Human Ecology

, Volume 24, Issue 1, pp 65-85

First online:

Outcomes of a community controlled wildlife utilization program in a Zambezi Valley community

  • Gordon Edwin MatzkeAffiliated withGeosciences Department, Oregon State University
  • , Nontokozo NabaneAffiliated withCentre for Applied Social Science, University of Zimbabwe

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Zimbabwe is devolving substantial wildlife management responsibility to local government, and ultimately to local communities, through its Communal Areas Management Program for Indigenous Resources (CAMPFIRE) program. This paper's purpose is to explore the notion that CAMPFIRE offers a useful model for sustainable development discussions by examining the program's impacts in one case study location. It presents a legislative history of the CAMPFIRE Program before specifying the spatial criteria that explain ideal CAMPFIRE sites. Thereafter, it reports results from a study of the development impacts of locally controlled wildlife management in Masoka, an isolated CAMPFIRE community in the Zambezi Valley. The village has developed a land use plan, fenced its fields and settlements, reduced wild animal attacks on people and crops, provided access to primary education for both boys and girls, created local employment, and provided money for household food purchases during a severe drought. In Masoka, the implementation of CAMPFIRE seems to successfully provide incentives to protect megafauna and their habitats. For Masoka, CAMPFIRE has provided an alternative model to statist solutions emphasizing centralized control for biodiversity conservation purposes.

Key words

CAMPFIRE Zimbabwe sustainable development wildlife management biodiversity wildlife utilization