The purpose of this study has been to contribute to the current scholarly debate on conservation and poverty alleviation by providing empirical knowledge in the case of Kilimanjaro National Park. Through social science narrative research, I have studied how the local people who live next to the border of Kilimanjaro National Park talk about their situation.
Narrative research has been used as the main research strategy and case study has been adopted as the chosen research design. While narrative interviews and interviews with public officials functioned as the primary form of data, archival material has also provided valuable background information.
Theoretically, the thesis makes use of several approaches. Sociological perspectives on narratives and discourses have been adopted as one of the main theoretical approaches. Moreover, theoretical approaches to power and power resources have provided an important framework for analysis.
The study reveals that there is a wide gap between the successful picture presented by actors at a global level and the actual management practice implemented on Kilimanjaro. Rather than a win-win situation where local communities are benefiting from conservation and protection of biodiversity, this study indicates that extensive expansion of Kilimanjaro National Park has resulted in exclusion and a worsening of the situation for the people who live next to the park.