Critical solutions for critical problems: Threats to Sustainable use and Management of Nech Sar National Park (NSNP) in Ethiopia

African Journal of Hospitality,Tourism and Leisure 8 (1) (2019)
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Abstract

National parks are considered as the most important instrument for the conservation and protection of biodiversity, particularly for rehabilitation of critically endangered species in Ethiopia. However, the management of most of the national parks is threatened by complex socioeconomic and political factors. This paper, was thus designed to assess the socio-economic and political factors that threaten the management of Nech Sar National Park. Document analysis, previously conducted empirical research and reports were utilized as the main sources of data. In addition, interviews and personal observations were applied as tool to generate supplementary data. The analysis indicates that there are enormous socioeconomic and political factors that limit and challenge the management and sustainable use of the park for example, using the park as a primary source of livelihood and as grazing land, the expansion of agriculture, the establishment of settlements, and investment centers, are the most important factors that are threatening and challenging the management of the park. There are also conflicts of interests, lack of political commitment, lack of clear demarcations, and capacity problems which are additional factors that constrain the sustainability of the park. Therefore, in order to use the park for its primary management objectives, and hopefully overcome the chronic threats of the poor management, and reap the benefits in a sustainable way, all stakeholders should work hand in hand rather than be striving to meet their individual interests at the expense of the park and its conservation objectives.

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