Western Indian Ocean Journal of Marine Science

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Do they Have a voice?

Linn Rabe, Fred Saunders


Local participation, especially in managing systems of socio-natural resources, has been promoted as key strategy in the quest for sustainable development. Community-Based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM) is an approach that has generally been promoted as the institutional means to genuinely include and empower ‘local people' in natural resource management and use. This paper examines how local participation in conservation projects works in practice, through scrutiny of a case study of community based mangrove management in Jozani-Pete, Zanzibar, by using common pool and actor oriented theories. The paper argues that common pool design principles might be less useful in order to examine social processes and key conflicts surrounding the Jozani-Pete project. The case study illustrates the difficulty of imposing exogenous CBNRM institutions that impose resource restriction to further marginalize, already marginalized people. In Jozani-Pete, the CBNRM institution came embedded within a predetermined conservation agenda, which resulted in resource use constraints, resistance, frustration and uncertainty amongst community members.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
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