Case Study of Indigenous Groups Partnership and Entrepreneurship

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Cases from Australia

In Australia there are many protected nature reserves, of which some were previously inhabited by indigenous people (Aboriginals). These people, just as is the case with the Batwa community in Uganda, were removed from their land for the sake of nature conservation.

A study by Bauman et al. (2007) looked at 3 cases in which the indigenous people (Aboriginals) were allowed back into the nature reserves and a joined management plan was set up. Within this management plan, the indigenous people and the government worked together to establish a fair and prosperous business that allows the indigenous people to take care of their lands while also ensuring the continuation of proper nature conservation as stated by the government rules. This is relevant to our study as it shows how to successfully reintegrate an indigenous group of people into their area. This joined management might also be an option for the Batwa. The three cases presented in the paper are the Nitmiluk National Park, Booderee National Park and Dhimurru Indigenous Protected Area.

For Booderee National Park the inhabitants were first given financial support of the government for training purposes to ensure the best care for the region. Booderee National Park and Nitmiluk National Park have been able to obtain economic benefits from the joint management in various ways. For instance different kinds of Aboriginal owned commercial enterprises like park service contracts in Booderee National Park or commercial tourism services in Nitmiluk National Park. For Nitmiluk National Park this has also allowed this new Aboriginal enterprise to invest in trainings. Nitmiluk National Park has however also shown the significance of a proper balance between commercial activities and environmental and cultural interests. As they show that if there is no proper balance a loss of culture might occur. Turning the culture into a commercial activity. Dhimurru Indigenous protected area’s success can be attributed mostly to the great diversity of multilateral partnerships like for instance partnerships in management, research, advisory and financial branches.

Bauman et al. (2007) have stated critical success factors and recommendations to ensure proper collaboration and well-being of all parties involved. These factors could also be a contribution to the case of the Batwas as they are more broadly applicable. For instance they underline the importance of commitment of both the indigenous people and the government/co-management parties. They also state to ensure mutual respect and a balance between the indigenous holistic approach and the government joint management approach to the situation. They say to clearly define the roles of everyone involved and to have a clear understanding of the indigenous values and ideas of success as well as those of the other parties. Furthermore they state that the process of setting up this kind of joint management will be extremely complex and time consuming but they do encourage federal, state and territory governments to set these joint management situations up.2

Cases from Tanzania

In Tanzania and Kenya live the Maasai, a group of mostly nomadic indigenous people who have been able to keep to their own culture and way of living despite the modernisation of the world.(Website maasai association)The Maasai have been living with nature for hundreds of years in a mostly pastoral way of living, meaning they live mostly of the livestock they keep. They burn the grass, let animals graze but do not use any large-scale agriculture. Their ways of interacting with nature have, so far, only resulted in a diverse and widespread wildlife fauna. (Nelson et al. 2009) However due to restrictions of land and living space the Maasai have been forced to find new ways to sustain themselves. A study done by Melita et al. (2013) has studied the effects of employment in tourism and small businesses aiming at tourism on the Maasai located in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA) in Tanzania. Specifically if the involvement in tourism has an impact on the economic development and if it complements the livestock and other economies of the Maasai communities. This is relevant to our case as the way the Maasai have dealt with involvement in tourism and the effects of this, are possible outcomes for the Batwa as well. The negative outcomes should be prevented with the Batwa.

The Maasai in the NCA are allowed to live in recognised villages and keep their cattle, consisting of donkeys, goats and sheep but they were not allowed to use the land for agriculture. The land itself is tended to by the NCA Authority (NCAA). Due to a decrease in livestock, some inhabitants have been looking for new ways to improve their livelihoods and insure income and have been setting up small businesses of many natures. However due to the remote location and size of the NCA many have had to move out of the area to be able to work. As a solution to this, tourism was suggested. To date, current tourism activities include selling handcrafts, providing local safari guides for a walking safari, traditional dancing and traditional clothing shows and hiring of donkeys.

The research done by Melita et al. (2013) states that tourism activities were shown to have a positive impact on the other economic activities in the communities of the NCA. It concludes that tourism can be an excellent alternative or complementary economy to improve the livelihood of the communities. It does however mention that other alternatives should be looked due to the fragile nature of the tourism business.

A study by Buzinde et al.(2014) has looked at two different Maasai communities located in Tanzania as well: the Esilalei and the Oltukai. The study focused on 3 main questions. How do locals perceive well-being, what attributes comprise well-being and how do locals perceive the relationship between tourism and well-being. These questions are relevant to the Batwa, due to the fact that they answer if involvement in tourism actually improves the well-being of local communities. The earnings gained from tourism activities did contribute to an elevated status for the women in the community. It also allowed for accumulation of livestock, which is seen as a symbol of wealth and prosperity in Maasai culture. Unfortunately the livestock is also being attacked more, due to an increase in wildlife caused by tourism conservation policies to attract nature tourists. The younger men of the villages also tend to branch to tourism, leaving no-one to look after the cattle, causing more wildlife predatory attacks.

Snyder et al. (2011) have also studied communities in the Ngorongoro district, but also branched out to Simanjiro district and Longido districts, also located in Tanzania. Their goal was to discover if tourism with/in Maasai communities improves their livelihoods. They say that tourism is a way for the Maasai communities to diversify the way they generate income to sustain or even improve their livelihoods. This diversification is necessary due to the increasing population, decrease of land and the introduction of national policies. Snyder et al. state that community members do acknowledge the profitability of tourism and are pleased with the improved schooling and health centres that it brings, the individual notes that they do not feel a direct benefit of the revenue generated by tourism on their livelihoods.

And if this is the case, the inhabitants will most likely not feel very motivated to conserve the resources that interest tourists. The big issue they found is that the revenue is not evenly spread among the community. For example they found that the younger generation is the group who mostly capitalizes on the tourism endeavours. The main thing is that most residents have little knowledge or understanding of national policies and the way revenues are divided. The ones that do understand this often take advantage of their position, ensuring the gains are not evenly shared.

Cases from Uganda

Around Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (BINP) live more than just the Batwa. The Batwa are in fact a minority of the population. The biggest community is the Bakiga tribe. This group of people consists of about 95% of the total amount of people around BINP (CARE 1994, C.Sandbrook 2006). The Bakiga have a higher place in the social hierarchy compared to the Batwa. This is partially due to the fact that they have a more stable income. Studying how the Bakiga live can give an indication on how to improve the livelihood of the Batwa.

The Bakiga’s primary income is agricultural. They rely mostly on crops for food. They keep some livestock as well, but this is not as significant as the crops they grow. (Plumptre et al. 2004). Since the creation of the conservation area BINP a lot of culture has been lost as a lot of sacred objects and locations are/were located in the forest that they are now no longer allowed to enter. (Ngologoza, 1998).

The Bakiga grow mostly banana’s, beans, maize and sweet potatoes for sustenance. Wealthier households also tend to keep some cash crops like tea or coffee which they can sell, with tea being the most abundant one as there is a tea processing factory located north of the park. Eucalyptus woods are also widespread. The timber from these woods is used for firewood, construction or selling. (C. Sandbrook 2006). A small part of the income of the Bakiga comes from the livestock they keep. Pigs and cows are by far the most valuable of all the animals. The Bakiga also work at some non-tourism small businesses such as bars, shops, butchers and brick makers. The individuals that work in these jobs often own the business themselves. Another non-forest based income is traditional medicine and brewing beer or spirits from fermenting bananas (Plumptre et al. 2004).

Since the introduction of the BINP the situation has become more difficult for the Bakiga. The crops of the communities were being raided by animals that they were not allowed to hunt. Resulting in short in a situation where the people were denied the benefits of the forest but forced to live with the downsides (Baker 2004). This of course resulted in some protest. For instance, during the first dry season, 16 fires burned inside the park, destroying 5% of the forest. Though never thoroughly proven, some of the fires are believed to have been set deliberately (Hamilton et al. 2000).

To fix this the Development Through Conservation (DTC) programme had been set up and ran from 1987 to 2002 with the goal to improve livelihood of communities with agriculture and other income generation. During this time 4 main systems were set up to reach this goal. The first was establishing eucalyptus forests on community land to provide an alternative source for timber, as the Bakiga were no longer allowed to collect timber from BINP. The second was education and training to improve the yield of the agricultural fields. The third being the creation of Multiple Use Zones (MUZs).

These zones allowed collection of specific resources within the park’s boundaries. The introduction of the MUZs has significantly improved livelihood opportunities and has improved the attitude towards the National park (Blomley, 2003). However, it does not have a positive effect on the conservation (Baker, 2004) The last important DTC application was a tourism revenue sharing scheme in which 12% of all national park income was used on community projects. This method has had some positive effect as it allowed construction of schools and health clinics, which are a benefit to the community, but it does not offer any relevant compensation for the conservation activities that negatively affect the livelihoods of the people around the park. (Emerton 2001) (C. Sandbrook 2006)

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Case Study of Indigenous Groups Partnership and Entrepreneurship. (2021, Jan 11). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/case-study-of-indigenous-groups-partnership-and-entrepreneurship/

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