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This volume examines community wildlife initiatives from a range of different contexts in the region of West and Central Africa and explores what can be learnt about the conditions necessary for community wildlife management and its spread. A case-study approach was used to focus on specific countries and initiatives including the Kilum-Ijum Forest, Cameroon; Okapi Wildlife Reserve and Garamba National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo; Transition zone to the ‘W’ Region Biosphere Reserve, Niger; and Gashaka Gumti National Park, Nigeria. A framework was developed for analysing and comparing the case studies to establish the forces that constrain or enable the spread of CWM.~CWM can only exist where the 'community' and the interests that it represents, holds the balance of power, a condition that is far from reality in most of Central and West Africa today. In conclusion, therefore a number of recommendations are made for better developing the collaborative management of wildlife resources in the region, including the need for clearer, accountable and well monitored objectives; the promotion of an enabling policy that will adapt to complex and dynamic local circumstances; better communication and sharing of knowledge between all stakeholders; a greater emphasis on building the capacity of implementing organisations to facilitate negotiations and creating good working relationships; and the reinforcing, though not usurping, of alliances and institutional roles.

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