Local responses to marginalisation: human-wildlife conflict in Ethiopia's wetlands
Alan B. Dixon, Afework Hailu, Tilahun Semu and Legesse Taffa
In western Ethiopia, population pressure, upland land degradation and recurrent food shortages have forced many local communities to extend their agricultural activities into marginal areas such as wetlands. This move into wetland agriculture, however, has brought humans and wild animals into closer proximity and crop raiding has emerged as a serious threat to food security. Drawing upon qualitative field research undertaken with wetalnd farmers in the area, this article explores the nature of this conflict through the lens of marginalisation of humans and wild animals in the contested space. The results suggest that the escalation of crop-raiding can be attributed to the interaction of various environmental, social and political factors including conservation legislation, land use change, and the erosion of local institutional arrangements governing wetland management. The development of local-level adaption and mitigation strategies that build on local knowledge are offered as potentially sustainable solutions to current problems.
Price: £2.49 / FREE to subscribers
Page Numbers: 38-47
Date: Spring 2009