Reflecting back on the framing question: Is conservation beneficial?, the overall topic of my thesis study relates to many questions and issues including those of the rights of indigenous people, co-management of conservation areas and also the effects of colonialism on the human and nonhuman worlds. The contexts of Kruger National Park and Masai Mara are especially important and intriguing as a result of the number of stakeholders that are involved in both human (tourists, management and indigenous people) and nonhuman (flora and fauna). Kruger National Park also offers itself as an exception in the global context considering the fact that part of it was expropriated back to the Makuleke tribe, who chose to not resettle on land that was lawfully declared land. This touches upon the question of the nature/ culture binary and their changing notions in the postcolonial world and also speaks to the impacts of settler colonialism. This is in stark contrast to the cases seen in other parts of the world, most notably the USA, where indigenous people are given limited or no agency over protected lands.The study of different contexts and their ignored and considered stakeholders will be evermore important as conservation principles and their underlying ideologies continue to evolve and be questioned given their historical origins.
In the case of the Masai Mara, when considering the way in which history unfolded and settlers were not left in the country but international experts are important in aiding the nation move forward in the context of postcolonial development, the conservation strategy employed is that of community based conservation. In this way, the relationships between the indigenous people and the land could be said to be restored to a certain extent as they live in a manner that does not separate them from the nonhuman world in the same way.
However, when exploring the question of beneficiality all stakeholders and their values must be considered, as well as the dominant ideology guiding their values and whether it is something that all involved parties agree on.
In moving forward, I will be refining my methodology so that I ensure the comparative study is fair and explores both case studies to the fullest extent possible within this capacity.
And I intend to consider and define beneficiality so that I can address my posed question adequately.
Finally, I will conduct my research and continue to rework my written outcome, and be transparent as I do so. I will also consider all other elements of the bottom of the hourglass and discuss them as much as I am able to.