rests on the recognition that communities residing within or
adjacent to the Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) and Controlled
Hunting Areas (CHAs) are charged with the responsibility and
custodianship to lead the conservation activities in these areas
that are buffering between the communal areas and the National
Parks or Game Reserves.
Prior to the implementation of the CBNRM programme, most communal
vegetation resources had fallen prey to the so-called open access,
where the use of resources was not controlled. This applied
to most veld products that were not regulated under the 1974
Agricultural Resources Conservation Act, and for communal rangelands
in the proximity of villages that were not controlled by private
borehole owners. The use of wildlife resources was strictly
controlled, but enforcement was problematic and poaching fairly
common. Moreover, the co-existence of Special Game Licenses
(based on development needs of the most vulnerable groups) and
Single Game Licenses (based on species availability) restricted
the conservation potential of the license system. Thus communal
natural resources were inadequately protected, and their conservation
was at risk
Indications from the review of CBNRM (2003) have shown that
CBNRM projects have had several positive resource impacts:
- CBNRM has significantly improved the communities’
appreciation of the value of natural resources. There has
been an acute shift of attitudes towards natural resources,
particularly wildlife, as a result of the CBNRM orientation.
- Resource conservation is incorporated into the constitutions
of all CBOs.
- Poaching is widespread in the country, but levels are
falling within CBNRM, where communities or safari operators
manage the hunting. Despite the falling levels of poaching,
total off-take in most CBNRM is argued to be still well
in excess of the formally permitted levels. This is either
due to outright poaching or through fatal wounding of large
numbers of animals during hunting by less-experienced hunters.
- Wildlife-based CBNRM encourages the conservation of biodiversity
and has the potential to maintain or preserve the open grassy
savannas of the Kalahari. This is in contrast with livestock
dominated savannas, which have been transformed into thick
bush (bush encroachment).
The aerial survey technique has been the major tool used
for setting wildlife species quota within CBNRM. Surveys are
considered reliable especially for big game and livestock.
A series of estimates from the surveys are likely to give
a satisfactory indication of trends for most species, even
if numbers are over-or under-estimated. The emphasis by such
surveys is on relative rather than absolute differences between
species numbers. It may however, not be possible to carry
out aerial surveys on an annual basis for the rest of the
country due to the cost and complexity (technically and logistically)
associated with surveys.
To stimulate more active community natural resource management
DWNP currently implements pilot projects on the Management
oriented Monitoring system (MOMS) in three communities in
Ngamiland. MOMS aims at community participation in natural
resources monitoring and management. DWNP has trained the
communities in how to apply MOMS and collect information on
game sightings, rare species, problem animals and village
mapping ect... These data will additionally enhance the quality
of aerial surveys. It is planned to roll MOMS out to other
districts in near future.
Veld products monitoring
factors have been identified as major contributors to veld
product depletion within CBNRM: over-harvesting; prolonged
droughts; expansion of other land uses; grazing pressure from
livestock; veld fires; natural hazards and grazing by wildlife.
Despite that, active natural resource monitoring for veld
products extraction is still being developed in Botswana.
The Agricultural Resources Board under the Ministry of Environment,
Wildlife and Tourism is mandated to carry out inventories
and monitoring of veld products, but currently the Government
Department focuses only on a few species such as Grapple Plant
/ Devil’s Claw and several thatching grasses. As mainly
women are traditionally responsible for the management and
harvesting of plants in their communities, they should be
targeted for any training activity in regards to management
and monitoring of veld products.
In general, a holistic approach to natural resources monitoring
within CBNRM is required. Indicator variables that could be
used to reflect on the health of the ecosystem as a whole
need to be identified and monitored from baseline levels.
The current monitoring system seems to focus only on wildlife
species populations through surveys and sightings.