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Community-based Natural Resource Management in Botswana and Namibia: An inventory and preliminary analysis of progress

B Jones

Working paper, 95 pages

CBNRM activities have increased considerably in both Botswana and Namibia in the last five years, supported by enabling legislation, financial support and ‘light touch’ facilitation. The paper gives a brief history of this establishment, covering socio-economic and environmental aspects, together with the policy and legal framework for CBNRM; national level activities; major implementing organisations; and short 'project profiles' detailing the location, activities, and implementing partners of individual local projects. Important issues raised include - forms of participation of wildlife management; community dynamics; the institutional set-up; and indigenous community wildlife management initiatives.
It is concluded that if CBNRM is to continue to develop, then a number of issues need to be addressed in each of the countries. The present situation in Botswana relies too much on the good will of the present government and the co-operation and capacity of district institutions. As a result, there is the danger of some marginal groups missing out on the benefits and in some areas issues such as, the resettlement of certain communities, are still seen as the solution to conservation/tourism development problems.
In Namibia, though the policy and legislative environment goes further than any other in southern Africa in giving flexible but secure rights over wildlife and tourism directly to local communities, CBNRM has still to address some major issues and problems. Not least of these, is the need for a more secure and exclusive land tenure and the problems of equity in ensuring those who pay the cost of wildlife conservation obtain the benefits.

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