Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area and its influence on the communities in its Botswana borders
This thesis attempts to examine the influence of a nature conservation area, also called a ‘peace park,’ on the lives of the people living and working within its borders. The particular focus of this study is the Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA TFCA). The objectives of this peace park, located in southern Africa, include improvements in quality of life for the local people through development mainly instigated by tourism increased due to enhanced nature protection. Another major focus is the facilitation of friendly relationships between participating countries through cooperation in nature protection and development. The objective of this study is to observe the outcomes of the project from a bottom-up perspective, which focuses on the points of view and experiences of the local people, who are meant to directly benefit from the assistance of this conservation area. As a conceptual framework for analysis, this thesis is based on the positive peace theory and concepts closely relevant to it, such as sustainable development, poverty, human security and community development. These theories have been utilised to further analyse the opinions and experiences of interviewees of the region. All content within these pages has been supported by other case studies of similar concern, when possible. The findings of this study indicate the potential that KAZA TFCA can have on the communities under its supervision. The people interviewed have displayed awareness regarding the importance of nature protection and its correlation with tourism, which lead to further development possibilities which may impact their own welfare. The findings suggest that these people have put their trust into the parks development and success, not only in terms of economic growth, but also when it comes to resolving international tension regarding the management of regional natural resources. Despite the positive opinions expressed by many of the local people, some flaws remain both in the functioning of the park as well as in the people’s attitude toward their neighbours, with whom they should create a healthy economy and a united community. This study is another building-block which contributes to the research that has already been conducted surrounding peace parks in southern Africa. It may also introduce some new arguments to the on-going debate on the role and potentially positive effects of transfrontier conservation areas on local populations.
PublisherUiT Norges arktiske universitet
UiT The Arctic University of Norway
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