Keeping Campfire Going: Political Uncertainty and Natural Resource Management in Zimbabwe

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"This report uses two case studies of community-based natural resource management (CAMPFIRE and forest co-management) to examine the impact of the political situation on resource management institutions and the resources on which they depend. It finds that wildlife habitat and populations are declining in both quality and extent, largely due to a breakdown in the policing power and incentive structure of local institutions. Poaching for commercial rather than subsistence needs has increased, as has encroachment on protected areas by farmers and livestock herders. The funds received by local communities from resource management and harvesting are also declining, further decreasing incentives for local protection of the sometimes dangerous wildlife with which local people have to co-exist. Financial management and accountability, always a challenge to these initiatives, is considerably worse, leaving the resource management institutions prone to undue political influence and the capture of benefits by the politically powerful."



natural resources, local governance and politics, local participatory management, resource management