The Chagga people have lived and worked on Mount Kilimanjaro for more than 250 years. Through traditions and social practices within their communities and families, strong bonds are established between the Chagga and their home on the mountain. Kilimanjaro National Park and Forest Reserve (KINAPA) was established in the 1970s to protect and conserve the mountain, based on a long history of colonialism and western ideals. As KINAPA has attempted to preserve the flora and fauna on the uppermost portion of Mount Kilimanjaro, they have alienated local residents from the land through a conservation approach that relies on "fences and fines."

By analyzing the interaction between the organization of Kilimanjaro National Park (KINAPA) and the Chagga people who live near its boundaries, I emphasize the social side of a conservation scenario by focusing on the cultural roots of the Chagga people's sense of place and its influence on their interaction with the mountain. I take as a premise that place and culture are closely connected, and that both, in conjunction with an encroaching western influence in environmental approaches, influence environmental conservation in important ways at the local level on Kilimanjaro. By better understanding the motivations and priorities of the people who surround the lands they hope to protect, KINAPA could tap into some of the social resources it needs to sustain Mount Kilimanjaro.



College and Department

Family, Home, and Social Sciences; Sociology



Date Submitted


Document Type





environment, conservation, community, sociology, geography, Mount Kilimanjaro, place, social resources, KINAPA

Included in

Sociology Commons