Southern Africa is the crucible of Community Based Natural Resources Management (CBNRM), with considerable support from development partners United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Norway to bold policy reforms. USAID has invested over $100 million in community conservation in the region since 1989. The performance of CBNRM in Africa and elsewhere has been uneven. When implemented in accordance with core principles, and supported by knowledgeable and committed policy-makers and extension workers, the rate of success has been high.
However, this information is held within a knowledge network of personal connections, oral and grey literature, extending haphazardly into educational institutions where (with a few individual exceptions) materials do not adequately reflect the current ‘state-of-knowledge’. These inadequacies are a serious limitation to the spread of CBNRM and to adapting it to manage emerging issues like to biodiversity conservation, climate change, food security and payments for environmental services more generally.
There is little formal training, or coordination of training, of staff within the NGOs and other agencies supporting CBNRM. Rare exceptions are the support provided by World Wildlife Fund for Nature to Namibian University of Science and Technology and Southern African Wildlife College to develop general CBNRM modules for middle-level managers, short-course training in CBNRM at Rhodes University, few undergraduate courses Sokoine University of Agriculture, and graduate supervision linked to CBNRM research (CASS/University of Zimbabwe; PLAAS/University of West Cape; Rhodes and Cape Town).
The objective of this project is to strengthen and expand existing alliances between the public, private, NGO and education sectors to sustain and support CBNRM programs in southern Africa by improving education and training programs.
For more information about this project, follow the links below, or contact the program director.
You can also read more about the program through our Research Reports: