Causes and Consequences of Displacement Decision-making in Banhine National Park, Mozambique

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"Around the world, decision-making is looming regarding the displacement of people resident in and reliant on the natural capital in protected areas. While policies such as the World Bank’s safeguard policy on involuntary resettlement guides decisions about the potential displacement of people in protected areas, there are often political and other obstacles to implementation. In the case of displacement decision-making in Banhine National Park(BNP), Mozambique, district-level government officials promoted the displacement of BNP-area residents and their resettlement into villages outside the park in a manner that was inconsistent with the World Bank safeguard policy. The decision to displace park residents was influenced by communication and capacity challenges, pressures for political decentralisation, the local-level operationalisation of international poverty reduction and development agendas, and a national-level agenda to concentrate or villagise dispersed rural populations. Ideas regarding inhabited versus uninhabited protected area models only influenced how displacement and resettlement occurred and not whether it occurred. Protected area displacement debates that do not account for broader and more powerful political forces may be of little significance to real decisions regarding displacement."
displacement, resettlement, risk, poverty