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Exploring paradoxes in the search for sustainable livelihoods: a case study from Tanzania

Downie, B.K., Dearden, P., King, L.
Environment, development and sustainability 2018 v.20 no.2 pp. 527-542
capital, case studies, decision making, households, livelihood, Tanzania
Many aspects of the relationship between conservation and livelihoods are well documented in the literature both the positive synergies and the negative implications of pursuing one priority over the other. This paper describes research that explored the specific influences in household decision-making in park adjacent communities in Tanzania to determine whether conservation and sustainable resource utilization was an influencing factor. While conservation did not appear to be a significant influence, productivity of the natural resource base to maintain livelihood activity and well-being was a prime driver of household decisions. However, in articulating the challenges faced by households a number of paradoxes became apparent. This paper highlights four paradoxes from the research relating to: the need for capital to support productivity improvement; the approaches for perceived needed intensification of resource utilization; the dependence on government for solutions; and the assessment process of the range of livelihood options. We present the research findings related to these four paradoxes and present potential actions for resolving these dilemmas.