Conservation benefit-sharing mechanisms and their effectiveness in the Greater Serengeti Ecosystem: local communities’ perspectives

Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Springer Nature
Benefit-sharing mechanisms have been instrumental in securing the support of local communities living on the edge of protected areas to implement protected area goals and enhance biodiversity conservation outcomes. Understanding the acceptability of the types of benefit provided among diverse communities is crucial for co-designing benefit-sharing approaches that accommodate local perspectives. Here, we used quasi-structured questionnaires and focus group discussions (FGD) to assess the acceptance of the types of benefit received by the communities in the Greater Serengeti Ecosystem (GSE) in Tanzania and the effectiveness of the benefits in securing community support for conservation reserves. We found that the categories of social service provision, livelihood support, and employment described all the benefits provided across conservation institutions operating in the GSE. However, the types of benefit within these categories varied significantly among conservation institutions, in terms of level and frequency of benefits received by communities. Overall, student scholarships were highly rated by respondents as the most satisfying benefit received. Respondents who were dissatisfied with the benefits received thought that the benefits did not compensate for the high costs arising from wildlife incursions onto their land. Communities’ acceptance of the benefits received varied greatly among villages, but only a small proportion of pooled respondents (22%) were willing to support the existence of a protected area without benefit. This study suggests that local people are willing to support conservation outcomes but require conservation institutions to give greater consideration to the costs incurred by communities, their livelihood needs, and access to natural resources or other benefits. We recommend that benefit-sharing be tailored to the local circumstances and cultures of people living close to protected areas, particularly communities expressing more negative views, to ensure adequate and appropriate compensation is provided.
© The Author(s) 2023. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit The Version of Scholarly Record of this Article is published in Biodiversity and Conservation, 2023, available online at: . Keywords: benefit-sharing mecahnisms; conservation; Greater Serengeti ecosystem; indigenous and local communities; livelihood support; social service provision.
Kegamba, J.J., Sangha, K.K., Wurm, P.A. et al. Conservation benefit-sharing mechanisms and their effectiveness in the Greater Serengeti Ecosystem: local communities’ perspectives. Biodivers Conserv 32, 1901–1930 (2023).