Community Based Natural Resource Management

LOCAL PARTICIPATION AS AN INSTRUMENT FOR NATURAL RESOURCES MANAGEMENT UNDER THE COMMUNAL AREAS MANAGEMENT PROGRAMME FOR INDIGENOUS RESOURCES (CAMPFIRE) IN ZIMBABWE

Taparandava N. Maveneke

CAMPFIRE Association
Harare, Zimbabwe


IDENTIFICATION OF THE CASE

The case study is focussed on the Communal Areas Management Programme For Indigenous Resources (CAMPFIRE) which is spread in thirty six of the fifty seven districts of Zimbabwe, and is involved in the sustainable utilization of renewable natural resources such as wildlife, forestry, cultural resources and eco-tourism. This is implemented in the context of a decentralized management through Appropriate Authority status bestowed upon Rural District Councils (RDCs). Agriculturally marginal areas of Zimbabwe are involved. The benefits that accrue to rural communities are in the form of cash dividends, community-based projects and locally empowered leadership.

The CAMPFIRE Association Director is involved in the CANTFIRE programme as a co-ordinator since CAMPFIRE Association is the lead agency in CAWFIRE. Other facilitating agencies are Zimbabwe Trust, Centre For Applied Social Sciences (CASS), World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF) and Africa Resources Trust (ART).

Ministry of Local Government and National Housing, Department of National Parks and Wildlife Management, Department of Natural Resources, Forestry Commission, and Southern Alliance For Indigenous Resources (SAFIRE). Association staff is involved in advocacy, information dissemination, research and co-ordination in CAMPFIRE. In this regard, the CAMPFIRE Association endeavors to impact on policy related natural resources management, it publishes and circulates CAMPFIRE documents, and ensures that inputs into CAMPFIRE areas are equitably distributed by donors and facilitators.


THE INITIAL SITUATION

Before the introduction of the Appropriate Authority status in 1980 onwards, the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Management operated in a centralized law and order approach. All monies generated from wildlife utilization benefited the Central Treasury. Local people who suffered from wildlife predation and destruction of crops did not benefit and had no decision-making powers on how to utilize their natural resources. The Department of National Parks and Wildlife Management bureaucracy  'owned' the natural resources, and this engendered conflict between local people and the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Management.

Locals poached wildlife as they felt this was a pest, and had there been no CAMPFIRE, both the local people and the wildlife would suffer. The legitimacy of Department of National Parks and Wildlife Management was compromised as the local people viewed them as aliens. Local people also felt that clearing marginal land for agriculture was more profitable.


THE CHANGE PROCESS

After independence in 1980 researches were hired to determine how the 1975 Parks and Wildlife Act amendment could be extended to communal areas. In 1988 the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Management initiated a process of granting the initial two RDCs, Guruve and Nyaminyami, the right to manage wildlife resources on behalf of the sub-district level. The process was also facilitated by CASS through socio-economic baseline surveys, WWF through ecological surveys, and Zimbabwe Trust through institutional development and training. The major thrust was to empower the sub-district levels at ward and village levels so that they could manage the natural resources in their areas through sustainable quota setting. With empowerment the local people would safeguard the resources. CAMPFIRE committees were established at village, ward, district and national levels.

This was meant to strengthen local community decision-making on environmental issues that affected them. Donor agencies such as Overseas Development Authority (ODA), GTZ, and United States Agency for International Development (USAID) provided much needed seed capital for equipment and training of local committees, while the Government provided the necessary policy changes for devolution. The changing in attitudes was multi-faceted from facilitators to communities. The facilitators. social learning enabled them to realise the importance of Indigenous Technical Knowledge, while communities broadened their knowledge base through the facilitators. Attitudinal changes reinforced the confidence of local people as custodians of their wildlife resources.


THE OUTCOME

CAMPFIRE's establishment has produced positive changes among the communities. CAMPFIRE has led to the strengthening or increased capacity of institutions at the national level (CAMPFIRE Association), District level (District CAMPFIRE Committees), Ward level (Ward CAMPFIRE Committees) and the Village level (Village CAMPFIRE Committees). These are democratically elected committees who are accountable to the local electorate in terms of all development decisions regarding natural resources.

This is local participatory empowerment which even covers gender considerations. There is also a co-management relationship between local people and higher levels such as Rural District Councils. With this arrangement, natural resources management is no longer the sole responsibility of the State but is a shared responsibility at various levels. It is easier for local people to account for their resources.

The local communities have generated incomes which is used for local investment, e.g., schools, clinics, football clubs, women's clubs and drought relief. Multi-sectoral co-ordination has also been achieved. In terms of wildlife poaching, this has been reduced. In Gokwe North, Guruve and Chipinge Rural District Councils, etc., the decline in wildlife poaching is evidenced by the increase in species. There is greater appreciation of natural resources and local people tolerate living with wildlife. There is also some local employment in terms of scouts, game guards and researchers. This is enhancing rural development. There is general linkage between environmental management and economic development. This is a development that might not be well understood among sectors that regard wildlife in a purely non-consumptive mode.


THE LESSONS LEARNED

  • For successful locally-based natural resources management, there is a need to establish differential benefits, that is those who meet costs of living with natural resources must benefit. CAMPFIRE benefits are limited to the areas where the resource is based. This is the principle of exclusion;
  • Adaptive management or social learning are important in community participation. The facilitators and communities are learning from each other. Patience with locals is the key to facilitative delivery of inputs. Blue-print approaches are giving way to process planning;
  • Multi-agency/multi-disciplinary approaches work better for environmental issues. Ecological sciences, social sciences and local knowledge can be applied together for resource management. Public and private sectors can work hand in hand in conservation;
  • Indigenous Knowledge Systems are key in mobilising rural people in environmental management. We must start from what the people know and what they appreciate. There is accumulated wisdom among the people. Local people have their own glossary terms for biodiversity;
  • Locals must decide on the options for resource use. Democracy is not just about electoral politics; it is all-embracing, including key survival strategies;
  • There is a need to broaden the natural resources for sustainable use. CAMPFIRE started with wildlife, but has now spread to other natural resources such as forestry, eco-tourism and cultural resources;
  • A friendly policy environment is necessary for devolution of responsibilities to local people. The granting of Appropriate Authority is the first step and there is need for greater advocacy for more devolution;
  • International influence also has a role to play in key species, such as elephants. International perceptions such as deep ecology that is against use of species such as whales and rhinos can impact trade negatively, and how communities perceive these species. At the local level all species have economic values, but there is need to ensure sustainable utilisation, where people feel that natural resource can provide incomes there is an incentive to conserve the species. This is the pillar of CAMPFIRE and other community-based initiatives; and,
  • CAMPFIRE is not a blue-print; only its principles are valid. This is important even at local levels, not to mention regional and international levels. The main principle is one of local decision-making in the utilisation of natural resources. Focussed incentives are key to keeping local peoples' commitment to the programme.


Literature

Martin, R. B. 1986. "Communal AM& Management Programme For Indigenous Resources (CAMPFIRE): Working Document" 1, p. 8-611, Harare.

Maveneke, T. N. 1987. "Local Participation: A Case Study of A Community Hall Project At Mudindo Business Centre: Guruve Rural District Council". Unpublished Diploma Dissertation, University of Zimbabwe, Harare.

Maveneke, T. N. 1994. Paper presented at the IUCN/CASS Six Weeks Course on Social Perspectives in Natural Resources Management CAMPFIRE Association, Harare.

Maveneke, T. N. 1994. Speech delivered at the CAMPFIRE Association Annual General CAMPFIRE Association, Harare.

Metcalfe, Simon. 1993. "Rural Development and Biodiversity: Prospects for on Communal Land in Zimbabwe's Zambezi Valley". CASS/ZIMMUST, Harare, p. 4.

Murphree, Prof. M. W. 1993. "Communities as Resource Management Institutions". Gatekeeper Series No. 36. IIED, London.

 

Appendix A. Campfire Association Membership as of 1 April 1998

No.

Name of RDC

Membership

1

Beitbridge

Full Member

2

Binga

Full Member

3

Buhera

Associate

4

Bulilima-Mangwe

Full Member

5

Bubi

Full Member

6

Chaminuka

Full Member

7

Chikomba

Associate

8

Chimanimani

Full Member

9

Chipinge

Full Member

10

Chiredzi

Full Member

11

Gokwe North

Full Member

12

Gokwe South

Full Member

13

Goromonzi

Associate

14

Guruve

Full Member

15

Gwanda

Full Member

16

Hurungwe

Full Member

17

Hwange

Full Member

18

Hwedza

Associate

19

Kusile

Full Member

20

Manyame

Associate

21

Marondera

Full Member

22

Matobo

Full Member

23

Mazowe

Full Member

24

Mudzi

Full Member

25

Mutoko

Associate

26

Muzarabani

Full Member

27

Mwenezi

Full Member

28

Nkayi

Full Member

29

Nyaminyami

Full Member

30

Nyanga

Full Member

31

Pfura

Associate

32

Rushinga

Full Member

33

Tsholotsho

Full Member

34

Ump Zvataida

Full Member

35

Unguza

Member

36

Umzingwane

Associate