International Development Planning Review

The potential role of tourism microentrepreneurship in the prevention of rhino poaching

International Development Planning Review (2018), 40, (4), 443–461.

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Conservation in South Africa’s Kruger National Park has evolved from protection of select wildlife species for hunting, to their subsequent protection for the viewing consumption by the wealthy. Gradually, tourism became a mechanism for funding conservation efforts and for the exclusion of indigenous residents from the use of resources. The historical exclusion of gateway communities from wildlife tourism revenues has led to conflict with conservation. In response, practices like benefit-sharing schemes have emerged but evidence suggests that these schemes are failing to engage community stakeholder groups in livelihood strategies that encourage wildlife conservation. The incubation of diffuse networks of local tourism microentrepreneurs selling experiences that leverage indigenous connections with the natural environment is an under-explored strategy that stands to contribute towards equitable endogenous development and the prevention of rhino poaching. This strategy requires a significant shift from the logic of benefit-sharing from conservation towards processes of co-management of natural resources.

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Author details

Morais, Duarte B.

Bunn, David

Hoogendoorn, Gijsbert

KC, Birendra