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Unformatted text preview: University of Arizona Document Delivery _ CI PAGES MISSING FROM VOLUME DOCUMENT DELIVERY ARTICLE Trans. #: 383624 |||||||||||||||I|||l||lll||l|I|llll|llIl Call #: QH77.A4 C66 1987 Journal Title: Conservation in Africa: Peoples, Policies and Practice. Article Author: Richard Bell Article Title: Conservation With a Human Face: Conflict and Reconciliation in African land Use Planning Location: Science-Engineering Library - Item #: Volume: Issue: Month/Y ear: 1987 CUSTOMER INFORMATION: Pages: 79-102 Catherine E. Belshaw Imprint; belshawc@email.arizona.edu STATUS: Graduate DEPT: History University of Arizona Library Document Delivery 1510 E. University Blvd. Tucson, AZ 85721 (520) 621-6438 (520) 621 -461 9 (fax) AsklLL@u.|ibrary.arizona.edu Paged by\§&1lnitialskZOO‘QS-3 Reason Not Filled (check one): El NOS D NFAC (GIVE REASON) El LACK VOL/ISSUE E] OVER 100 PAGES Rec'd: 8/1/200 L’ 4 Conservation with a human face: conflict and reconciliation in African land use planning R.H.V. BELL ‘Africa is on the brink of ecological collapse.” So said a senior World Bank official at a development conference at Tananarivo in November 1985, and most people seemed to believe him. This type of belief has long given licence to government and international intervention in Afri- can rural development, and particularly to conservationist lobbies to promote a conservationist programme in Africa. The outlines of this programme are stated in the World Conservation Strategy published by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) in 1980. The primary objectives of this strategy are as follows (IUCN, 1980): (i) to maintain essential ecological processes and life-support systems (i.e. atmosphere, soil and water cycles); (ii) to preserve genetic diversity (including preventing extinctions and preserving representative biotic communities); (iii) to ensure the sustainable utilisation of species and ecosystems. The conservationist programme is a strategy of limitation of resource use and human population increase. As such it inevitably embodies conflict between short-term individual interests and long-term communal interests. Any programme that emphasises long-term communal benefits at the expense of short-term individual benefits will meet with resistance. The problems and costs of conservation are proportional to the extent of the conflict between these two sets of interests (Bell, 1986a). For a conservationist programme to develop and survive without external enforcement, the benefits conferred must be real and they must not be long delayed. The conservationist programme has certain features in common with centrally planned socialist economic systems. Both systems are intended to ensure equable access to resources, communism by social classes living in parallel at one time, conservation by successive generations through time. Both involve conflicts between individual and communal interests, creating characteristic categories of illegal activity, communist systems 79 80 RH. V.Bell their pervasive ‘economic crimes’ and conservationist programmes their ‘ecological offences’; both are most readily implemented by means of government enforcement. It is no accident, therefore, that in both cases there is a trend towards reconciling the conflict between the individual and the community by introducing individual rewards into the system. Some communist systems are edging towards mixed economies, while some conservation programmes are testing, with equal caution, the con- cept of conservation with a human face. The costs and benefits of conservation The balance between the various costs and benefits of conservation varies considerably between different sectors of society, both national and international. The costs in terms of alienated land, restrictions on resource use and damage to life and property are mainly carried by rural populations, particularly those at the interface between settlement and conservation areas. The political and financial costs of administering conservation programmes are carried mainly by national governments. The benefits of aesthetic and recreational experiences and scientific opportunities are enjoyed mainly by foreigners. The benefits of national prestige are enjoyed mainly by national governments as, currently, are most of the revenues from the use of wildlife resources.The rural interface communities who carry much of the cost derive few benefits. At present, then, costs and benefits are unevenly distributed. I For both costs and benefits there are two distinct classes which may be called direct and indirect respectively. A direct benefit is one that directly fulfils a human need that cannot be fulfilled in any other way; an indirect benefit is one that provides the means of fulfilling some other need. Thus for those who want to see wild elephants, wild elephants only will suffice as a direct benefit; however, wild elephants provide the indirect benefit of cash from ivory to buy fertiliser. A direct cost is one that cannot be neutralised by substituting some other commodity, whereas an indirect cost can be so neutralised. For example, when people are relocated to vacate land for a national park, the loss of access to ritual sites is a direct cost, whereas loss of agricultural land is an indirect cost which can be compensated by payment or allocation of alternative land. The primary direct benefits of conservation are aesthetic (including prestige) and intellectual (i.e. scientific), while the primary indirect benefits are utilitarian and monetary. The same may be said of costs. In this they resemble works of art, of which the direct benefits derive from their artistic value, while their indirect benefits are due to their potential as financial investments. Conservation with a human face 81 In the conservation arena, public discussion of costs and benefits is couched almost exclusively in terms of the indirect class, that is, of the utilitarian and monetary consequences of conservation or the lack of it. This tendency is well illustrated by the World Conservation Strategy (IUCN, 1980), in which, for example, preservation of genetic diversity is justified principally on the grounds of maintaining crop production and of the potential of wild organisms as sources of useful products. This emphasis on the indirect, utilitarian values of conservation is no doubt due to the feeling that the direct, aesthetic values are frivolous and will carry insufficient weight with governments and rural interface populations. Nonetheless, I consider the utilitarian justification of con- servation to be opportunistic, unrealistic and potentially counterproduc- tive. It is opportunistic because it is used as a stalking horse for motiva- tions which are in reality aesthetic (cf. Bell, 1983). It is unrealistic because it cannot account for the scale of the commitment to conservation in Africa or elsewhere in relation to any critical accounting of its utilitarian returns. It may be counterproductive to the conservationist programme because, if conservation is justified on the grounds of utilitarian benefits, anything else that produces more of those benefits, must take precedence over conservation (Clarke, 1972; Bell, 1983). This brings us back to the question of whether Africa is on the brink of ecological collapse. If the answer is yes, this can be taken as a powerful utilitarian justification of a strong conservationist programme. The benefits, in terms of living standards, will be real and immediate, so that in theory the programme should meet with little resistance. If it does meet with resistance, the argument runs, it may be necessary to impose the programme from above, the end justifying the means. If, on the other hand, Africa is not on the brink of ecological collapse, the benefits may be less immediately evident and a more gradual approach may be indicated. a Africa’s ecological crisis It is fashionable to describe the status and trend of man—environment relations in Africa in terms of concern and alarm. The scenario is pre- sented as follows, for example by Timberlake (1985), Myers (1984) and Soulé (1984) among others: the rate of human population increase is the highest of any continent at about 3.5 per cent per year, and exceeds 4 per cent in Kenya and possibly Nigeria, Botswana and Malawi (Myers, 1980). Populations are increasing more rapidly than food supplies and services such as hospitals and schools, so that living standards are declin— 82 R.H.V.Bell ing (Timberlake, 1985). Agriculture is expanding at the expense of natural vegetation into unsuitable land, leading to soil loss and erosion. Livestock numbers continue to increase; cattle increased by 30 per cent between 1965 and 1980 in sub—Saharan Africa, while small stock increased by 60 per cent in the same period (World Bank, 1984).These trends are leading to a steepening spiral of degradation and, ultimately, desertification. Africa is on the brink of ecological collapse. Is this scenario realistic? Let us take each component in turn. Human population increase. Firstly, it is probable that the published rates of human increase are inflated as a result of progressive improve- ments of census technique (M. Norton-Griffiths, personal communica- tion). Secondly, admitting that the rates of increase are still high, what do they mean? They mean that Africa’s human populations are not encountering serious constraints such as shortage of land, food, other resources and facilities. They mean that Africa’s human populations are not yet approaching the ecological carrying capacity of the continent (see Caughley, 1977; Bell, 1986b, for the definition of ecological carrying capacity). If the population is still below carrying capacity even though it has been increasing rapidly for at least the last half century, it follows that, at the onset of the colonial era, the population must have been a small fraction of the carrying capacity. Why was the population of Africa so low? My own View is based on that of Ford (1971). It is that the majority of the African population is derived from relatively recent immigrants and is thus vulnerable to the hostile disease environment (Hartwig & Patterson, 1978; Ranesford, 1983); that the primary defence has been cultural, involving the formation of disease-free centres by means of dense settlements eliminating wild vectors; that this pattern allowed the buildup of large populations during the Iron Age (perhaps 300 BC to about AD1700); that this cultural resistance was fractured by the opening up of Africa from about 1700 to 1930, involving political conflicts, the slave trade, major tribal move- ments such as that of the Ngoni, a general improvement of communica— tions after 1900, and the introduction of external diseases; and that this fracturing re-exposed the population to endemic disease vectors and pests (such as tsetse fly and even elephant), all factors combining to cause a population crash. Ranesford (1983) quotes figures from the Belgian Congo, for example, suggesting a decline in population from 40 million in 1880 to 9.25 million in 1933. A summary of the continental situation is given by Curtin et al. (1981). Livestock. The situation here is similar. The majority of livestock types have probably been introduced to Africa within the last 10,000 years Conservation with a human face 83 (Epstein, 1971; Klein, 1984), and most are vulnerable to a series of vector-borne diseases. Over 90 per cent of the African cattle population was eliminated at the start of the colonial era by the rinderpest pandemic introduced to Eritrea in 1887 and reaching the Cape in 1900 (Ford, 1971). Since then, the livestock population has increased steadily, to the alarm first of colonial administrators (e.g. Kenya Land Commission, 1934), and later of international advisers (e. g. Le Houerou & Skouri, 1980). These two statements of concern, made 47 years apart, are practically identical. Still the livestock population continues to increase (World Bank, 1984), in spite of two major droughts. Again this can only mean that Africa has yet to reach its ecological carrying capacity for livestock. Land availability. Hunter (1979) estimated photogrammetrically that in Malawi, the fifth most densely populated country in Africa, 33 per cent of the land area was under ‘natural vegetation’, over and above National Parks and Game Reserves (11 per cent), Forest Reserves (9 per cent), agriculture (36 per cent) and urban developments (11 per cent). Norton—Griffiths (Ecosystems, 1985) whose company Ecosystems has carried out quantitative land-use surveys of over 700,000 km2 in Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda and Sudan, estimates that even within the more densely settled strata, less than 30 per cent of available land is currently under cultivation. Grimsdell & Bell (1975) found that in the Bangweulu margin and islands, the most densely settled part of rural Zambia, 41 per cent of cultivable land was fallow. We conclude that the proposition that Africa is facing an immediate shortage of arable land is open to question, except on a limited local basis. Degradation Can Africa continue to support the existing and foresee- able human and livestock populations without degradation significantly reducing the carrying capacity of affected areas? Quantitative data are hard to obtain. It is generally accepted thatAfrican soils under continuous cultivation commonly lose fertility and crop productivity (Nye & Green- land, 1960; La] & Greenland, 1979). However, as Young (1976) points out, the result is a state of low-level equilibrium, in which humus and nutrient levels remain constant and crop yields are stabilised at a low level. It is not a catastrophe scenario. Similarly with livestock, Western (unpublished data) has shown that grass productivity falls initially in response to livestock buildup, then settles at a low plateau that is stable over a wide range of stock densities until it is finally eliminated by hoof action at concentration points such as bomas and waterpoints. These low—level equilibrium models may explain the fact that the catastrophes regularly predicted rarely occur. For example, Trapnell (1953), on the basis of a survey of the ecology and land-use of North-Eastern 84 R.H.V.Bell Rhodesia (Zambia), concluded that extensive areas were overpopulated, suffering from degradation and erosion, and were approaching ecological collapse. Now, forty years later, the collapse has not occurred, and land- use planners are discussing the accommodation of ten times the popula- tion present in 1943 (Oscarsson, 1984). Again, the Kapata Peninsula in the Bangweulu basin was estimated by Trapnell (1953) on the basis of a 1938 census, to contain about 43 people per kmz, making it one of the densest populations of rural Zambia. Trapnell considered the area ‘to have been cultivated beyond recognition of (its) former state . . . land shortage is acute . . . soil depletion is marked . . . and provides the most serious population problem in Northern Province’. On the basis of the 1969 census, J ackman & Davies (1972) estimated the density in the area to be over 190 per kmz, a figure confirmed by Grimsdell and Bell (1975) by aerial photography of houses. This example makes two points: firstly that the 1938 estimate was almost certainly too low, implying an inflated rate of increase of over five per cent per annum to reach the 1969 figure, and secondly that the apparently critical ecological situation did not lead to collapse, nor has it done so now, twelve years later. Such instances are commonplace. It is much more difficult to find substantiated cases of degradation due to overpopulation or overstocking leading to reduced densities or even to reduced standards of living. Desertification Semi-arid and arid zones are amongst the most fragile ecosystems on earth. They can very quickly undergo irreversible degradation at the hand of man: their threshold of critical injury is reached after only a moderate or even marginal modification through human activities. Desertification is now thought to be overtaking 60,000 km2 per year . . . (Myers, 1984) The ‘settlement—overgrazing’ hypothesis of desertification has recently been restated by Sinclair & Fryxell (1985). However, several aspects of this hypothesis remain open to question. Firstly, through the Quaternary, the Sahelian climate has been both drier and wetter than it is now, and the desert correspondingly larger and smaller (Grove, 1968; Grove & Warren, 1968; Rzoska, 1976; Klein, 1984). Reduction of rainfall without human intervention is thus a sufficient explanation of desert expansion, although this does not rule out human and livestock involvement in the present situation. Secondly, a a1 sis of the Sahel rainfall records indicate » a drying trend from the late 1950s to the present (Lamb, 1982; Nicholson, 1983; Kerr, 1985). Thirdly, the albe 0 t eory of a positive feedback between vegetation reduction and diminishing rainfall remains subject to dispute (Otterman, 1974; Charney et al., 1977; Nicholson, 1983; Sinclair & Fryxell, 1985), while it cannot account for the linkages between Fatwa? u‘ Conservation with a human face 85 Sahelian and broader weather patterns (i.e. Kidson, 1977). Fourthly, the recovery of Sahelian vegetation following reduction of grazing pressure (Wade, 1974; Le Houerou, 1976; H.F. Lamprey, personal communica- tion), shows that herbivore use modifies vegetation structure (as it always does as herbivores approach carrying capacity, Caughley, 1977; Bell, 1986c), and that this change is not irreversible, as implied by Myers (1984) and Sinclair & Fryxell (1985). It does not, however, show that current changes in Sahelian vegetation are independent of rainfall capacities for humans of the Sahel, under livestock densities that would allow vegetation states that would satisfy conservationists. Finally, mea- surements of primary production on satellite imagery at a number of ‘desertified’ sites in eastern Africa, showed no difference in production in years of equivalent rainfall before and after drought spells (M. Norton- Griffiths, personal communication). We may conclude, therefore, that climati ' ' ' Sahelian_esergfi§ation, while the contribution of settlement and overgrazing is unclear. Famines.There is no doubt that there are periodic and serious shortfalls in food production in parts ofAfrica, for example in the recent Ethiopian— Sahelian drought and in Mozambique. The questions are: are these food shortfalls the consequences of modern trends in man—environment rel- tions, and are they density-related? The first question can be answered quite clearly in the negative. For Ethiopia, for example, Hancock (1985) quotes Pankhurst (1966, 1972) as listing 30 occasions on which the country was affected by famine between the years 1540 and 1900. Most famines were related to drought, although one of the worst, that of 1888—92, was compounded by the first rinderpest pandemic which killed most of the cattle and, according to Pankhurst, may have led to the deaths of 75 per cent of the human population. Droughts and famines are characteristic of arid environments and are not the consequence of modern developments in the Sahel. Rainfall variability is highest in arid areas (Norton-Griffiths, Herlocker & Pennycuick, 1978; Nicholson, 1979), so that the carrying capacity fluctuates widely, allowing populations to build up beyond the bottleneck values imposed by periodic droughts. The current droughts may be unusual in one important respect. This is that the traditional response of humans and livestock, that of move- ment, is now to some extent constrained by the rigid political boundaries of modern nation states. Even so, as the latest Sahelian drought eases, the estimated mortality toll has been much smaller than predicted (In- gram, 1985) and will not affect the generally increasing trend of Africa’s human population. 86 R.H.V.Bell The second question, is food shortfall density—related, is more difficult to answer without detailed statistical analysis taking into account other variables such as rainfall and soils. However, a casual survey suggests the opposite, that living standards are either independent of density or actually positively correlated, as in the highlands of Kenya and northern Tanzania, southern Nigeria, Malawi, etc. World Bank (1984) statistics indicate that food production in Ruanda, the most densely populated country in Africa, is keeping pace with, or outstripping, population growth. Food shortfalls that are unrelated to drought, then, are almost without exception related to civil disturbances, as in Mozambique, Uganda and eastern Zaire. Frequently disturbance-induced shortfalls are exacerbated by emphasis on cash crops at the expense of food crops (Hancock, 1985; Timberlake, 1985). These are political and economic, rather than ecological problems. The status of wildlife and wildlife conservation Africa has reached the present with a relatively modest level of Quater- nary extinctions (Klein, 1984), and with its ecological communities rela- tively intact. Exceptions are the moist forests which are species-poor compared with those of tropical America and Asia; this is probably due to periodic fragmentation by climate changes rather than to human inter- ference (McKinnon, unpublished data). The status of ecosystem conser- vation has been reviewed for eastern Africa by Lamprey (1975) and IUCN (1976), while the Afro-tropical realm as a whole is currently under review (McKinnon, unpublished data); a workshop reached the following preliminary conclusion (IUCN, 1985): While Africa south of the Sahara has allocated a relatively high proportion of its land to protected areas, and while many African countries possess extensive, representative and well managed protected area systems, there is no room for complacency on the overall conservation situation. The fundamental problem is recognised as the rapid human population increase. The immediate shortcomings are of two types. Firstly, there are important omissions or deficiencies in the representation of biotic communities in protected area systems. Secondly, there are serious shortcomings in the management of existing protected area systems, due to constraints of funding, trained manpower, equipment and political support Clarke (1981) estimated, on the basis of the United Nations List of National Parks and Equivalent Reserves (Anon, 1980), that 3.5 per cent of sub-Saharan Africa was allocated to protected areas of this status. The current figure is probably at least 4 per cent. This proportion com- pares favourably with other global regions, being significantly surpassed Conservation with a human face 87 only by North America (12.6 per cent) and the Oceanic islands (10.3 per cent) (Clarke, 1981). Several African countries, including Botswana, Malawi, Tanzania and Zambia, have allocated over 10 per cent of their land area to national parks or equivalent reserves. Using a figure of 4 per cent for sub-Saharan Africa, the total area of National Park is possibly around 850,000 km2 (Bell & Clarke, 1986a). In addition to the national parks and equivalent reserves is a significant area of Forest Reserve as well as mixed-use conservation areas. The number of national parks and equivalent reserves gazetted has more than doubled since the indepen- dence of most African states in the 19605, with a particularly rapid phase of land acquisition in the mid-1970s (Harrison, unpublished data). In general, then, the protected area situation in Africa is relatively favour- able. However, certain ecosystems are under-represented or under- protected (IUCN, 1985): lowland and montane forests, deserts, swamps, seashore, freshwater and alkaline lakes, succulent karoo and lowland fynbos. There are, in addition, a considerable number of endangered and threatened species, including a large number of plant species (IUCN, 1984), about 180 species of birds (Collar & Stuart, 1984) and several other species of vertebrate. In the latter category, conspicuous members are the scimitar—horned oryx (Oryx dammah), possibly already extinct in the wild (Newby, 1986), and the northern white rhinoceros (Ceratotheriam simum cottoni) (AERSG, 1985). The black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis) has also been drastically reduced over the last decade as a result of illegal hunting for horn (Bradley Martin, 1980, 1983; Bradley Martin & Bradley Martin, 1983).The present number is probably around 8,000 (AERSG, 1985). Much attention has also been given to the decline of the African elephant (Loxodonta africana) as a result of illegal hunting for ivory. Certainly its numbers and range have been reduced over the last decade, but the total population is currently estimated at between about 740,000 (Douglas-Hamilton’s, 1984, lower estimate) and 1,180,000 (Martin, 1986c), and can scarcely be considered endangered or even threatened, except on a local basis (Parker &Amin, 1983).The situation of the elephant is not atypical of the situation of African wildlife as a whole, that is, it is more optimistic than the media would have us believe. This is backed up by Prescott-Allen’s (1984) analysis of the IUCN Red Data Book (IUCN, 1978, 1979a, b), which indicates that of 25 countries with 20 or more vertebrate species known to be threatened, only two (South Africa and Cameroon) are in mainland Africa, while of 13 coun- tries with 10 or more endemic vertebrate species known to be threatened, only one (South Africa) is on the continent. 88 R.H.V.Bell The commitment of most African governments to wildlife conservation cannot be doubted. The massive allocation of land, frequently as great or greater after independencethan before, speaks for itself. So does the allocation of funds. Bell & Clarke (1986a) estimate, on the basis of data collated by Cumming, Martin & Taylor (1984) and other sources, that the total financial allocation to wildlife conservation in Africa other than South Africa in 1981 was about $75 million, with about as much again being spent in South Africa. The majority of these funds is derived from national government subventions rather than from external donations. Given the responsibilities of conservation agencies outside national parks, this works out at roughly $50 per km2 of national park on average. There can equally be no doubt as to the reality of the conflict with local interests. Most conservation agencies are paramilitary armed and uniformed organisations, in which the majority of expenditure is devoted to law enforcement and public relations. Under existing wildlife legisla- tion in many African countries, normal rural existence is nearly impos- sible without breaking the law (Marks, 1976). Most such offences are minor and undetected, but in many countries extensive enforcement takes place. For example, in Malawi around 500 persons per year are charged on wildlife-related counts, while in 1981, 239 people were arrested in and around Kasungu National Park alone (Bell, 1984). In many African countries, armed confrontations between ‘poachers’, that is those acting contrary to wildlife legislation, and enforcement staff, are commonplace and deaths and injuries on both sides are regular occurrences. In some countries, infringement of wildlife legislation on a large scale, such as residence within protected areas and extraction of products such as meat, ivory, rhinoceros horn, skins and timber, is com- mon, as in the Ivory Coast (Hall-Martin, unpublished data), Sudan (AERSG, 1985) and Mozambique (J. Tello, personal communication); here, no serious attempt is made to enforce wildlife legislation. The crisis: another viewpoint The human population in Africa is increasing rapidly, but the overall population density is still relatively low except in certain localised con- centrations. Extensive surveys indicate the availability of considerable areas of usable land. Crop production per area is roughly constant. Frequent predictions of soil exhaustion and catchment degradation are rarely fulfilled. Livestock numbers continue to increase although there have been localised die-offs due to droughts. Undisturbed natural biotic Conservation with a human face 89 communities remain in considerable quantities both inside and outside protected areas. The protected area system is large and generally rep- resentative of Africa’s biotic communities. Africa’s fauna has been rela— tively lightly affected by Pleistocene and recent extinctions, and spectacu- lar large mammal communities exist in many countries. Asmall number of large mammal species is seriously endangered mainly due to illegal hunting for high cash value products such as rhinoceros horn. We appear, then, to be faced with a paradox. On the one hand the human population is increasing very rapidly, but on the other hand the overall ecological situation seems generally satisfactory with considerable room for further human increase without either ecological collapse, elimination of major biotic communities or extinction of many species. The key to this paradox is that, when Europeans encountered Africa at the outset of the colonial era, they encountered a human population probably smaller than it had been since the Iron Age revolution 2,000 years before, reaching its nadir between 1900 and 1930. The same is true of livestock which were drastically reduced by the rinderpest pandemic of 1890—1900. As human and livestock populations crashed, wildlife and its habitats expanded, a situation which was perpetuated and exaggerated by colonial conservationist legislation. TWECC of these events was that the westernwwolld gained a false impression of the ‘natural’ relationship betweenhumansamithgir, Cenvironfnents in Africa that has coloured western attitudes towards development and conservation’hi Africa ever since. As Graham (1973') has pointed out, the West found in Africa the Garden of Eden of its romantic imagination. The subsequent recovery and development of humans and livestock were therefore seen as unnatural, threatening and ecologically unsound. The international establishment has in the past come to apply a double standard with regard to conservation and develop- ment, applying more rigorous constraints to development to the Third World and Africa in particular, than to the developed countries. The picture has of course been complicated by the droughts and civil distur- bances, both of which factors have led to local shortfalls in food produc- tion. Their effects are independent of human density, but those looking for evidenece of density-induced ecological collapse have found it in their effects. Such erroneous conclusions have tended to reinforce the western View that theivproblemsrof development in Africa are primarily theTEsfiufiltkof humzfipqgulation increase and that theycan bersolved by constraints to resource utilisation as indicated by a conservationist prog- . WM“, 7 7 ramme. \ 90 R.H.V.Bell Strategies of the attainable The recent trend in Africa has been towards a more flexible and liberal approach to conservation. This approach recognises the need to identify valid objectives for conservation, to reduce the conflicts between short- term individual interests and long-term communal interests, and to balance the costs and benefits equably between different sectors of the community, international, national and local. The first requirement is to clarify the objectives of conservation. Most statements of conservation objectives, such as the World Conservation Strategy (IUCN, 1980), give no guidelines on how much conservation is enough; the more the better, they imply. The World Conservation Strategy objective of preserving diversity gives few guidelines on what levels of diversity are required. It does not satisfactorily address the questions of how to deal with evolutionary change, nor that certain organisms are harmful and undesirable. As it stands, it represents the impractical and counterproductive intention to freeze the biosphere in its present state. Clarke & Bell (1986b) conclude that the decision as to how much to conserve, and in what state, is essentially an arbitrary or aesthetic decision (Bell, 1983). This means that each country has to formulate a national conservation strategy which represents a selective application of the World Conservation Strategy. Such a strategy has to answer the following questions (Bell & Clarke, 1986b): (i) Which species of animal and plant does the country intend to conserve? (ii) What numbers of these species does it intend to conserve? (iii) Where does it intend to conserve them? (iv) How does the country intend to utilise them? Such a strategy implies a policy that defines the relationship between man and his environment. The policy statement of the Department of National Parks andWildlife, Malawi (Clarke, 1983), explicitly recognises the predominance of human interests: Wildlife means all species of wild indigenous plants and animals. It includes undesirable as well as desirable species, and those that may be considered insig- nificant . . . the government recognises that wildlife . . . has positive and negative values in relation to human needs. The government’s intention is to manage these resources in a professional and scientific manner for the benefit of man, in particular the people of Malawi . . . the government recognises three broad classes of management: conservation, utilisation and control . . .The government appreciates that, in practical terms, a large proportion of wildlife is either insig- nificant or incapable of being managed by the state . . .The species or individuals Conservation with a human face 91 that are to be subject to state management are defined by legislation. Wildlife not subject to state management may be conserved, utilised or controlled by the public as it sees fit . . . Similarly, the Parks and Wildlife Act of Zimbabwe (Act no. 14 of 1975 as amended in 1982) establishes a series of categories of wildlife (specially protected, protected, ordinary) and a series of categories of land (na- tional park, botanical reserve, sanctuary, safari area, open land and private land) aimed at providing for different levels of protection and different types of use. This Act differs from most other African wildlife legislation in that it gives landowners a high level of control and use rights (if not actual ownership) of wildlife on their land.This has triggered the growth of a large and lucrative game ranching industry. A similar situation exists in South Africa. Clarke (1983) and Clarke & Bell (1986a) have proposed a form of wildlife legislation in which each interaction between humans and wildlife is defined in terms of a three-dimensional matrix, the dimensions being: category of wildlife, category of land and category of interaction. We have also proposed (Bell & Clarke, 1986a) a national wildlife master plan demarcating conservation and development zones, in each of which the objectives are specified in terms of: (i) the permissible quantities of settlement, agriculture and livestock; (ii) the permissible types of infrastructure development; (iii) the permissible limits to change of physical and biological resources; (iv) the permissible types and agencies of use of wildlife. (The option of course exists for no limits to be specified.) Zoning systems of this type are coming into use in a number of countries, usually more or less informally, in the form of integrated land-use plans with conser- vation components, e. g. Luangwa, Zambia (Dalal-Clayton, 1984) ;Vwaza Marsh, Malawi (McShane, 1985); Pilanesberg, Bophuthatswana (Bophuthatswana National Parks Board, 1985); and Gambella, Ethiopia (WCO, 1985a). As a starting point, it is important to remember that the two major sets of costs of conservation are directly interrelated; reducing one set of costs automatically reduces the other set. The first set of costs com- prises costs born by interface residents and other users of wildlife resource in lost opportunity (of land, resources and direct benefits). The larger these costs, the greater the pressure for illegal use of wildlife resources, and the greater the cost to the government of containing that pressure by means of law enforcement and public relations, that is, the other major set of costs. 92 R.H.V.Bell Wtep, then, is to create a conservg’giglllgllEYJbflLthfika—X» sectors 0 1n é’rfa'éé feside‘nts‘andéthefvpognfialwdm165911196S.users should not be set too high. I would like to offer the proposition that most of theWorld Conservation Strategy objectives could be met by allocation of five per cent of the land area of each country to national parks and equivalent reserves, with these zoned to allow managed consumptive utilisation (as advocated by Ander- son, 1983, and others) where this is deemed desirable, and with educated management of natural resources outside conservation areas. If this goal is regarded as inadequate by most conservationists, it is because of the unstated, aesthetic objectives associated with the World Conservation Strategy. Next we must consider the indirect costs of such a policy, that is, those that can be neutralised by the substitution of some equivalent benefit. A key aspect here is damage to human life, property and crops. Many species of large African animal are incompatible with most forms of rural development, for example elephant, hippopotamus, rhinoceros, buffalo, lion and crocodile, as well as some of the larger antelopes, primates and pigs. This has been a chronic problem in the integration of wildlife with other forms of land use. Solutions have traditionally involved extensive graded-use ‘buffer zones’ and control hunting (Martin &Taylor, 1983), both of which tend to be ineffective and economically inefficient (Bell, 1986d). A radical improvement has recently occurred, however, through the development of a new generation of electric fenc- ing, which has now been used successfully, cheaply and flexibly to control large wild mammals in Malaysia, Malawi, Kenya and South Africa (Bell, 1986d). This development is expected to lead to considerable progress in integrated land use, allowing, for example, the protection of Villages and cultivation within wildlife areas with the consequent realisation of the full benefits of agriculture and wildlife utilisation side by side, and the elimination of nuisance wildlife from areas zoned for agricultural or other developments. The indirect costs in lost opportunity can be reduced in a number of ways.The standard approach is that revenues earned by protected wildlife or land (i.e. from tourism, professional hunting or culling) should be fed back to the community bearing the cost, in the form of a rent for the sequestered resources. An early example initiated in the 19405 was that of Nsefu Game Reserve, Zambia, where revenues from tourism were fed back to the chief in whose area it was established (Carr, 1979). The arrangements in Amboseli and the Mara areas, where tourist revenues are returned to the relevant group ranches and county councils, Conservation with a human face 93 are similar (Western, 1976; Western & Henry, 1979; Lindsay, Chapter 7). Revenues from professional hunting from Vwaza Marsh Game Reserve, Malawi, are intended to be re-allocated to the District Develop- ment Committees (DDCs) (McShane, 1985). Similarly, revenues from reduction culling in the Sebungwe region, Zimbabwe, were allocated to DDCs under Operation Windfall, and are reported to have led to a reduction in illegal hunting in the area (Martin, 1986a). These revenue allocation schemes are probably a step in the right direction, but, as Martin (1986a) and Lindsay (Chapter 7) have pointed out, they have been somewhat disappointing to all concerned. The main problems are twofold. Firstly, the fund allocations are not pinpointed accurately enough on affected sectors of society. As on the national scale, the district or county or chieftainship is too large a unit; the interface residents who carry the bulk of the costs, are not benefited by funds allocated to the DDC to build a school or a clinic 40 miles away or to provide transport for the DDC membership. The second, and in my view larger problem, is that in such schemes the recipients are essen- tially passive. They do not participate in decision-making, nor do they enjoy the direct aesthetic benefits associated with personal use of wildlife areas and resources. They are being treated as a nuisance that is being bribed to keep quiet. A rather more radical proposal has been suggested by Bell (1982, 1986c) and Martin (1986b).This is the suggestion that interface residents should be allocated concessions to use wildlife resources in certain areas and that the conservation agencies should act as marketing agents for their products (see Parker, 1964, for an earlier proposal of a similar type). By acting as marketing agents, the conservation agency would obtain revenue for itself to strengthen its law enforcement capability, while the concessionaire himself would obtain a greater financial return than he does illegally. For example, illegal hunters in Malawi in 1981 were obtaining about $10 per kg for ivory while the world price was at least $50 per kg. If, in this situation, the conservation agency purchased the ivory from the hunter for, say, $30 per kg and resold it for $50 per kg, all parties would benefit, while the reward would be targeted at precisely that sector of society paying the costs of lost opportunity. The size and location of the quota would be determined by the agency and illegal offtake would be subtracted, so that the concessionaire would have a strong incentive to assist in law enforcement. Finally, and most importantly, the concessionaires would enjoy the important aesthetic and cultural benefits associated with utilisation and distribution of wildlife resources (Marks, 1976). I [125 94 R. H. V.Bell This brings us to the direct costs and benefits of conservation, those which are essentially ethical and aesthetic and which cannot be substi- tuted by financial rewards or other compensations. Such direct aesthetic benefits are the primary motivation towards conservation at all levels, international, national and interface. Especially at national and interface levels, the recognition of these benefits dictates the payment of unexpec- tedly high and usually unrecognised costs in their interest (Bell, 1983, 1985). The indirect, utilitarian benefits attributed to conservation are for the most part rationalisations used to make up for the perceived inadequacy of the aesthetic motivation. This can clearly be demonstrated by rigorous accounting of most conservation situations (with some not- able exceptions) where, in utilitarian and financial terms, conservation is negative rather than positive. The equations can only be made to make sense by admitting the existence of the invisible term associated with aesthetic motivations. In Malawi, for example, 11 per cent of the coun- try’s land area is allocated to conservation, most of it arable land; the government allocates over $0.5m annually to conservation, while the largest source of revenue, equivalent to about one third of this expendi- ture, is derived from ivory confiscated from poachers and shot on control, both of which sources the government intends to reduce by more effective management; tourism revenues are insignificant and wildlife-related tourism operates at a loss (Clarke, 1983; Carter, 1985). I argue that careful accounting would reveal the situation in most African countries to be similar. The recent annual report of Pilansberg National Park, Bophuthatswana (Bophuthatswana National Parks Board, 1985) contains just such a careful accounting and shows financial losses of over half a million rand per year, although it is the intention of this organisation to cover its costs in the future. Possible exceptions include South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Kenya. The recognition of the importance attached by African societies to the direct, aesthetic significance of wildlife and conservation is of consid- erable importance to land—use strategies. Most importantly, it implies that conservationists are misdirected when they emphasise the indirect, utilitarian and economic aspects of conservation. By doing so, they risk appearing insincere or naive and disparaging of African value systems. It implies that greater attention should be paid to the problem of local involvement in conservation-related activity. I refer here to the problem that conservation areas are widely seen as playgrounds for wealthy expat- riates from which national residents are effectively excluded. For exam- ple, in Malawi, nationals account for 1.0 per cent of all fee-paying visits to national parks (Carter, 1985) although they make up 99.75 per cent Conservation with a human face 95 of the resident population. This disproportion, I believe, is not due to lack of interest, but to the costs and difficulties of transport and accom- modation for the average African national. This is indicated by the great success and popularity of education and public relations programmes aimed at providing access by nationals to conservation areas (Price, 1986; Sefu, 1986). It is basic to effective conservation planning to provide access by nationals, in the form of cheap accommodation and transport, to the commodity, that is the recreational experience of wildlife, for which the community has paid a considerable price (Bell & Clarke, 1986b). It is a mistake to believe that the only interest in wildlife is utilitarian and that it can be bought off with development schemes or cash. The recognition of the aesthetic significance of conservation accounts for a number of apparently irrational attitudes common to conser- vationists, international or African, for example the widely held view that culling in national parks for reasons of habitat management and revenue generation is unethical. This view is the dominant official view in Africa north of the Zambezi and is found among the general public (Munthali & Banda, 1985) as well as conservation agency personnel (Sheldrick, 1973; Kombe, 1983; Bell, 1983). It accounts for the unpopu- larity of expatriate professional hunting commonly found among resi— dents of the areas concerned (Lewis, 1982; McShane, 1985), even where the residents derive revenue and employment therefrom (as is not always the case, Malama, 1984). Here, one may suppose that the social and recreational benefits of hunting on one’s own account outweigh the economic benefits of ‘renting’ the hunting rights to others. Participation in the planning process This brings us to the final issue, that of participation in the decision— making process. Land-use strategies are intended to identify attainable conservation objectives and to minimise conflicts of interest. However, as Thorsell (1984) and Bell & Clarke (1986b) have emphasised, the process of development and implementation of the plan is as important as its content. However well-intentioned, plans imposed from above are liable to generate social conflicts or to contain technical errors. To avoid these problems, input from all parties involved must be incorporated into land-use plans of this type. Thus another feature of the current trend is representation of all interested parties, e.g. Kenya, Amboseli (Western, 1976); Liberia, Sapo National Park (IUCN, unpublished data); and Ethiopia, Simen National Park (WCO, 1983) and Bale Mountains 96 R.H.V.Bell National Park (WCO, 1985b). This is a very recent feature, although Zimbabwe made a start in 1975 with its local wildlife boards and owner’s control of wildlife on privateland. Zimbabwe has carried the concept much further with its CAMPFIRE proposal (Communal Area Manage- ment Plan for Indigenous Resources, Martin, 1986b), in which it is envisaged that residents in communal lands may form companies owning and controlling the use of all natural resources on a communal basis, within limits laid down by the government. A similar proposal is under consideration for part of Zambia’s Luangwa valley (Larsen & Lungu, 1985). We reach the conclusion, then, that land-use planning and conservation represent a microcosm of government. Can human nature be trusted to maintain equable access to resources either between sectors of the com- munity or between generations in time? The case for strong central control rests on a negative answer, the belief that Africa is on the brink of man-induced ecological collapse. If these beliefs can be queried, or be shown to be incorrect at least in part, then there is room for conser- vation with a human face. Acknowledgements This chapter has benefited from discussion with Ian Parker, Jonah Western, Mike Norton-Griffiths and Jim Thorsell. Kathy Homewood made many helpful editorial suggestions. I would like to thank Mike Norton-Griffiths for permission to quote information collated by his company, Ecosystems Ltd, and Manuel Msikati, who typed the manus- cript. References AERSG (1985). Minutes of a meeting of the IUCN/SSC African elephant and rhino specialist group. 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