Business and Conservation? Exploring Interest Clashes in Forestry Governance in Tanzania

Authors: Mette Olwig*, Roskilde University, Asubisye Mwamfupe, University of Dar es Salaam
Topics: Natural Resources, Development, Cultural and Political Ecology
Keywords: Forestry governance, Natural resource management, Business-conservation Partnerships, Forest conservation, Sustainability rhetoric
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/6/2019
Start / End Time: 9:55 AM / 11:35 AM
Room: Roosevelt 3, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Emerging partnerships in forestry governance strive to achieve and balance two very different goals: 1) to ensure that conservation improves forest conditions in terms of structure and biodiversity so as to survive ever-increasing natural stresses and socio-economic pressures, and 2) to achieve optimal business gains in the form of income through the commercialization of forest products. While partnership advocates promote the rhetoric that business and conservation are intricately linked and that both are needed to successfully reach sustainability goals, clashing interests among involved key actors often lead to a disconnect between rhetoric and practice. This paper aims to enhance our understanding of the interest clashes between business and conservation in forestry governance and their implications for forestry sustainability from a political ecology point of view. The study is part of the larger New Partnerships for Sustainability project in Southern Tanzania and compares villages that implement Community Based Forest Management and villages that do not in Kilwa district. Data collection methods include a survey of 352 systematically sampled households as well as key informant interviews, focus group discussions, participant observations and document review. In this paper we argue that sustainability in forest governance depends on the dynamic balance between business and conservation interests.

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