Community base natural resource management: a comparative analysis of the performance of two groups of community trusts in the Okavango Delta, Botswana
PublisherUniversity of Botswana, www.ub.bw
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Community based natural resource management (CBNRM) is a strategy devised to promote biodiversity conservation and rural livelihoods. Community Trusts (CTs) serve as the framework for implementing CBNRM projects, and by that means enhance poverty alleviation and natural resources conservation in the Okavango Delta, Botswana. The concepts of social equity, economic efficiency, sustainable tourism, environmental sustainability, poverty and CBNRM are central to the study. The paper analyses factors influencing the performance of the community trusts in the implementation of CBNRM projects in the study areas. The article specifically makes a comparative analysis of two groups of community trusts (CTs), the first being those that were effective in project implementation and the second, those that were ineffective. A multi-stage sampling procedure was used in selecting the study population. While two effective and two non-effective CTs were purposively selected, all members of the committee of each of the Trusts were selected. Based on the available census figures, 13% of the community members (aged 18 years and above) who are members of the selected 4 CTs (constituting 120 respondents) were also interviewed using interview schedules. Qualitative data were obtained through focus group discussion (FGD) sessions and key informant interview. Student-‘t’ test was used to compare the performance of the two groups of CTs in rural development project implementation at both the committee and community levels. At the committee membership level, frequency of meetings (t = -2.132; p≤ 0.05), members’ participation in meetings (t = -3.143; p≤ 0.01), number of youths in CTs (t = -2.530; p≤ 0.05), committee membership strength (i.e. number) (t = -28.000; p≤ 0.000), and number of projects implemented (t = 7.897; p≤ 0.000) were significantly different at the committee membership level between the two groups. At community membership level, only the number of project implemented (t = 18.07; p≤ 0.000) was significantly different between two CTs. While there are numerous reasons for the discrepancies between both groups of CTs, their characteristics are the most influential factors influencing their effectiveness or lack of it. Overall where CTs programs are well implemented, they drive the CBNRM policy in the enhancement of socio-economic and environmental benefits accruing to rural community members.
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