Governance Issues, Potentials and Failures of Participative Collective Action in the Kafue Flats, Zambia

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"Fisheries, wildlife and pastures are under massive pressure in the Kafue Flats, one of the largest floodplains in Central Africa. This area with once abundant resources and managed by local common property regimes has been overused in the last 30 years. The paper focuses on the governance of the Common Pool Recourses (CPRs) of Kafue Flats, and governance is about politics, power sharing and accountability within communities. This study is based on intensive literature review and field discussions. The analysis has indicated that over exploitation of fisheries and wildlife goes back to the erosion of traditional institutions by state governance. At present local rules have been weakened, and that national laws governing access to these CPRs cannot be implemented by the state due to limited capacity. Several attempts have been made in the last 20 years to use participative strategies in the management of wildlife and fisheries in order to mitigate resource problems. The Administrative Management Design (ADMADE) initiative in the 1980s and 1990s and major involvement by World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) had pushed for projects, which included local people via their chiefs as well as the public and private sectors from large agricultural enterprises to the eastern side of the Kafue Flats. These initiatives had limited success mainly due to misconceptions of traditional representation of local communities and misinterpretation of local economic and political incentives.Critical limitations were a result of roles of the state being largely fragmented into several institutions each with competing mandate in the management of CPRs. While there is potential for effective management of CPR in this wetland, declining resources and growing need for decentralization remain a major challenge."



collective action, participatory management, local governance and politics, common pool resources, indigenous institutions, IASC