Common pool resource management among San communities in Ngamiland, Botswana
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The contestation for common pool resources in Botswana pits powerful institutions such as national governments and international organisations against powerless local communities who continue to rely heavily on these resources despite all attempts to dislodge them. This paper explores how common pool resource management has shifted from locally based and peoplecentred endogenous resource management to state-defined and controlled forms. This shift has marginalised San communities, who have historically relied on their commons for survival. The paper is informed by case studies of two San villages in Ngamiland District in northwestern Botswana, Mababe and Phuduhudu, both situated adjacent to national parks. The government and donor agencies introduced community-based natural resource management with the promise of reversing the loss of the commons for such groups as the San; however, the evidence on the ground suggests the promise has not been translated into practice.
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