for WMAs is not unique to
a few people in one small community; in fact it has been documented all over
Tanzania (NORAD 2007). Certainly villagers throughout Minjingu knew about
these evictions and many of these people had lost land in the WMA themselves:
They drew the borders and the people who lived in the bush over there
came to live here. (Interview OIF Songa Mbele)
People were living there, moved into interior [of] village. Some people
complained were not happy evicted and lost farms. Other people felt
threatened next time it could be us who gets moved. Its a loss people
have already lost farms and it might happen to me too. People who lost
farms have been taken back to poverty. (Interview 21F Songa Mbele)
People were evicted and moved out across the korongo [river channel] and
settled on the other side; couldnt go anywhere else in Minjingu because it
was already filled up. (Interview 06M Almasi)
I heard that people were evicted and brought to this side of the beacons.
(Interview 06M Makao Mapaya)
Mbulungu they dont have any place to live. An entire sub-village.. .they
live off itinerant labor. (Interview 03 M Olevolos)
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People were moved from WMA, farms burned, moved from Mbulungu,
farms abolished. (Interview 13M Olevolos)
And despite official claims that a WMA is the very essence of transparency
and participation, only four of the 23 evictees that we interviewed, one of whom
was a former village chairman, said that people in the proposed conservation area
were given information about the WMA before it was turned into a WMA. One
person was told, when he questioned why he had to move, Be quiet, the
government is doing its work here (Interview 02M and 03M Songa Mbele/
Mbulungu). All the other interviewees maintained that they first learned they had
to move at the meeting where they were told to get out, or else they learned it when
officials showed up at their houses to make them move. And move them they did:
Force has been used to remove us, and we were told that you must move
whether you like or not. They broke the houses of the people in the WMA
to make sure people moved. (Interview 07M Mdori Evictee)
Third time those came again trying to remove people in WMA area and
people refused to go out of WMA area and this time they used force to
remove them and some people were arrested who refused to get out.
(Interview 02M Almasi Evictee)
They broke the houses of the people in WMA to make sure people move.
The last day when the District Commissioner came, told them, Do you see
this soldier? Next time when I come back I will be like them and we will
move you by power. They were given a deadline one month to move.
(Interview 07M Mdori evictee)
Mekokacha came with a car and passed through the field and kukanyaga
mazao shambani [tread on their farms]. Many people left their crops in the
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fields and houses, whereby Mekokacha said What kind of house is this? It
is like a choo [latrine].59 (Interview 04M Almasi evictee)
The official from Babati came with a gun and chased them as wild pig. The
man was very powerful and he joined with the Village Secretary to remove
people form WMA. One person was beaten by the askari [policeman] who
[was] brought by Mekokacha. (Interview 04M Mdori evictee)
We were told to go where we are come from most of you look like
majambazi [crooks, criminals]. (Interview 08F Mdori Evictee)
Of course, the official version of how people were moved out of the WMA
was quite different from the accounts of the evictees themselves. In a meeting our
research team had with Mekokacha, we were informed that any stories we heard
from villagers about local people not wanting the conservation area, or about being
removed from their homes forcibly or violently, were just lies because the people
living in the WMA had left voluntarily and AWF had a video that showed this and
that also showed how all the villagers had participated. We obtained a copy of this
video and it does show a few people being notified by the DGO, the District
Commissioner, and the Ward Councilor that the area in which they were living had
been designated a conservation area. However this is no meeting; more accurately
it is an announcement of that designation by the District Commissioner who went
on to admonish her tiny audience that they were living in the area illegally and to
remind them that she was from the government and they needed to do what she
59 Mekokacha is Nashon Mekokacha, the Babati District Game Officer (or the DGO). In addition to
being identified by the Almasi evictee quoted above, Mekokacha is mentioned 51 other times in my
field notes as being involved in the meetings held with AWF to discuss the conservation area, the
placement of beacons, or the removal of people from the WMA.
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said. In the background are several other District officials, a couple of game
guards, Mekokacha, and Patrick Bergin, the President of AWF, obviously all there
to show how collaboration and participation were important parts of this process.
But rather than showing participation, this video simply shows resignation on the
faces of the few villagers who were rounded up to be in it. It also shows one of
those villagers telling the District Commissioner how he was arrested, along with
another villager, when he balked at moving until someone could tell him where he
was supposed to go. We already knew that an entire group of elders had been
arrested when they went to the District to complain about what was going on.60
They were not released until the other villagers had moved (or been moved) from
the WMA (Interview 05M Songa Mbele). Finally, the video also shows District
officials, game guards, Mekokecha and Bergin present at the placement of some of
the beacons. There are no villagers helping; only a group of children running
excitedly behind the truck, as children are apt to do.
I soon learned that was happening in Minjingu was not unique to that
village. In Vilima Vitatu, another of the member villages in the Burunge WMA,61
60 One of these elders was a balozi who was described by an informant as a very powerful and
strong person with msimamo [position], attributes which seemed to have mattered little when it
came to being displaced (Interview 02M Almasi Evictee).
61 In total there were 6 member villages originally slated to be in the Burunge WMA, although one
village, Mayoka, was withdrawn from the project prior to gazettement.
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a parallel story was playing out. Villagers had been involved in the same AWF-
sponsored workshops and seminars and similar discussions had occurred in village
assembly meetings regarding a conservation area. AWF and the District had
prepared an LUP that was virtually identical to the Minjingu LUP, right down to
the typos and math errors, but no official approval for the WMA had come from
this communitys village assembly either. As in Minjingu, official gazettement of
the WMA came as a complete surprise to the citizens and leaders of Vilima Vitatu:
We dont want the area to be a WMA. We want it to be a forest reserve.
That has always been our aim. (May 9, 2006 Vilima Vitatu Village Council
Meeting)
Why did you change the community agreement from a community forest
area to a WMA? (Vilima Vitatu Village Chairman at the May 9, 2006
Village Council Meeting)
This question from the Chairman was directed to the Secretary of the CBO who
explained that the CBO representatives had presented documentation evidencing
the community agreement about a forest area at the WMA seminar sponsored by
AWF. Like the forest reserve in Minjingu, Vilima Vitatus community forest area
made similar allowances for livestock grazing, agriculture and settlements in 62
62 The Minjingu and Vilima Vitatu LUPs are obviously duplicates with identical narratives and
identical discrepancies between the English and Kiswahili versions. The only differences between
them are changes in facts, figures and dates (when they were caught before the copy was made) that
correspond with the target village. While there is a page in each indicating that the LUP was
prepared according to the Village Land Act and this page contains signatures of former village
leaders and the District Land Officer confirming their commitment to implementation of the LUP,
the template is obviously designed for use by AWF and the focus of both documents, as I have
already explained, is clearly on how this commitment and implementation fits with AWFs
approach and objectives.
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