Can local communities afford full control over wildlife conservation? The Case of CAMPFIRE in Zimbabwe

Herbert Ntuli, March, 2019

Zimbabwe’s community-based conservation model, which brings together peasant farmers in a tourism-focused approach to wildlife management, has enjoyed limited success since its inception during the mid-1980s due to a number of reasons. Community involvement in wildlife conservation is one of the major factors influencing the success of integrated conservation and development projects through lack of ownership of the project and increased human-wildlife conflict. Policymakers and development practitioners usually do not consult local people when designing and implementing programmes thereby resulting in policy failure and lack of ownership of community projects. Supply-side intervention do not take into consideration the needs and wants of local people, who are often viewed as beneficiaries in the development fraternity. The current conservation model in Zimbabwe is characterised by an uneven playing field where the power dynamics are in favour of state institutions and the private sector jointly working together to maximize their benefits, but at the expense of local communities.

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Can local communities afford full control over wildlife conservation? The Case of CAMPFIRE in Zimbabwe