The Limiting Statutory Framework For Economically Beneficial Community Based Natural Resource Management In Zimbabwe And Botswana : A Comparative Analysis
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Natural resource management in Southern Africa has predominantly been guided by the concerns with conservation of natural resources. This has seen the use of natural resources to sustain livelihoods taken as a subservient objective incidental to the pursuit of conservation efforts. The legislation has also been framed in the resource conservation framework thereby giving limited room for communities to diversify their livelihoods through the exploitation of natural resources. Legal authority over natural resources has never been fully “devolved” to the communities but has remained with governments and affiliated bodies like rural district councils. Community Based Natural Resources Management activities are not legislated but are dealt with through policy directives and statements that are not binding at law. Without the requisite legal status the communities are affected negatively by the changes or reversals of the directives. The role of natural resources in diversifying the rural livelihood portfolio continues to be downplayed and communities continue to have no legal custody of resources found amongst them.