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The Economics of Community-Based Wildlife Conservation in Zimbabwe

by Muchapondwa, Edwin, PhD

Abstract (Summary)
This thesis deals with the economics of community-based wildlife conservation in Zimbabwe. It consists of an introductory chapter and four self-contained chapters. Chapter 1 spells out the history of wildlife conservation leading to the inception of CAMPFIRE. Research issues at the core of the rest of the thesis are also highlighted. Chapter 2 formulates a bio-economic model with the parks agency and the local community and their two land-uses to analyse wildlife-livestock conflict and welfare in a typical CAMPFIRE area. In the absence of economic benefits some locals tolerate poaching in order to reduce the stock of wildlife. Scenarios in three resource use regimes are analysed. Wildlife conservation is successful when the local community gets profit shares from hunting and tourism. Policies that could enhance wildlife conservation and social welfare are suggested. Optimal profit shares ought to exceed unity i.e. devolution of wildlife conservation should be augmented by inflows of external funding. If the local communities who live adjacent to the elephant see it as valueless nuisance then they cannot be trusted to be its good stewards. To assess their valuation of it, Chapter 3 presents a contingent valuation study for a typical CAMPFIRE district, Mudzi, in Zimbabwe. The study shows that the median willingness to pay for the preservation of 200 elephants is ZW$300 (US$5.45) and -ZW$98 (-US$1.78) for the public good and public bad cases, respectively. 620f the households consider the elephant a nuisance. In the absence of extra economic incentives, the results are against devolution of conservation responsibilities to the local communities. External transfers potentially provide extra economic incentives. Chapter 4 notes that the increasing incidence of poverty in wildlife-abundant districts could be reduced through sustainable use of wildlife. Despite CAMPFIRE's gains, problems still exist. Our starting point in search for reforms is an investigation of the extent to which design principles shared by the institutions of the world's long-enduring commons are satisfied. Sustainable wildlife conservation under CAMPFIRE requires co-management where appropriation, provision, monitoring, enforcement, conflict resolution and governance activities are organised in multiple layers. CAMPFIRE ought to increase local communities' contestations. Chapter 5 suggests that risk management in agricultural production could proceed in two ways. Firstly, adding wildlife conservation as a land use in the framework of CAMPFIRE could diversify and consequently reduce risk. Diversification into wildlife conservation could help both farmers and efforts to conserve wildlife. Secondly, establishing a wildlife damage insurance programme could assist farmers for whom benefits of diversification into wildlife conservation are likely to be low. A complement to the insurance programme could be an investment in electric fences and buffer zones to reduce the likelihood and severity of loss.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:

School:Göteborgs universitet

School Location:Sweden

Source Type:Doctoral Dissertation

Keywords:SOCIAL SCIENCES; Business and economics; Economics; bio-economic; CAMPFIRE; common property; community; design principles; dichotomous choice; diversification; elephant nuisance; institutions; insurance; poaching; risk management; simple spike; wildlife conservation; wildlife-livestock conflict

ISBN:91-88514-89-7

Date of Publication:01/01/2003

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