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Tourism, conservation, development around a marine protected area in Kenya

Carter, CP; (2012) Tourism, conservation, development around a marine protected area in Kenya. Doctoral thesis, UCL (University College London).

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Abstract

This thesis analyses relationships between the tourism industry, conservation and development around a marine protected area (MPA) on the coast of Kenya. In doing so it aims to unravel the complexities of these interactions, to inform debates on whether and under what circumstances conservation and poverty alleviation objectives can be jointly met. Many MPAs are charged with the task of fulfilling both ecological and social objectives. Previously it has been proposed that tourism can be used as a vehicle to enable the MPA to meet these dual objectives as tourism is predicted to contribute to poverty alleviation at the same time as achieving conservation goals through funding the MPA, displacing fishing livelihoods and changing attitudes and behaviours. To analyse these relationships a sustainable livelihoods approach is taken. The results show that on one level tourism was found to be achieving a ‘win-win’ outcome as it was providing high levels of employment and funding for the MPA. However, benefits from tourism were so highly inequitably distributed among the community and in ways so dependent on social relations, that they were not reaching the poorest sectors of the community. Also, although tourism was funding the park it was not found to have had any of the other conservation impacts observed in other cases, such as displacement of natural resource based livelihoods. On the contrary, it was expanding the market for fish and leading to a rise in the use of unsustainable fishing gear. The implications of these findings in terms of policy and practice related to both the tourism industry and conservation strategy are discussed.

Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Title:Tourism, conservation, development around a marine protected area in Kenya
Language:English
UCL classification:UCL > School of Arts and Social Sciences > Faculty of Social and Historical Sciences > Anthropology

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