Politics, Economics, and Practice in Wildlife Conservation in Southern AfricaEPA Grant Number: U915610
Title: Politics, Economics, and Practice in Wildlife Conservation in Southern Africa
Investigators: Manspeizer, Ilyssa E.
Institution: The State University of New York at Binghamton
EPA Project Officer: Lee, Sonja
Project Period: August 1, 1999 through August 1, 2002
Project Amount: $68,602
RFA: STAR Graduate Fellowships (1999) RFA Text | Recipients Lists
Research Category: Fellowship - Social Sciences , Academic Fellowships , Economics and Decision Sciences
The objectives of this research project are to: (1) explain how the practice of community-based wildlife conservation in a southern African state is informed by the political, economic, and programmatic context in which conservation occurs; and (2) uncover the networks used by various parties and individuals to transfer ideas and participate in conservation activities, as well as the power relations that underlie them.
Field work will be conducted in Zambia. Study time will be equally divided between a rural community that is ostensibly involved in a community-based conservation program and the capital city, where decisions regarding conservation policy and practice are made. Interviews will be conducted with representatives of the following groups: local communities, private safari operators, professional hunters, government officials, and representatives of nongovernmental and multilateral organizations. Relevant informants from each of these groups will be identified, and personal data, perceptions about community-based conservation, and alliance network information will be collected. More in-depth interviews will be conducted with several members of each group, conservation meetings will be observed, and archives will be explored. Additional information from sources based in the United States will be gathered. To ease the analysis, all qualitative data will be entered into a text management program, such as Ethnograph v5.0. The understanding gained through this project of how ideology, politics, and economics can inform participants' behavior will make it possible to examine whether specific indigenous communities and natural resources can coexist in practice.