Collaborative Natural Resource Management in Zimbabwe

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  1. AFRICAN INDABA

    AFRICAN INDABA CONTRIBUTOR AH Enthusiast

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    Collaborative Natural Resource Management in Zimbabwe

    Zimbabwe is well known among natural resources practitioners for innovation in collaborative management of wildlife through the Communal Areas Management Programme for Indigenous Resources (CAMPFIRE) programme. But Zimbabwe has also experienced great upheaval in the last five years - exceptionally high rates of inflation, shortages of fuel and other commodities, land disputes and occupation on both large commercial farms and state land, plus political tensions that have circumscribed the lives of ordinary rural people.

    Here we are able to share some of the tools developed within the CAMPFIRE programme for community use, from the Wildlife Management Series produced by WWF (SARPO) through collaboration with rural communities. This is accompanied by a critical review that asks how far the technical tools developed under the support to CAMPFIRE project helped communities to empower themselves. There is also a review of the resilience and adaptations of collaborative management under Zimbabwe's dynamic political conditions, using CAMPFIRE and forest co-management as examples.

    Tools from the CAMPFIRE Wildlife Management Series
    The Communal Areas Management Programme for Indigenous Resources (CAMPFIRE) is a Zimbabwean initiative to give rural people control over local wildlife. Under the legal provisions of CAMPFIRE, Rural District Councils became the é„­ppropriate Authority for the management of wildlife but the intention was that villages within the districts would become the real managers and beneficiaries of wildlife.

    CAMPFIRE was facilitated by government departments and several locally based non-governmental organizations. The NGOs included Zimbabwe Trust, ACTION, Africa Resources Trust and WWF (SARPO). The CAMPFIRE Association, the lead agency of the CAMPFIRE Collaborative Group, coordinated their projects and roles. In 1993, the Collaborative Group recognized that villages were really passive participants in CAMPFIRE, and asked WWF to develop appropriate methods to help Communal Area residents take a more active role in the natural resource management. Through the Support to CAMPFIRE Project (SupCAMP 1994 to 2002), WWF worked with farmers to develop methods now documented as the Wildlife Management Series.

    Most of the Wildlife Management Series are guideline manuals that explain how to perform a particular task, for example counting wildlife. In addition there are several toolboxes that are designed to guide a facilitator through a process, for example setting hunting quotas. SupCAMP also developed the CAMPFIRE Game, which is a participatory training tool for financial management.

    The Wildlife Management Series and the CAMPFIRE Game are available below for download in PDF format, along with a critical review of the SupCAMP experience to provide extra insight for practitioners in similar fields.

    WWF Wildlife Management Series Manuals
    (Open any of the pdf files below by clicking on the text link)

    1. Quota Setting Manual
    Published in 1997 by the WWF-World Wide Fund for Nature Programme Office, Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Trust and SCI.

    2. Counting Wildlife Manual
    Published in 2000 by the WWF-World Wide Fund for Nature Southern African Regional Programme Office (SARPO), Zimbabwe Trust and SCI.

    3. District Quota Setting Toolbox
    Published in 2000 by the WWF-World Wide Fund for Nature Southern African Regional Programme Office (SARPO), Zimbabwe Trust and SCI.

    4. Electric Fencing Projects
    Published 1997 by the WWF-World Wide Fund for Nature Programme Office, Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Trust and SCI.

    5. Maintaining Electric Fencing
    Published in 1999 by the WWF-World Wide Fund for Nature Southern Africa Regional Programme Office (SARPO), Harare

    6. Financial Management Manual
    Published in 2002 by the WWF-World Wide Fund for Nature Southern African Regional Programme Office (SARPO).

    7. Fire Management Manual
    Published in January, 2001 by WWF - Southern Africa Regional Programme Office (SARPO), Harare, Zimbabwe.

    8. Marketing Wildlife Leases
    Published in 1997 by the WWF-World Wide Fund for Nature Programme Office, Zimbabwe.

    9. Problem Animal Reporting
    Published in 1997 by the WWF-World Wide Fund for Nature Programme Office, Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Trust and Safari Club International.

    10. Project Planning Manual
    Published in June, 2001 by WWF-Southern Africa Regional Programme Office (SARPO), Harare, Zimbabwe.

    11. Managing Safari Hunting
    Published in 1997 by the WWF-World Wide Fund for Nature Programme Office, Zimbabwe.

    12. Campfire The Accountability Game Board
    Published in July 2001 by WWF-Southern Africa Regional Programme Office (SARPO), Harare, Zimbabwe.

    13. Campfire The Accountability Game Rules
    Published in July, 2001 by WWF-Southern Africa Regional Programme Office (SARPO), Harare, Zimbabwe.

    14. Financial Management Toolbox
    Published in October, 2001 by WWF-Southern Africa Regional Programme Office (SARPO), Harare, Zimbabwe.

    15. Empowering rural communities to manage wildlife: lessons learned from WWF's Support to CAMPFIRE Project 1993-2002

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