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CBNRM ROLE IMPORTANT IN RURAL DEVELOPMENT
03/03/16
Community Based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM) has been hailed as an effective tool to achieve rural development. This was said by Professor Joseph Mbaiwa of Okavango Research Institute during the official opening of the CBRNM forum in Maun recently. He said CBNRM was effective in the improvement of rural livelihood as well as the promotion of conservation of natural resources. Professor Mbaiwa further said the programme has proven to be a useful tool in alleviating poverty and promoting conservation by strengthening the rural economy and empowering communities to manage resources for their long-term social, economic and ecological benefits. The adoption of CBNRM in Botswana, he said, resulted in employment creation, generation of income and provision of social services in rural areas.

Community Based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM) has been hailed as an effective tool to achieve rural development. This was said by Professor Joseph Mbaiwa of Okavango Research Institute during the official opening of the CBRNM forum in Maun recently. He said CBNRM was effective in the improvement of rural livelihood as well as the promotion of conservation of natural resources.

Professor Mbaiwa further said the programme has proven to be a useful tool in alleviating poverty and promoting conservation by strengthening the rural economy and empowering communities to manage resources for their long-term social, economic and ecological benefits. The adoption of CBNRM in Botswana, he said, resulted in employment creation, generation of income and provision of social services in rural areas.

Professor Mbaiwa explained that the creation of jobs in CBNRM projects by community based organisations (CBOs) and joint venture partnership was an important success and strategy of poverty alleviation which some of the CBOS managed to achieve during the goods years He observed that those employed in CBNRM projects were able to support their families thereby raising the standard of living in households. In addition, he said Government was encouraging Batswana to start businesses and employ other Batswana so that poverty could be eradicated in the country. “The government is also encouraging the formation of co-operatives in the country where employment will be created. CBNRM is one big example of a cooperative environment in rural areas where jobs have been created,” he said.

Professor Mbaiwa said since its inception, the programme has cultivated the spirit of ownership among communities, adding that the CBNRM credits local people with having a greater understanding of, as well as vested interest in, their local environment hence they were seen as effectively managing natural resources through local or traditional practices. “The main aim of CBNRM is to achieve biodiversity conservation and rural development especially improved rural livelihoods,” he added. He noted that studies have shown that where CBNRM was successfully implemented, wildlife population has gone up. He said in the past 10 years since its inception, wildlife populations increased by about 50 per cent with elephants doubling from 4 000 to 8 000 in camp fire areas.

For his part, Ngamiland CBNRM chairperson, Dr Olekae Thakadu said the overall purpose of the forum was to provide a platform for broader stakeholder dialogue, facilitation, coordination and cooperation in CBNRM issues at local and national level. He explained that the forum which was established in 1999, was guided by the need to bring together all stakeholders in a neutral forum to discuss CBNRM challenges experienced at the local level, and to foster an enabling environment for CBNRM implementation. (BOPA)

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