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Fostering community resource management in Zimbabwe: An assessmnent of policy implementation in FC and the DNPWM

by Portal Web Editor last modified Jan 10, 2013 09:10 AM
Contributors: Robert Hall, George Honadle

This case study investigates organizational and management issues related to environment and natural resources policy in Zimbabwe. Conducted by USAID's Implementing Policy Change Project, the study examines CAMPFIRE and Forestry Commission (FC) co-management programs from 1989-1993. Success of the CAMPFIRE program is attributed to: Community dynamics; Resource to population ratio; Access to resource; Incentives; Support network; Effective local leadership with authority;ppropriate enabling environment.Co-management in the FC evolved from iterative organizational learning, not a response to clear policy objectives. High-level management capacity and commitment by local stakeholders is key to successful co-management. Political rhetoric poses an important obstacle to the cooperative effort between FC and local communities. The Forest Act lacks legislative provisions for meaningful local involvement.The authors argue that since the co-management approach was conceived by Zimbabweans, its successes are related to their strong sense of ownership. Still, a supportive institutional environment and adequate financial, technical, and human resources will be critical to successful policy reform favoring CBNFM.The authors recommend the following for successful CBNFM: Recognition of traditional and private land tenure;Recognition of traditional village as the basic unit of social organization;Transfer of NFM administration to village level. They further suggest that donor support for institutions and local groups in co-management should help to create incentives for participatory and collaborative performance and foster sustainable forest management. Agencies should extend financial and technical support beyond pilot projects in order to raise consciousness and to build constituency among stakeholders.

Author(s): Robert Hall , George Honadle

Publication Date: 1996

Location: Zimbabwe

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