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2011-01-19 | project

Assessing Tanzania’s Marine Protected Areas: Incentives, opportunities, and constraints

Tanzania’s seven Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are governed by the same set of national laws and regulations, but face different opportunities and pressuresthat depend in part on location, the number of local communities dependent on the marine resources, and tourism opportunities.

This newly proposed research project builds on the EfD-funded “Incentives for Villages to Cooperate with Marine Protected Areas As a Function of Location: Mnazi Bay Ruvuma Estuary Marine Park Case Study”. We intend to provide specific policy suggestions to MPA managers that will enable them to improve the long-term management of Tanzania’s MPAs through an improved understanding of how park policies affect marine-dependent villagers and how these villagers react to park policies; improve the allocation of funding across the MPAs; and reduce conflict between the park managers and marine-dependent communities.

Four observations from Mnazi guide our project. First, whether an enforcement regime focuses on technology, quotas, access restrictions, or permit systems affects conservation and equity outcomes. Second, poverty alleviation projects typically generate low incomes in comparison to lost fisherfolk revenues due to restricted access to the fisheries. Third, MPA managers tend not to have the expertise to implement and understand the incentives that poverty alleviation projects create. Fourth, enforcement budgets tend to be low suggesting actions to induce cooperation through other means are needed.

Our methodological starting point will be a structured comparison of the seven MPAs in Tanzania, in which we will compile data on the park records on tourism revenues; permit revenues; enforcement activities; location of violations; outcome of violations; park and NGO income-generating projects; fish landings and market prices; combined with the production of basic maps of each MPA that identifies fish land sites, middle men purchase points, and fish markets. With these statistics, we will look for trends and responses to policies over time and begin to work with MPA managers to understand their budget allocation across activities and across locations, with the aim of improving those allocations in order to facilitate biomass recovery without burdening local communities. We will then perform statistical analysis and prepare graphs and tables that describe the MPA system-wide variability and trends and relate this MPA system database to information about how the federal park system allocates budgets across MPAs, and the incentives created by those national policies at the MPA level.

We will then explore the hypothesis that the pressure on fisheries is an inverted U shape as a function of distance from markets by developing a framework that links distance to markets with the types of alternative income projects and employment activities available in different settings, the various ecosystem-disrupting activities including fishing and tourism in different settings, and the role of markets/urban centres. Using that framework, we can evaluate how more spatially differentiated management across MPAs could improve biodiversity conservation and poverty alleviation outcomes