Challenges of Community-Based Management of Protected Areas: Contested Trade-offs Between Livelihood and Conservation Interests in Chyulu Hills National Park, Kenya
- Samuel Kimani Kiumbuku
AbstractThis was a formative study whose main aim was to obtain useful information for designing co-management interventions of Chyulu Hills National Park (CHNP) and other protected ecosystems in Kenya. Among the specific objectives that we have covered in this article were to; (1) examine the competing livelihood interests of communities living within the catchment of CHNP. (2) to assess the challenges that undermined community support towards co-management of the ecosystem. The findings showed that communities were highly dependent on park resources for both direct and indirect livelihood services. This over-dependence on the resources by local communities made it difficult for management agencies to control access to the protected area leading to illegal encroachment. There were gaps that required urgent attention to to ensure suatainable management of CHNP. First, communities were not engaged effectively when mangement decisions were being made but only received information on decisions that have already been made elsewhere and were required to abide by them. Secondly, incidences of human-wildlife conflicts jeopardized cooperation between communities and wildlife management agency. Thirdly, in spite of the protected area being in their neighbourhoods, community members felt entitled to the ecosystem resources and therefore they perceived it unfair that the authories kept them off from the National park. In conclusion, there was no balanced tradeoff between the livelihood interests of local communities and conservation interests of the National Park. To promote collaboration between the communities and wildlife management agencies in management of the park there was an urgent need to address the livelihood interests of the local communities.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
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