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Evaluating governance processes in the sharing of revenues from wildlife tourism and hunting in Ethiopia

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  17 May 2013

Frankfurt Zoological Society, PO Box 100003, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Frankfurt Zoological Society, PO Box 100003, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Bureau of Culture and Tourism, Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Regional State, PO Box 1078, Awassa, Ethiopia
Frankfurt Zoological Society, PO Box 100003, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences Group, The James Hutton Institute, Aberdeen AB15 8QH, UK
*Correspondence: Dr Anke Fischer Tel: +44 1224 395 299 e-mail:


Sharing of benefits from nature conservation is widely regarded as a way to enhance local residents’ support for protected areas. While in past years, the effectiveness of such approaches has been investigated in detail, governance processes underpinning benefit sharing have received less attention. This study examines the legislation and implementation practice of a revenue sharing scheme in southern Ethiopia, an area that is currently undergoing substantial social and environmental changes that threaten livelihoods and ecosystems. Based on qualitative data from interviews, group discussions and workshops, four main areas of shortcomings in the current legislation and implementation practice were identified: information provision; imbalanced roles and responsibilities; compromised accountability; and the lack of connection between revenue and wildlife tourism in the minds of the recipients. While some of these factors fostered misunderstandings and misuse of the monies, others meant that even where revenue was disbursed it was not connected with wildlife conservation, and thus did not have the intended effect. A comparison between these factors and those in the literature on the evaluation of comanagement arrangements revealed substantial overlap. Revenue sharing may be regarded as part of the comanagement of wildlife areas, but to be successful the management of these areas needs to be shared, and not just the financial benefits.

Copyright © Foundation for Environmental Conservation 2013 

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