Private and Public Authority Interactions and the Functional Quality of Sustainability Governance: Lessons from Conservation and Development Initiatives in Tanzania

Stefano Ponte*, Christine Noe, Asubisye Mwamfupe

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

The changing shape of sustainability governance has been a key academic and policy concern in the past two decades, as part of a wider debate on the interactions between public and private authority in governing the economy, society, and the environment. In this article, we contribute to these debates by examining how these interactions operate locally and across jurisdictions in three conservation and development initiatives in Tanzania and what impact they have on the functional quality of sustainability governance. We find that clear division of responsibilities, coupled with material incentives for communities and equal and transparent distribution of benefits, are key positive contributors to functional quality. These factors underpin the complementary interactions (collaborative at the local level; institutional layering across jurisdictions) that are needed to successfully negotiate and implement the compromises needed to balance conservation and development goals. We also find that competitive dynamics are harmful to functional quality, especially those taking the form of local institutional duplication and of dominance by central government across jurisdictions. These tend to appear especially when sustainability initiatives involve multiple stakeholders with wide discrepancies in resources, interests, and power, which leads to compromises determined in a top-down manner.

Original languageEnglish
JournalRegulation and Governance
Number of pages16
ISSN1748-5983
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jan 2020

Bibliographical note

Epub ahead of print. Published online: 31 January 2020

Keywords

  • Conservation
  • Governance sphere
  • Natural resources
  • Private and public authority
  • Sustainability initiatives
  • Tanzania

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