Protected areas (PAs) have become a strategic component of many environmental regimes and are considered a cornerstone in achieving sustainability. Scientific findings suggest that protected areas can play a critical role in building capacity for adaptation to both climatic and livelihood changes.
However, so far we have had mixed results in the performance of PAs, because of complex challenges in PA governance design and limited synergy between PAs and with wider socio-economic and institutional frameworks.
The Protected Areas and Poverty Reduction (PAPR) project, funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) and the International Development Research Center (IDRC), through the International Community-University Research Alliance Program, set out to understand PAs governance dynamics and to enable knowledge to inform conservation actions.
Gazetted in 2005, the Saadani National Park (SNP) is comprised of biologically rich terrestrial, coastal, riverine, wetland and marine ecosystems. SNP, originating from the earlier Saadani Game Reserve (SGR), is Tanzania's newest state-managed PA, part of a network covering no less than 20% of the national territory. Culturally rich, SNP is also connected to 17 villages. Key inquiry areas:
Primary spatial and qualitative, and document data were collected during a 12 month period between 2012 and 2013 in 13 of the 17 villages surrounding the Saadani National Park. The findings here presented come from individual and group interactions with 217 participants.
2. EMERGENCE AND EVOLUTION OF CONSERVATION IN THE SAADANI LANDSCAPE
Detailed spatially-enabled document analysis revealing park actorsâ€™ institutional approach to dispossessing villagers from inhabited ancestral territories