Mambo ya Zamani : (Dis)continuity of sacred forests' conservation in the North Pare Mountains, Tanzania.
Agustina Soledad Alvarez
Paper short abstract:
This article focuses on the(dis)continuity of sacred forests' conservation in Tanzania, and explores the reasons behind the big generational divide within this context.
Paper long abstract:
This article focuses on the(dis)continuity of sacred forests' conservation in the North Pare Mountains, Tanzania, and explores the reasons behind the big generational divide within this context. Studies show that sacred forests in North Pare, in spite of not being gazetted by the State, have a wider variety of unique flora and fauna and are better preserved than national forest reserves. Although they are small in size, sacred forests are thus important globally. Scholars suggest that the reason for such high biodiversity is the local traditions and conservation methods, based on the management systems of precolonial society, which are decelerating the process of diminishing of these small forest patches. Thus, because local caretakers enable well organized conservation with low economic expenditures, sacred forests' management has been recently considered a new type of modern conservation model. However, these intact groves are in danger of disappearing in the near future. While it is commonly accepted that the main causes of destruction are farming, ﬁrewood and timber etc., the results of my ethnographic fieldwork emphasize that the biggest concern regarding sacred forests' conservation is the young generations' lack of interest and limited information on the practices and logic related to sacred forests. If these dynamics are misunderstood or ignored, environmental policies aimed at forest conservation are likely to fail. The article concludes that new ways of linking the communities and the forests can complement recent conservation efforts, which typically neglect environmental values and moral meanings that are at stake in environmental practices.
Knowledge contest: global development and local survival