Stakeholder perspectives on nature, people and sustainability at Mount Kilimanjaro.

Published online
08 Aug 2022
Content type
Journal article
Journal title
People and Nature

Masao, C. A. & Prescott, G. W. & Snethlage, M. A. & Urbach, D. & Rando, A. T. M. & Molina-Venegas, R. & Mollel, N. P. & Hemp, C. & Hemp, A. & Fischer, M.
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Publication language
Africa South of Sahara & Tanzania


Effective approaches towards sustainability need to be informed by a diverse array of stakeholder perspectives. However, capturing these perspectives in a way that can be integrated with other forms of knowledge can represent a challenge. Here we present the first application of the conceptual framework of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) to a participatory assessment of local perspectives on nature, people and sustainability on Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. This assessment was organized in the form of a participatory workshop with five different groups of stakeholders. Following this framework, we assembled information on the state of and trends in species diversity, Nature's Contributions to People (NCP), and on the main drivers of changes in species and habitats. Additionally, we gathered perspectives on the needs and opportunities for the sustainable management and conservation of natural resources from the individual to the international level. The various stakeholders agreed that both the condition and extent of the various habitats and NCP are declining. In line with available knowledge, the key direct drivers of change mentioned by the workshop participants were land use and climate change, whereas human population growth was singled out as the most important indirect driver. The most frequently suggested measures to address the observed decline in species diversity and its drivers were related to land and water management and to education and awareness raising. Yet, the stakeholder groups differed in the measures they suggested. The willingness of a diversity of knowledge holders to systematically engage in a structured discussion around all the elements of the IPBES framework provides support for its applicability in participatory workshops aimed at capturing nuanced and context-based perspectives on social-ecological systems from informed stakeholders. The application of the IPBES framework enabled the comparability needed for developing narratives of stakeholder visions that can help identify new pathways towards sustainability and guide planning while retaining the context-based nuances that remain unresolved with non-participatory methods.

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