Community based natural resource management in Zimbabwe: the experience of CAMPFIRE

Abstract

Communal Areas Management Programme for Indigenous Resources (CAMPFIRE) is a long-term programmatic approach to rural development that uses wildlife and other natural resources as a mechanism for promoting devolved rural institutions and improved governance and livelihoods. The cornerstone of CAMPFIRE is the right to manage, use, dispose of, and benefit from these resources. Between 1989 and 2006, CAMPFIRE income, mostly from high valued safari hunting, totalled nearly USD$ 30 million, of which 52% was allocated to sub-district wards and villages for community projects and household benefits. Whilst a number of assumptions underlying the success of CAMPFIRE as an innovative model for CBNRM have yet to be met, CAMPFIRE confirms the concept that devolving responsibility and accountability for natural resource management can be highly effective for the collective and participatory management of such resources. Elephant numbers in CAMPFIRE areas have increased and buffalo numbers are either stable or decreased slightly during the life of the programme. However, offtake quotas for these two species have increased with a concomitant decline in trophy quality. Although the amount of wildlife habitat diminished after 1980, following the commencement of CAMPFIRE the rate of habitat loss slowed down and in some specific instances was even reversed. More recently there has been increased pressure on habitats and other natural resources as a consequence of deteriorating socio-economic conditions in the country. Where devolution has been successful, promising results have been achieved and the recent acceptance and implementation of direct payments to communities is probably the most significant development since 2000. That this has happened can be attributed to CAMPFIRE enabling communities to maximize their roles within the existing set of rules, and by so doing, allowing these rules to be challenged. Donor (73%) and government (27%) investments into the programme amounted to $35 million during the period 1989 to 2003. Since 2003 however, donor funding has been reduced to <$600,000 over the past 5 years.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6

Notes

  1. 1.

    For a full discussion of the CCG, see Child et al. (2003).

  2. 2.

    The WWF Multispecies Animal Production Systems (MAPS) Project.

  3. 3.

    Eric Loken, USAID, pers. comm., quoted in Child et al. (2003).

  4. 4.

    See WWF Natural Resource Management Support to CAMPFIRE (SupCamp) Project Documents.

  5. 5.

    See CAMPFIRE Programme Strategy Workshop Report 1992, Hunyani Hills & SupCamp Project Documents.

  6. 6.

    In Zimbabwe, Provinces are made up of Districts comprised of Wards. Wards in turn comprise a number of Villages. These spatially and physically defined groupings also reflect the lower level administrative structures of the country, namely WADCOs (Ward Development Committees) and VIDCOs (Village Development Committees).

  7. 7.

    Members of the CCG (subsequently, Service Providers and mostly NGOs), worked primarily through the WWCs and WWMCs.

  8. 8.

    Producer wards are used as a proxy for the area of wild land.

  9. 9.

    Note that habitat assessment by Dunham et al. (2003) was for all of North Gokwe District whilst that of Conybeare (1998) was confined to the Wildlife Corridor, an area set aside by North Gokwe residents for wildlife.

  10. 10.

    See Ingwe Safaris 2005 Year End Report to Guruve Rural District Council.

  11. 11.

    See Minutes of the Gairesi Development Trust & the Nyanga Downs Fly Fishing Club, 2005/06.

  12. 12.

    See Statutory Instrument (SI) 26 of 1998.

References

  1. Anon (2003) CAMPFIRE revenue manual. CAMPFIRE Association and WWF SARPO, Harare

    Google Scholar 

  2. Blanc JJ, Barnes RFW, Craig GC, Douglas-Hamiliton I, Dublin HT, Hart JA, Thouless CR (2005) Changes in elephant numbers in major savanna populations in eastern and southern Africa. Pachyderm 38:19–28

    Google Scholar 

  3. Bond I (1994) The importance of sport-hunted African elephants to CAMPFIRE in Zimbabwe. TRAFFIC Bull 14:117–119

    Google Scholar 

  4. Bond I (1999) CAMPFIRE as a vehicle for sustainable rural development in the semi-arid communal lands of Zimbabwe: incentives for institutional change. D.Phil Thesis, University of Zimbabwe

  5. Bond I (2001) CAMPFIRE and the incentives for institutional change. In: Hulme D, Murphree M (eds) African wildlife, livelihoods: the promise, performance of community conservation. James Currey, Oxford

    Google Scholar 

  6. Booth V (2002) Analysis of wildlife markets (sport hunting and tourism). Unpublished report. WWF SARPO, Harare

    Google Scholar 

  7. Child G (1995) Wildlife and people: the Zimbabwean success. Wisdom Foundation, New York

    Google Scholar 

  8. Child B, Jones B, Mazambani D, Mlalazi A, Moinuddin H (2003) Final evaluation report: Zimbabwe natural resources management programme-USAID/Zimbabwe strategic objective no. 1. CAMPFIRE communal areas management for indigenous resources. Unpublished report. USAID, Harare

    Google Scholar 

  9. Conybeare A (1998) Assessment of habitat maintenance, diversity and productivity under communal management. Unpublished report. WWF resource management support to CAMPFIRE project. WWF SARPO, Harare

    Google Scholar 

  10. Cumming DHM (1989) Commercial and safari hunting in Zimbabwe. In: Hudson RJ, Drew KR, Baskin LM (eds) Wildlife production systems: economic utilisation of wild ungulates. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge

    Google Scholar 

  11. Cumming DHM, Lynam TJP (1997) Landuse changes, wildlife conservation and utilization and the sustainability of agro-ecosystems in the Zambezi Valley. Final technical report, vol 1. WWF SARPO, Harare

    Google Scholar 

  12. Cumming DHM, Fenton B, Rautenbach, Taylor RD et al (1997a) Elephants, woodlands and biodiversity in southern Africa. S Afr J Sci 9:231–236

    Google Scholar 

  13. Cumming DHM, Masarira T, Shade N (1997b) Landuse change in the Sebungwe and Dande/Chiswiti: methods, summary tables and aerial photography used. In: Landuse changes, wildlife conservation and utilisation, and the sustainability of agro-ecosystems of the Zambezi Valley. Final technical report, Volume 2. WWF SARPO, Harare

  14. Derman W (1990) The unsettling of the Zambezi valley: an examination of the Mid-Zambezi rural development project. Centre for Applied Social Sciences Working Paper. CASS, University of Zimbabwe

  15. Dunham KM, Davies C, Muhwandagara K (2003) Area and quality of wildlife habitat in selected CAMPFIRE districts. Report for the WWF MAPS-NRMP II project. WWF SARPO, Harare

    Google Scholar 

  16. Foggin CM, Taylor RD (1996) Management and utilisation of the African buffalo in Zimbabwe. In: Penzhorn BL (ed) Proceedings of a symposium of the African buffalo as a game ranch animal. South African Veterinary Association, Onderstepoort

  17. Government of Zimbabwe (1975) Parks and Wild Life Act (Amended 1982). Government Printer, Harare

    Google Scholar 

  18. Grobbelaar C, Masulani R (2003) Review of off take quotas, trophy quality and “catch effort” across the four main wildlife species, elephant, buffalo, lion and leopard. Unpublished report. WWF SARPO, Harare

    Google Scholar 

  19. Jansen D, Bond I, Child B (1992) Cattle, wildlife, both or neither: results of a financial and economic survey of commercial ranches in southern Zimbabwe. WWF MAPS project paper No. 27. WWF SARPO, Harare

  20. Jones B, Murphree M (2001) The evolution of policy on community conservation in Namibia and Zimbabwe. In: Hulme D, Murphree M (eds) African wildlife and livelihoods: the promise and performance of community conservation. James Currey, Oxford

    Google Scholar 

  21. Martin RB (1986) Communal areas management programme for indigenous resources (CAMPFIRE). Revised version. Department of National Parks & Wild Life Management, Harare

    Google Scholar 

  22. Murombedzi JC (1992) Decentralisation or recentralisation? Implementing CAMPFIRE in the Omay communal lands of the Nyaminyami dstrict. CASS working paper, University of Zimbabwe, Harare

  23. Murombedzi JC (2001) Committees, rights, costs and benefits: natural resource stewardship and community benefits in Zimbabwe’s CAMPFIRE programme. In: Hulme D, Murphree M (eds) African wildlife and livelihoods: the promise and performance of community conservation. James Currey, Oxford

    Google Scholar 

  24. Murphree MW (2005) Congruent objectives, competing interests, and strategic compromise. In: Brosius JP, Tsing AL, Zerner C (eds) Communities and conservation. AltaMira Press, Walnut Creek, CA

  25. Murphree MW, Cumming DHM (1991) Savanna land use: policy and practice in Zimbabwe. In: Young MD, Solbrig OT (eds) The world’s Savannas: economic driving forces, ecological constraints and policy optionsfor sustainable land use. Man and the biosphere series, vol 12. UNESCO & Parthenon, New York

    Google Scholar 

  26. PwC (2001) CAMPFIRE revenues, draft report. Price Waterhouse Coopers, Harare

    Google Scholar 

  27. Taylor RD (1994a) Elephant management in Nyaminyami district, Zimbabwe: turning a liability into an asset. In: Freeman MMR, Kreuter UP (eds) Elephants and whales: resources for whom?. Gordon and Breach, Basel

    Google Scholar 

  28. Taylor RD (1994b) Wildlife management and utilization in a Zimbabwean communal land: a preliminary evaluation in Nyaminyami district, Kariba. In: Van Hoven W, Edebes H, Conroy A (eds) Wildlife ranching: a celebration of diversity. Promedia, Pretoria

    Google Scholar 

  29. Taylor RD (1995) Consultancy to assess the potential for community management of wildlife resources in the Lunda-Mkwambi game control area adjacent to the south eastern border of the Ruaha National Park, Tanzania. Unpublished report. British Development Division in Eastern Africa, Overseas Development Administration

  30. Taylor RD (1999). Wilderness and the CAMPFIRE Programme: the value of wildlands and wildlife to local communities in Zimbabwe. In: Cooper TG (ed) Proceedings of the wilderness management symposium, Waterberg Plateau Park, Namibia

  31. Taylor RD (2001) Participatory natural resource monitoring and management: implications for conservation. In: Hulme D, Murphree M (eds) African wildlife and livelihoods: the promise and performance of community conservation. James Currey, Oxford

    Google Scholar 

  32. Taylor RD, Bond I (1999) Participatory technology development for community based wildlife management in Zimbabwe: The WWF support to CAMPFIRE project. In: personal, societal and ecological values of wilderness. Proceedings of 6th World Wilderness Congress, Bangalore

  33. Taylor RD, Cumming DHM (1993) Elephant management in southern Africa. In: responsible wildlife resource management. Conference proceedings: European Bureau for Conservation and Development, Brussels

  34. Taylor RD, Mackie CS (1997) Aerial census results for elephant and buffalo in selected Campfire areas. CAMPFIRE Assoc Publ Ser 4:4–11

    Google Scholar 

  35. Vincent V, Thomas RG (1960) An agricultural survey of southern Rhodesia. Part I: agro-ecological survey. Government Printer, Salisbury

    Google Scholar 

  36. Waterhouse Price (1994) The Lowveld conservancies: new opportunities for productive and sustainable land use: Save Valley, Bubiana and Chiredzi River conservancies. Price Waterhouse, Harare

    Google Scholar 

  37. Waterhouse Price (1996) Elephant census in Zimbabwe: an analysis and review 1980–1995. Price Waterhouse, Harare

    Google Scholar 

  38. Wright A (1997) Monitoring and evaluation plan for CAMPFIRE. Report of the CCG monitoring and evaluation sub-committtee. CAMPFIRE Collaborative Group, Harare

    Google Scholar 

  39. WWF SARPO (2003) CAMPFIRE monitoring and evaluation data 2001. Unpublished report compiled by MA Khumalo. WWF SARPO, Harare

  40. WWF SARPO (2003) Quantifying the assumptions for CAMPFIRE. Unpublished report. WWF SARPO, Harare

    Google Scholar 

  41. Zimbabwe Trust (2003) Process oriented monitoring system (POMS) evaluation of select sub-district CAMPFIRE institutions. Unpublished report prepared for WWF SARPO by Zim Trust and compiled by S Matanhire. WWF SARPO, Harare

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Russell Taylor.

Additional information

This article is based on an unpublished report originally produced for USAID FRAME.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Taylor, R. Community based natural resource management in Zimbabwe: the experience of CAMPFIRE. Biodivers Conserv 18, 2563–2583 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10531-009-9612-8

Download citation

Keywords

  • CAMPFIRE
  • Zimbabwe
  • Wildlife use
  • Economic benefit
  • Devolution
  • Proprietorship
  • Governance