|Wildlife-based tourism in Kenya: land use conflicts and government compensation policies over protected areas|
Sindiga, I. (1995). Wildlife-based tourism in Kenya: land use conflicts and government compensation policies over protected areas. J. Tour. Stud. 6(2): 45-55
In: Journal of Tourism Studies. National Centre for Studies in Travel and Tourism (Australia): Townsville, Qld.. ISSN 1035-4662, more
A significant proportion of Kenya's tourism is wildlife based and 44,000 km2, representing about eight percent of the country's territory, has been set aside for wildlife protection. This has denied local communities access to invaluable herding and agricultural resources thereby creating conflicts between tourism and the wellbeing of local people who also suffer the destruction of life and property from wildlife. This paper probes government policies on the sharing of benefits from tourism with local communities in wildlife protected areas. The analysis could provide lessons for other African countries where such conflicts are occurring. The findings show that although revenue-sharing has been initiated in some places, questions have been raised whether it is the local governments, communities or individual land-owners who should be compensated. So far, direct benefits to the landowners have been minimal. This has partly motivated certain communities to form wildlife associations with the aim of participating directly in tourism. This process is yielding some dividends but requires to be guided carefully in order to involve the majority of the local people in sharing in the benefits of wildlife management. Ultimately, this should motivate them to conserve wildlife even in the face of expanding human and animal populations in delicate ecologies.