Global Partnerships in Tanzania's Marine Resource Management: NGOs, the Private Sector, and Local Communities

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"While Tanzania's system of designating terrestrial parks and protected areas has been historically exclusionary, recent conservation initiatives are acknowledging the need to involve local people in these programs and to provide benefits to resource-dependent communities. New policies for protecting marine resources are also following this approach. Government agencies, in collaboration with external institutions, are now experimenting with systems of community-based marine resource management through the establishment of non-exclusionary Marine Protected Areas, involving local user groups in both management and benefit regimes. "The fugitive nature of marine resources, together with diffuse user groups that cannot be defined as traditional 'communities,' provide tremendous challenges to marine resource management in East Africa. Additionally, pressures of globalization are resulting in increased use of and impact on marine resources in coastal regions. However, these same pressures have also brought about new opportunities for collaborative resource management through the involvement of international non-governmental organizations and private sector operators. Still, with these opportunities come further complications as rights of access to resource use and control are continually debated and reconfigured with new sets of actors. In the current context of globalization, the state, local communities, international development agencies, transnational and local NGOs, private sector operations, and a variety of other global and local user groups all have a stake in protected area management programs. "In coastal Tanzania, a number of new models of collaborative marine resource management have been established within the last decade, and international actors are playing an influential role their creation and implementation. Central to these programs have been the efforts of international conservation NGOs and private sector tourist operations. Both of these types of institutions are interested in the conservation of marine resources, and each is trying to involve local user-groups in community benefit programs to obtain local support and ensure long-term program sustainability. Still, there is much variation in the design of these programs and in the relationships with local community groups in programs from these different sectors. This study looks comparatively at community-based marine conservation initiatives designed and implemented by both international NGOs and private-sector tourist operators to better understand their relationships with local user communities, how these programs are changing community behavior, attitudes, and access to natural resources, the challenges faced by each type of program, and what the implications of these programs are for marine resource protection and long-term sustainability."



IASC, common pool resources, resource management, protected areas, coastal resources--comparative analysis, participatory management, NGOs, globalization