Using participatory techniques to obtain local perspectives on wildlife trade in Tanzania.
The local-level impacts of wildlife trade regulations have been largely over-looked in national and international policy-making processes despite the important and often critical role that wild resources can play in local livelihoods - particularly of the rural poor. Participatory techniques present a useful complement to traditional quantitative research, allowing the views of often marginalized groups to be captured. A variety of techniques were employed in two villages bordering the Amani Nature Reserve in order to determine the importance of wildlife resources; the significance of wildlife trade as a livelihood activity compared to other activities; and the impact that resource use restrictions have had on local income earning opportunities and on other livelihood components. Overall, wildlife access and trade restrictions in the East Usambara Mountains have had a significant financial effect on local people. However, villagers also highlight non-financial effects of regulations - both positive and negative. This type of information is not generally available through quantitative research methods since non-financial impacts are, by their very nature, difficult to quantify. Nonetheless, these kinds of impacts can be as significant, if not more so, than purely economic effects.