Success factors in community based natural resources management in northern Botswana: Lessons from practice
The article explores and examines challenges and lessons learned from the implementation of community based natural resources management (CBNRM) programmes in Ngamiland, northern Botswana. The article, based largely on primary data, with some secondary data sources, draws on the CBNRM framework, which promotes rural socio-economic development and natural resources management. Among the key factors identified as pivotal to the success of CBNRM is broadening the consultation base during the mobilization phase of the programme to facilitate effective community participation and representation. Preparedness by both the implementing institutions and participating communities is also highlighted as key to effective mobilization. This means moving away from a conventional consultative forum, to a more multi-faceted approach that will facilitate capturing the views of diverse user groups within the community. The article also suggests that feasibility studies are needed to address socio-economic, political and cultural characteristics inherent in communities to guide programme implementation. To achieve increased community participation and enhance positive conservation attitudes, the article advocates a mobilization approach and practice that will effectively facilitate the process.