The Success and Sustainability of Community-Based Natural Resource Management in the Okavango Delta, Botswana
PublisherSociety of South African Geographers; http://www.journals.co.za/ej/ejour_sageo.html
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This paper assesses the success and sustainability of Community-Based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM) in the Okavango Delta. It does so by asking the following questions: a) to what extent has CBNRM contributed to sustainable natural resource use, rural economic development, enhanced rural livelihoods and benefit sharing? b) To what extent has power been devolved to the rural communities especially in relation to resource ownership and management? c) What are the existing and potential challenges facing the successful implementation of CBNRM in the Okavango Delta? With illustrations from the three CBNRM projects of Okavango Community Trust, Okavango Kopano Mokoro Community Trust and the Khwai Development Trust, this paper notes that local communities have successfully established community trusts as institutions to provide leadership in their participation in tourism and natural resource management. They also derive socio-economic benefits from CBNRM such as the participation in decision-making, employment and income generation. However, the lack of entrepreneurships and managerial skills, understanding of the concept of CBNRM, poor benefit sharing on CBNRM participants, and enclave tourism are some of the challenges that face CBNRM in the Okavango Delta. In the event that empowerment issues especially training and capacity building are successfully addressed, CBNRM in the Okavango Delta has the potential to be a successful model of community-based tourism.
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