WEBINAR: Mieko Miyazawa on conservation-compatible livelihoods on Mt. Kilimanjaro


On Thursday, 22nd of June 2023, the PECS working group on collaborative governance and management hosted another webinar: Michael Schoon invited Mieko Miyazawa to talk about ‘A Miracle? Conservation-Compatible Livelihoods on Mt. Kilimanjaro.

This talk examines the relationship between use and preservation of natural resources by using both remote sensing and field surveys on the ground. In sharp contrast to the traditional view that the trade-off between use and preservation is inevitable, remote sensing analysis finds that vegetation in the “buffer forest” zone surrounding Kilimanjaro National Park has been sustained, despite the fact that the indigenous communities have historically been using it as their scarce source of resources. Field surveys observe that many indigenous communities perceive no trade-off between use and preservation, indicating a significant perception gap with the traditional view. Also, the surveys reveal a substantial level of diversity amongst the indigenous communities in terms of culture, economy, and geography, suggesting that analyses should reflect such diversities to understand the mechanism that enables the possible absence of a trade-off between use and preservation.

Mieko is a Ph.D. student at The University of Tokyo and a Japan Society for Promotion of Science (JSPS) Research Fellow for Young Scientists. In her work on Mt. Kilimanjaro (2009 to date), Mieko challenges visualising the indigenous population’s (Chagga) relationship to nature and working together with multiple actors concerning Kilimanjaro National Park. Her GIS project focusing on Chagga’s tree plantings helped a local NGO obtain the best environmental award in Tanzania (in 2012). She assisted in achieving the first multi-stakeholder dialogues amongst UNESCO, the government, and indigenous groups on Mt. Kilimanjaro (2015-2017). She was involved in UNESCO’s research project, “Documentation of Chagga intangible cultural heritage”(2016-2017). She has a BA from Keio University and MSc from The University of East Anglia.

You can listen to the recording of the webinar here.

All other past webinars hosted on behalf of the PECS Collaborative Working Group are available here.

Text by Michael Schoon/ Upload by Johanna Hofmann