Producer Communities in a Community Based Wildlife Management Programme: A case study of Bulilimamangwe and Tsholotsho districts
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Wildlife in Zimbabwe's communal lands, unlike livestock or agricultural production, is based on ecological units that do not necessarily conform to the administrative boundaries of ward or district. In the communal areas of Zimbabwe, livestock and arable based production and income are privatised to the household even though they are under communal tenure. Consequently, this control of benefits influences the degree of tolerance of transactional and opportunity costs households are willing to bear in the production process1. With such motivational dynamics at play, the fugitive nature of wildlife resources and communal land tenure, how then should a wildlife producer community be defined? This.article analyses distribution of wildlife revenues in the Bulilimamangwe and Tsholotsho Districts' CAMPFIRE (Communal Area Management Programme for Indigenous Resources) programmes. The issue is important for programmes that focus on wildlife as an alternative land use option and source of income for those communities living with, or close to, the natural resource. The article points out that, in these districts, the distribution of benefits from wildlife use is undertaken on a community basis which is geographically defined. However, this procedure neglects those particular groups who bear the cost of wildlife management. Consequently, the viability of wildlife management in the communal lands is negatively affected. 1 Owners of land held under private tenure have readily taken up wildlife as a land use option because they are the deemed producers and therefore the sole appropriated of wildlife benefits.