I am guest-blogging on Organizations and Markets.
Here is my latest post:
I am envious. My brother in law and my nephew are in the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania.
He is sending short reports via his Blackberry. His descriptions are
graphic — he is awe-stricken. Sounds incredible, beyond imagination — to
those of us veteran Africans used to having to search hard for game on
our game park safaris. In the Serengeti there is game in exaggerated
profusion. Lions, leopards, and cheetah virtually next to each other.
Huge migrations of herds, hundreds of thousands strong. A trip for a
lifetime. I should live so long.
It seems clear that this wonder of nature (a giant crater-bubble full
of wild life) would not exist in the absence of the revenue from
international tourism. Though government managed, it is subject to
vigorous competition from other game parks in that part of Africa. The
area is the traditional homeland of the legendary Masai tribe, who have a
cattle-based economy. Population growth, technological change, and the
pace of modernity threatened to destroy their world. Now they seem to be
flourishing. The Masai have turned out to be successful entrepreneurs! I
wonder if this is an instance of Ostrom’s successful local initiatives.
More generally, the preservation of wild-life in Africa has turned on
the successful management of a plethora of wild-life game parks (many
of them quite small relatively speaking), some having the status of
super luxury hotels. There is an irony in there somewhere. (I wonder
what it is like to have to manage a wild-life park as a business firm).
Of course most of the environmentalists never tell you about the preservation successes of market competition.