قرارداد جوینت ونچر اکوتوریسم بین بخش خصوصی و جوامع: تجزیه و تحلیل به روز درباره محافظت مشارکت کمپ داراما لند تورا، نامیبیا
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Tourism Management Perspectives, Volume 4, October 2012, Pages 127–135
Community-based natural resource management is frequently proposed as a solution to poverty in rural Africa. The extent of Namibia's CBNRM programme's success in terms of joint ventures between the private sector and communities has not been comprehensively analysed. Tangible benefits from joint venture partnerships play an important role in development and poverty reduction, with intangible benefits improving social welfare and local economic development. Questionnaire surveys of staff employed at Damaraland Camp in Torra Conservancy and of households in Torra Conservancy provided insight into the potential benefits of joint ventures. The direct benefit of income from jobs in ecotourism and associated household income diversification opportunities highlight the importance of permanent employment in these remote, rural areas. An analysis of spending patterns, attitudes to tourism, non-governmental organisations and the conservancy illustrated the level of success achieved by joint venture partnerships in terms of poverty reduction, local socio-economic development and changes in attitudes.
In order to contextualise the case study that follows the next four sections give a brief background to Community-Based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM) in Namibia, as well as joint venture partnerships in general and the specific Torra Conservancy/Damaraland Camp joint venture. In general, one of the main aims of CBNRM in Africa is to diversify rural economies through the sustainable utilisation of wildlife and other natural resources (Long, 2002). Various other benefits can however result, which contribute substantially to economic and social upliftment and development in remote, rural areas (Boudreaux and Nelson, 2011 and Long, 2002). In Namibia, CBNRM allows communities to integrate new land-use options with existing livelihood strategies (e.g. livestock farming) in order to help conserve wildlife and improve the welfare of rural households (Long, 2002). The relative success of CBNRM in Namibia has largely been due to an enabling policy and legislative environment (Long, 2002), which devolved authority to the community level as opposed to Zimbabwe's CAMPFIRE programme which devolved authority to already established district councils and not directly to the community level. CBNRM can provide both tangible and intangible benefits to communities. Intangible benefits include, amongst others, the value of improved local-level institutional and other capacity-building, the empowerment of local communities, and the issue of the restoration of rights (Long, 2002). Tangible benefits include: cash benefits from employment and dividends from joint ventures; direct benefits from improved natural resource management for current livelihoods and benefits relating to social development and livelihoods (Long, 2002: 4). Overall, there are three main types of land tenure in Namibia: state land (which includes all National Parks), commercially owned land and communal land (Nott & Jacobsohn, 2004). Historically, privately owned land in Namibia showed that the right to manage and benefit from wildlife resulted in an increase in wildlife numbers (Barnes and Jones, 2009, Jones, 2010, Jones and Murphree, 2001 and Jones and Weaver, 2009). This was largely white-owned private land and the need to therefore devolve power to local communities resulted in, after independence, conservation laws being amended so that communal farmers were able to enjoy similar rights to those previously enjoyed by farmers on privately-owned land (Jones, 1999 in Nott & Jacobsohn, 2004). In order to be registered, a conservancy must have a registered membership, legal constitution, representative management committee, outline of a benefit distribution plan and defined boundaries (Ashley and Jones, 2001, Jones, 1999a, Jones, 1999b and Long, 2002). At the beginning of 2002 there were 15 communal conservancies registered in Namibia (Nott & Jacobsohn, 2004). By 2009 there were 59 registered conservancies, generating income from the overall conservancy programme of about NAD 35 million, representing over 82% of the total CBNRM income of NAD 42.48 million (NACSO, 2010). In order to assist conservancies in being commercially viable, they can engage in a partnership or joint venture with the private sector to develop ecotourism in the conservancy. Joint venture (JV) tourism in Namibia provides the largest overall source of benefits to the conservancies (NACSO, 2010), over and above the direct cash benefits, there are also benefits associated with skills development and training provided by the private sector. In 2009, JV tourism contributed NAD 19.9 million (57% of all income) to conservancies (NACSO, 2010), representing a significant contribution to the local economy. The definition of a joint venture, given by Ashley and Jones (2001:2) that will be used in this article is: ‘a contractual partnership between a community or local institution and a private investor, to work together in establishing and operating a single tourism enterprise’, they add that joint ventures add cultural and ethical components to the product. Mitchell and Ashley (2010) and Spenceley (2008b) found that as an equity arrangement, joint ventures tend to generate the best all-round benefits, but are more difficult to establish and have higher transaction costs compared to pure private sector operations. Joint ventures, where there is a private sector partner, tend to be more successful due to the business acumen of the private sector partner ( Spenceley, 2008a and Spenceley, 2008b), as well as their experience in the industry, ability to reach the market and a greater understanding of the tourism market in general (Spenceley & Snyman, 2012). Joint ventures can however be highly complex arrangements (Mitchell & Ashley, 2010) and this can make such arrangements vulnerable to dissolution and should be taken into consideration when developing ecotourism partnerships in remote, rural areas. There are several critical factors influencing the success of a joint venture including: committed individuals, company philosophy, facilitation, time and trust, local institutions, national policy context, and tourism market trends (Ashley & Jones, 2001). The potential collective revenue benefits from such formally structured contractual arrangements between ecotourism operators and rural communities can play an important role in poverty reduction (Spenceley & Snyman, 2012). Overall, the extent to which revenue sharing can help alleviate poverty is linked to the commercial viability and market competitiveness of the project and to the size of the beneficiary community (Ashley, De Brine, Lehr, & Wilde, 2007). In this regard the Torra Conservancy is a relatively small community and therefore able to realise benefits collectively as well as to individual households. The overall analysis of the Torra Conservancy/Damaraland Camp joint venture, in the literature, has shown numerous positive outcomes. This article aims to add concrete primary data support to past analyses, to correct any incorrect past claims, to give a thorough analysis of the joint venture partnership between the Torra Conservancy and Wilderness Safaris, to assess private sector/community JVs and to offer clear policy implications for management. 1.1. Torra Conservancy background The Torra Conservancy (originally Ward 11 (Salole, 2003)) is located in the southern part of the Kunene region of Namibia. It covers an area of 3493 km2, with approximately 1200 people living in the conservancy (NACSO, 2010) from various different ethnic groups. These include, amongst others: Nama/Damara; Riemvasmaker and Herero. The Riemvasmakers were forcibly relocated to the area from South Africa in the 1970s (Scanlon and Kull, 2009) and form the majority of the community (Kemp, Mendelsohn, & Jones, 2009). The area is scenically beautiful and has a wide variety of fauna, including: desert-adapted elephant, black rhino, oryx (gemsbok), springbok, kudu, Hartman's mountain zebra, lion, cheetah, leopard and spotted hyaena. The Torra area is extremely dry, with average annual rainfall ranging from 50 to 150 mm (Kemp et al., 2009), resulting in there being very few sustainable alternative land uses, with high levels of unemployment and marginal opportunities for agriculture. Tourism is one of few businesses able to generate income in this impoverished rural area (Ashley and Roe, 2002, Boudreaux and Nelson, 2011, Scherl et al., 2004 and Spenceley and Goodwin, 2007). In 1995, the Ward 11 Resident's Association Trust was formed giving community members a legal body to represent them in negotiations with investors (Kemp et al., 2009) and after a long period of negotiations, a contract was signed between the Resident's Trust and Wilderness Safaris (WS) to develop Damaraland Camp (Kemp et al., 2009 and Salole, 2003). This joint venture agreement signed in 1996 was the first joint venture agreement between a private tourism company and a community in Namibia (Kemp et al., 2009). Due to the fact that the conservancy was already organised through the Resident's Trust, Torra became one of the first conservancies to be officially registered by the Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET) in June 1998 and in 2000, it was the first conservancy to cover its own running costs, including salaries for staff, vehicle maintenance and office management (Long, 2002; Scanlon and Kull, 2009). Torra is managed by a committee of residents who are elected by the members for a five-year term (Kemp et al., 2009). This committee decides on benefit distribution and community members1 are encouraged to attend meetings and to play a role in the direction of community conservation (Scanlon & Kull, 2009). It is however often logistically difficult to get all members to meetings as the distances that need to be covered are often large. General communication across the whole conservancy can be difficult due to the remote nature of some of the homesteads (Jones, 1999a and Jones, 1999b). Traditionally, meat is distributed to the community twice annually after community hunts (where community members are employed to hunt, prepare and distribute the meat) and after any trophy hunting (Scanlon & Kull, 2009). Other non-financial benefits associated with conservancy membership have been that elderly members of the community have received Christmas parcels; a compensation scheme for stock losses was initiated, as well as a pension plan for retired employees (Scanlon & Kull, 2009). According to Hoole (2008:134) the “Torra Conservancy has been characterized as a ‘flagship’ of the national CBNRM program in Namibia and its joint venture with the Damaraland Camp has served as a model that other conservancies have aspired to replicate”. The analysis that follows will analyse Hoole's claim based on concrete, primary data. Over and above the financial benefits of the JV, the people in Torra Conservancy have gained the following: improved planning skills; insights and capacity for collaborative action; improved knowledge of their rights; broader vision for their community (Jones et al., 2002); and committee members on the Board are empowered to make decisions and are involved in business management. The benefits of the JV for Damaraland Camp/WS include: access to a new site, an increase in market share, improved conservation and an overall fit with WS company philosophy of including communities in conservation (Ashley & Jones, 2001). Whereas, some of the benefits associated with working at Damaraland Camp for Torra conservancy members include: benefit of income from wages, importance of living and working close to home, being able to work and keep livestock for livelihood security reasons, importance of co-operation in realising benefits from improved wildlife management (Jones et al., 2002:30), and the ability to maintain and strengthen social networks and “safety nets” (Long, 2002). Contrary to Hoole's (2010:86) statement in his paper that the handing over of ownership of Damaraland Camp to the Torra Conservancy has “not progressed and there is little prospect for this in the foreseeable future”, the Conservancy from year ten to fifteen of the partnership was given, per annum, 20% equity in Damaraland Camp until they owned 100% and chose to sell a portion back to Wilderness Safaris to form a joint venture equity partnership. Wilderness Safaris was then offered and purchased 60% of the Camp back from the Torra Conservancy and they are now operating as equity partners with the JV leasing the land from the conservancy for a fee based on a percentage of the revenue (NACSO, 2010). The lodge has since been upgraded, with both WS and the conservancy investing capital for the upgrade. These upgrades were initially fully funded by WS but the conservancy used cash earned from the sale of a portion of the Camp back to WS to settle their portion of the shareholders contribution in terms of the upgrade. The reinvestment of ‘community capital’ into the project is one of the first instances in Namibia that did not involve donor funding or loans (NACSO, 2010). On the 1st March 2009, the Namib Lodge Company (Pty) Ltd trading as Wilderness Safaris and the Torra Conservancy entered into a formal equity JV and registered the company Damaraland Camp (Pty) Ltd. The parties signed the following legal agreements: a shareholders' agreement; a lease agreement; a management agreement and a marketing agreement. In 2010, WS assisted the Conservancy to raise a bank loan of NAD 500 000 based on the collateral of their shareholding in Damaraland Camp. This money was used to build the Damaraland Adventurer Camp and is the first instance of a community raising their own funds for building purposes and helped to empower the community and provide experience in financial management and business skills. Payments made by WS directly to the Torra Conservancy in terms of the JV, as well as through various other channels, have been substantial. A total, for community levies only, of over NAD 2.6 million has been paid by Damaraland Camp to the Torra Conservancy between 1st March 2005 and 28th February 2011 (six years). The drop in payment to the Conservancy in 2010–2011 was due to a 10% drop in occupancy at Damaraland Camp, which was due to a number of factors (e.g. 2010 Soccer World Cup in South Africa, general economic factors). Damaraland Camp guests visit nearby villages and the Camp makes use of laundry services, wood purchases, and road maintenance from local community members, further injecting an amount of NAD 189 364 into the local economy over a six year period. The importance of these local multiplier effects cannot be overstated. As will be discussed later staff spending their salaries in the community, as well as their contributions to dependents, results in a very important additional injection of cash into the local economy. Staff costs, in terms of wages, meals, housing, uniform and training totalled more than NAD 3.7 million over the six year period. Table 1 gives a breakdown of the various payments made over the period 2005–2011. An injection of more than NAD 6.58 million is a substantial contribution to the local economy, particularly in a remote, rural area of Namibia, where there are few alternative, sustainable land use options available to community members. This amount does not include that spent on suppliers of other goods and services. Critical to the long-term success of all ecotourism in remote, rural areas is, however, an increase in the local multipliers in order to ensure that more community members receive benefits from ecotourism as a land use, than only those who are employed. In terms of employment, Damaraland Camp employs 30 individuals, 77% from the Torra Conservancy (Wilderness Safaris, 2011). The building of the Camp required 20–30 unskilled, casual labourers (Salole, 2003), some of which went on to find permanent employment in the Camp and in other WS camps in Namibia. The Conservancy itself employs approximately nine local people in administration and management and the trophy hunting concessionaire employs temporary staff in the hunting season (Kemp et al., 2009). There has been a large amount written on the Torra Conservancy (Ashley, 1998, Ashley, 2000, Bandyopadhyay et al., 2004, Jones, 1999a, Jones, 1999b, Jones, 2000 and Long, 2002; Mulonga & Murphy, 2003; Nott et al., 2004, Nott and Jacobsohn, 2004, Roe et al., 2001, Salole, 2003, Scanlon and Kull, 2009, Suich, 2003 and Suich, 2010) due to the fact that it was one of the first conservancies officially registered in Namibia and the first to cover its own costs without external assistance. It is frequently posited as an example of a successful joint venture partnership between the private sector and a community. There has however been some debate as to how effective the JV has been in terms of empowering local people (Hoole, 2010). The promotion of the first black woman in Namibia to camp manager at Damaraland Camp and later area manager would appear to be an example that directly contradicts Hoole's claim. There is certainly scope for further empowerment at Damaraland Camp, and this is in progress through constant in-house, as well as formal, training of staff throughout the WS camps in Namibia. A number of Torra residents have trained at Damaraland Camp and have been moved to other WS camps or to other tourism companies in Namibia (Kemp et al., 2009; pers. comm. Wilderness Safaris, 2011) making it difficult to accurately assess the true empowerment impact. Suich (2010) comments that in order to have a greater understanding of the extent and importance of the different impacts of CBNRM in Namibia more rigorous and comprehensive data collection and analysis need to be undertaken. It is hoped that this study will add important data in the analysis of conservancies and more specifically of joint venture partnerships between a community conservancy and a private sector ecotourism operator.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
It was noted by the author during the conducting of the surveys that one permanent job in a household (not specifically tourism, but any job) significantly improves the general social welfare of the household and allows the household to invest in non-essential goods and services such as cellphones, generators and motor vehicles which assist in improving communication and access to markets. Along with this is the concomitant increase in social status that comes from having more material possessions. The security of permanent employment provides a steady, more reliable stream of income than other livelihood activities such as agriculture, casual labour and livestock farming (Stronza, 2007). Reliable income allows families to plan for the future and even though individuals can sometimes earn more income in a variety of other subsistence activities, the knowledge that they will have a set income each month and that the family will have a certain amount of income to meet all basic household needs is a distinct advantage (Stronza, 2007). In general, permanent formal employment gives households financial stability in the long-term. The fact that the majority of the total staff employed at Damaraland Camp are women (70%), highlights the importance of ecotourism in terms of creating employment opportunities for previously disadvantaged groups. As the majority of staff had not had a permanent job before, it also highlights the importance of the skills training and development offered by private sector tourism operations in these remote, rural areas where there are few alternative employment opportunities. These acquired skills can be used to diversify livelihoods and/or for future employment. Cattle are generally regarded as a sign of wealth in many African countries (Low, Kemp, & Doran, 1980). In many rural areas, cattle represent a ‘pension’ system for households, as they are a form of wealth and can be sold to provide important household income (Low et al., 1980). In this way they allow rural families to insulate themselves against possible livelihood shocks. High livestock ownership not only denotes high wealth associated with livestock as a store of value, but also implies high income available to purchase livestock (Ellis & Freeman, 2004). Staff members' ability to afford cattle assists in ensuring future financial security as well as increasing social status. Overall, Bandyopadhyay et al. (2004) found that the community conservancies in Namibia do have a positive impact on household welfare: this is supported by the results in the present article. Staff surveyed at Damaraland Camp had worked for WS for an average of 7.19 years (min. 1; max. 13), highlighting the importance of living and working close to one's home, as this is a very high average tenure. Reasons for this high tenure could be as a result of staff being able to see/keep in contact with their families on a regular basis; the community having a share in the tourism camp and therefore a sense of ownership or because there are very few alternative employment opportunities in the areas. The value of ecotourism staff being able to work in their home area and thus maintain social networks, continue farming for livelihood security and social reasons (Long, 2002) cannot be overestimated and is critical to the long-term sustainability of the operation and is evidenced in the long tenure of staff at Damaraland Camp. In 2003, the Torra Conservancy distributed an amount of NAD 630 to each registered conservancy member. The dividend was distributed at the beginning of the year (in January): this was found to be critical in terms of the impact that it had on households as this was the time of the year when school fees and the associated expenses (uniforms, stationery) were due to be paid (Mulonga and Murphy, 2003 and Scanlon and Kull, 2009). At the time of distribution, the NAD 630 was almost equivalent to a month's wages, was 14% of average annual income and almost equal to the average amount earned annually from the sale of goats (Kemp et al., 2009). Forty one percent of respondents in Suich's (2003) survey said they spent the dividend on school expenses. Taking inflation into account this amount in 2009 would be approximately NAD 890, which is approximately NAD 600 lower than the average conservancy member's monthly household expenditure and represents 58% of their total monthly expenditures. This amount is therefore significant in terms of its contribution to overall household welfare, particularly at a time of the year when money is needed. Conservancy income has since been invested in community development projects and conservancy running costs, resulting in no further dividends being paid to-date. Suich (2003) found that 85% of respondents were aware of the conservancy and the majority felt that the main advantage of conservancy membership was receiving meat: this is in line with the results of this study. The fact that 85% of community members said that they have received benefits from the conservancy is very different to that obtained in other conservancies in Namibia (Snyman, forthcoming), where members did not feel that they had received many benefits from being a member of their conservancy. A number of respondents in the present study mentioned the NAD 630 dividend, despite it having been paid out six years previously. The overall impression gathered during the conducting of the surveys for this study was that community members were positive about the conservancy and its utilisation of the cash earned through the joint venture. The distribution of the cash dividend in 2003 certainly had a lasting impression on residents and still serves to instil positive attitudes of community members towards the conservancy. In line with the results of the present study, Long (2002) found that staff at Damaraland Camp were pro-hunting (particularly ‘community hunts’, as opposed to trophy hunting per se), as they said it supports the community. In Bandyopadhyay et al.'s (2004) study, 21% of all households surveyed in Kunene viewed meat distribution as a benefit of conservancies. In Long's study (2002:19) one respondent working at Damaraland Camp remarked that “Everyone comes to benefit from hunting, with some piecework (carrying, butchering) and with meat distribution”. The community hunts offer a way in which people can be actively involved either by directly receiving the benefits in terms of meat or being involved in the activities of the actual hunt (Long, 2002). Long (2002:20) concludes that “In the case of the Torra Conservancy, it is the community hunting which illustrates, par excellence, how the collective management of resources can bring benefits to community members”. Critically important in this regard however, is that it is sustainable and provides steady, equitable benefits over time. Unexpectedly, the staff percentage who had problems with wild animals is higher than the community respondents, as the opposite has been found in other studies (Snyman, forthcoming, Stem et al., 2003 and Walpole and Goodwin, 2001). Long's (2002) surveys with staff at Damaraland Camp could possibly explain why this is the case. One of his respondents remarked when talking about stock losses from wildlife: “Working here [Damaraland Camp] has made everything complicated — so I can't react” (Long, 2002: 14). This lack of control, change of perceptions or the inability to react to human–wildlife conflict could be one of the reasons why staff expressed more issues with problem animals. It creates a dilemma for staff, as culturally and economically, livestock are still important to them but they are also aware of the importance of wildlife (especially predators such as lion and cheetah) in terms of tourism and therefore, their jobs. In Scanlon and Kull's study (2009), Torra residents were found to clearly link benefits to attitudes and negative attitudes were focused primarily on how conservation was implemented, not on conservation per se. They also found that Torra residents were aware of the potential benefits that wildlife conservation can bring them through tourism and how their own behaviour can impact this. They concluded that people who participate in tourism may see more direct and indirect benefits than non-participants and that this may predispose them to more positive attitudes towards conservation. The present study, however, found that there was no significant difference (t(72) = 0.776, p > 0.05) between the staff and community respondents with respect to the importance of conservation. The overall success of the Torra Conservancy and the longevity of the joint venture could explain the positive attitude of all respondents to conservation, in the present study. According to Nott et al. (2004), the Torra Conservancy has proved that CBNRM can work through the conservancy approach. There are a number of possible reasons which have led to the relative success of the joint venture in the Torra Conservancy (adapted from Scanlon & Kull, 2009): i) A general concern in the community relating to wildlife and conservation and worries over the decimation of wildlife in the 1980s; ii) A shared identity due to the various disruptions from colonial and apartheid history that helped unite the community despite there being a number of different ethnic groups living in the area; iii) The realisation of the potential benefits that can be derived from conservation and tourism and their role in regional development and the improvement of livelihoods; iv) Torra's relatively small population made it easier for benefits to be sufficient and equitably distributed, (though this is still limited); v) The support of NGOs, such as the IRDNC, was critical in the development of the joint venture and the on-going management of the relationship; vi) Commitment of the private sector partner to achieving an equitable partnership; vii) Historical success of the private sector partner in ecotourism, in terms of construction of the lodge, marketing and sales; and viii) Scenic attractiveness of the conservancy and the consequent tourism potential.