Invasion of the NGOs: Nature, Territory and Identity in Tanzania

When: Wednesday, February 23rd, 7 pm
Where: Paresky Auditorium

Northern Tanzania is home to Serengeti National Park, the ‘great migration’, Ngorongoro Conservation Area and other world renowned landscapes. It is also home to the pastoral Maasai people, who currently find their livelihoods and communal lands threatened by external ideals of nature, a push for tourism as economic growth, and a territorial ‘war’ amongst international development organizations operating in the region.

What part does foreign policy play in shaping ideas and impacts of African nature conservation, particularly within a ‘poverty aid’ framework? Who stands to benefit from ‘conservation and development’ schemes in Tanzania and what is the role of BiNGOs (Big International Nongovernmental Organizations), foreign direct investment, and development actors (i.e. World Bank, United Nations) in local decision-making? Why is the ‘parks vs. people’ debate currently heating up with the threat of new forced removals from conservation areas, ongoing violence between local people and tourism operators, and a push for a major highway through the Serengeti National Park?

Jennifer Jones, Ph.D., teaches on International Honors Program’s Beyond Globalization and was a visiting professor of Environmental Studies at Williams College in 2008-2009.
Believing life is not lived within disciplines, Dr. Jones is a political ecologist who uses a transdisciplinary approach to explore the relationships between people and other elements of nature. Her interests include biodiversity conservation policy, local livelihoods, animal rights, and food justice. She has spent five years in South Africa researching the impact of protected areas on local communities. Her teaching and research interests are built on principles of collaboration, interdependence, and consensus. Dr. Jones received her Ph.D. from the University of Pretoria.

The talk is sponsored by the International Studies Program.