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Degradation Debates and Data Deficiencies: The Case of the Mkomazi Game Reserve, Tanzania

Brockington, D; Homewood, K; (2001) Degradation Debates and Data Deficiencies: The Case of the Mkomazi Game Reserve, Tanzania. Africa , 71 (3) 449 - 480. 10.3366/afr.2001.71.3.449. Green open access

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Abstract

The Mkomazi Game Reserve is contested by people who wish to use its resources and by conservationists who have argued that the reserve should be set aside for wildlife. Underpinning the conservationist case is the argument that people are harmful to the reserve's environment. Former residents of the reserve, notably pastoralists, argue that human use of the reserve did not cause its degradation. The debate is characterised by a lack of data extraordinary in view of the assertions made. An earlier paper set out the contrasting views and defined the data that would be needed to test them. This paper assesses what data there are, and whether it is possible to evaluate the extent to which people caused environmental change at Mkomazi. Using physical data and comments about the environment made by observers it is argued that no firm conclusions can be drawn about small-scale change but that there are indications of large-scale resilience. As a result of this uncertainty the article goes on to consider the extent to which there can ever be clarity about environmental change at Mkomazi as a philosophical contention or as a researchable issue.

Type:Article
Title:Degradation Debates and Data Deficiencies: The Case of the Mkomazi Game Reserve, Tanzania
Open access status:An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI:10.3366/afr.2001.71.3.449
Publisher version:http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/afr.2001.71.3.449
Language:English
Additional information:Copyright © International African Institute 2001
Keywords:deficiency, degradation, Tanzania
UCL classification:UCL > School of Arts and Social Sciences > Faculty of Social and Historical Sciences > Anthropology

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