Title: Conflict Over Land Use 217

Key Words: land use conflict, ecotourist

National Standard: 13 (How the forces of cooperation and conflict among people influence the division and control of Earth's surface)

State Standard: 14 (Understanding of the connections between Earth's physical and human systems)
Middle School
Teaching Level:

Introduction: People have differing values about land use. These differences can cause conflict among those who use the same area of land. This activity allows students to explore land use values of a variety of people in Kenya.

Objective: Students will consider many points of view about the land use conflict in East Africa.

Materials: Two 3x5 colored cards (one green, one orange) for each student
Overhead transparency of Kenya's flag
Handouts A and B
Optional- Variety of photographs and posters illustrating the various points of view discussed in the activities.

Procedure: Show the transparency of the flag of Kenya. Point out the meaning of the colors and symbols on the flag by stating the dark green stripe symbolizes agriculture and shield represents the Masai people. These two elements can be used to show one set of conflicts: land use for agriculture and land use for nomadic herding.

Bring to light other conflicting points of view using the following activity entitled "Differing Points of View."
Write the following on the board: View A - Green Card: People should have more right to the land than wildlife. View B - Orange Card: Wildlife should not have habitats destroyed by people.
Give every student a green card and an orange card.
Assign one student to read each of the people listed below in the List of People one at a time. Tell the class that as each person in the list is read, they are to hold up the color card that represents the view that particular person may hold. Some students invariably hold up both cards because they can't decide who has more right to the land. This illustrates the conflict as well as any two opposing views. Take a few minutes to discuss the differences of opinion in the class before moving on to the next person on the list.
List of People: (Use all or some of the fourteen suggested.)
Peace Corps volunteer, Environmentalist, Game Park worker, Safari hunter, Park Ranger, Road builder, Tribal leader, Ecotourist, Masai nomadic herder, Modern livestock farmer, Kenyan Ambassador to UN, Subsistence farmer, Malnourished person, You.

Allow students to work in groups of two or three to do the next activity entitled "Finding Solutions." Use Handouts A and B for this activity. Make sure each student gets a copy of Handout A. It will be used later in the evaluation activity.

Invite discussion about ideas generated about the issues.

Draw conclusions.. Some examples are: The land use conflict is not easy to solve.
There are many differing points of view to consider.
People's activities and values are sometimes at odds with the needs of wildlife and their habitats.

Evaluation/Assessment: Have students use the chart they filled out on Handout A as the basis for an essay explaining their opinion about the conflict over land use in Kenya.

Extension/Enrichment: Find examples of land use conflict in your town. Some possibilities: Should more land be set aside for park land? Should the floodplain be used for another mall or be kept for farm land? Should a wetland be pumped dry and used for parking lots?

Find out more details about the Masai nomadic herders and their conflicts with those who want a more settled lifestyle in some of their traditional herding and grazing areas.

Reflection: How successful was this lesson? Did all students benefit? Were there any surprises? What might you do differently another time? Please note any changes that will make this lesson more effective and useful in the future and pass them along to the NHGA. We appreciate your comments.
Thank you,
The authors

Handout A: Finding Solutions

Work with a partner to complete the chart, then answer the questions.

Problem: Possible Solution

Rapidly growing human population

Endangered species

Game parks on traditional tribal lands

Crops, livestock, and fences destroyed by big game


Safari trophy hunters

High costs of solutions

Think About It.

1. Would any of the solutions cause a problem for one or more of the people from the Differing Points of View Activity you did at the beginning of class? Which ones and why?

2. Which problem is the most difficult to solve and why?

3. Imagine that elephants talk. What do you think they would say to the people who have
intruded on their land?

4. Can you think of any other questions raised by this chart?

5. Compare your solutions to the ones on Handout B. Which ones do you agree on? Did you come up with an idea not expressed on Handout B? What do you think of any solution on Handout B that does not appear on your chart?

Save your answers. You will be allowed to use them for reference in the evaluation assignment.

Handout B: Possible Solutions

Problems **Possible Solutions

Rapidly growing population Plant more crop land

Endangered species Make and strictly enforce protection laws

Poaching Fines, bans, jail

Safari trophy hunters Hunt only for species not on the endangered or protected lists

Crops, livestock, fences destroyed by big game Build stronger or electrified fences; guard fences

Game Parks on traditional tribal lands Find ways to understand the tribal culture and make compromises

High costs of solutions Raise money through tourism; take loans from other countries

**Please note that these solutions may or may not be feasible.

They are presented as possibilities for the purpose of generating the exchange of ideas in the hopes of reaching workable solutions.

Back to document index

Original file name: 217rtf - converted on Tuesday, 20 October 1998, 20:56

This page was created using TextToHTML. TextToHTML is a free software for Macintosh and is (c) 1995,1996 by Kris Coppieters