Transboundary Natural Resource Management: The Legal and Policy Barriers to Community Participation
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This paper examines the nature and characteristics of transboundary natural resource management with special attention on legal and policy issues that have precluded community participation. The data was mainly collected through a desk study. The paper is an assessment of policies and laws at national levels vis-a-vis local levels. It seeks to highlight a need to model institutions with the incorporation of inputs of local communities. Transboundary natural resource management is defined as the management of natural resources that straddle national boundaries. Studies on community based natural resource management have shown that there is need to incorporate local communities in natural resource management. It is, therefore, important to look at the way communities living with the resources at national boundaries have managed the resources thus far. The existence of boundaries is not a big issue to communities living around these boundaries because they have next-of-kin in the countries on these boundaries. Therefore, , issues of ownership were not problematic until laws at national level authorized use and ownership of natural resources, especially wildlife, by private landowners. The laws passed at national level are different not only from nation to nation but also from national level to community levels. Therefore the successful implementation of transboundary natural resource management should involve all stakeholders in the formulation of policies and laws affecting transboundary areas.