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CBNRM Workshop, Windhoek (Namibia), 3.-6. April 2022

Background

Community Based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM) was launched in the late 1980s/early 1990s as an innovative project claiming to combine reducing poverty with nature and biodiversity conservation. Participatory forms of management by local communities and commercialising nature in collaboration with private parties marked the development approach. Piloted in Zimbabwe and Namibia with donor, government and NGO support, the approach became widely adopted in southern African. With an increase in partners (NGOs, companies), the concept of CBNRM diversified to also include eco-tourism and trophy hunting as additional sources of income and employment. The advancement and the successes of CBNRM led to a firm embedding in the activities of a range of global (WWF, donors) and local institutions (governments, local authorities). CBNRM gradually became a model for an approach of rural development in turn attracting the interest of many concerned senior and junior scholars and practitioners from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds. 

CBNRM triggered appreciation among its supporters who point out that incomes have raised, and wildlife numbers have increased. CBNRM also turned out to offer space for democratic experiments in decision making at community level. However, there are also critical voices about illegal hunting, elite capture, the role of traditional authorities, jobs, and incomes not well distributed and the benefits of eco-tourism and trophy hunting are questioned. Similarly, the influential role of international and national support organisations in shaping the conservation and development agenda received substantial criticism. Moreover, since its piloting in the early 90s new processes and challenges have emerged that will shape the contribution of CBNRM to conservation and therefore its future. Aspects of population growth, climate change, increase in illegal hunting and a general quest to step up control jeopardize in one or the other way the future of CBNRM. Moreover, fencing and the struggle for land and territory between conservancies and livestock farmers is intensifying impeding in turn conservation efforts. Tensions between NGOs and governments about conservation and development are arising frequently.

There are signs that CBNRM is in a critical stage of its existence and therefore we are going to discuss the following four themes:

  • (1) Mechanisms of redistribution of benefits and revenue

  • (2) Power, institutions and community

  • (3) The struggle for claims, rights and resources

  • (4) Climate change, ecology and environmental implications.

In total we will have 20 talks related to the four themes with case studies from almost all countries in Southern Africa. Additionally to the talks we will have four world cafés with the following topics:

  • Can Community based conservation tackle challenges in rural Africa?

  • Can past and present environmental injustices be addressed by community-based conservation?

  • Beyond commodification: Exploring venues for convivial livelihoods beyond the market

  • Can CBNRM address problems of environmental change?

See the detailed program here ...more

Organizers

supported by:

  • Myrthe Detiger (University of Bayreuth)
  • Ihuhwa Catherine Malulu (University of Namibia)

Location

The workshop is on the Campus of the University of Namibia in Windhoek. The talks can be joined online as well. If you are interested, send a mail to climatology@uni-bayreuth.de

The workshop is funded by VolkswagenStiftung and is an activity of the Institute of African Studies (IAS) at the University of Bayreuth



Webmaster: Univ.Prof.Dr. Cyrus Samimi

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