Skip to main content

Perceptions of the Forestry and Wildlife Policy by the local communities living in the Maputo Elephant Reserve, Mozambique

Abstract

A survey was undertaken in the Maputo Elephant Reserve to establish the level of people's dependence on wildlife, and their perceptions of the extant Forest and Wildlife Policy and the associated legislation, including the new Land law. The underlying assumption was that the local communities residing in the Reserve may not have been involved, or consulted in the process of formulating the policy and legislation. Results overwhelmingly confirmed this hypothesis – as 65% of the community members interviewed were unaware of the approved Forest and Wildlife Policy, and associated Legislation. 74% had never even heard of the new Land Law, 88% indicated they were not involved in any management of natural resources in the Reserve, and the majority, 53% had never even heard of any community-based natural resource management programme. The widespread unawareness of the various enabling mechanisms established by the Mozambican Government to ensure that rural people actively participate in, and sustainably and tangibly benefit from the management of natural resources is of great concern. More particularly so, as the frameworks, and strategies for achieving this have been developed under the Transfrontier Conservation Areas Project (TFCA). This study recommends, inter alia: (i) that the Directorate for Forestry and Wildlife establishes a Community Education and Public Relations Unit (CEPRU) in the Maputo TFCA in order to improve community awareness of the opportunities, and various enabling policies and legislation, especially with respect to communities' rights vis-à-vis ownership of land and the associated natural resources; (ii) the introduction of community-based tourism as a means of diversifying communities' income base. Currently nearly 82% of community members in the Reserve depend on consumptive use of wildlife, and as the human population grows the pressure may overwhelm the resource base. Generation of revenues through community-based tourism may be an incentive for communities to adopt biodiversity conservation based market economy as an alternative to their subsistence livelihood styles.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

References

  1. Ashley C (1995) Tourism, communities, and potential impacts on the local incomes and conservation. Directorate of Environmental Affairs. Ministry of Environment & Tourism, Namibia

    Google Scholar 

  2. Buck SJ (1989) Cultural theory and management of common property resources. Human Ecology 17(1): 101-116

    Google Scholar 

  3. Burt L andFearnley-Whittingstall H (1988). Whose wildlife is it anyway? The spectrum of conservation philosophies. In: Proceedings of an International Symposium: National Parks, Nature Reserves and Neighbours, pp 89–91. Endangered Wildlife Trust, Johannesburg, South Africa

    Google Scholar 

  4. Conway AJ and Goodman PS (1988) The use of natural resources by neighbours and the development of natural resource areas in and around the Natal Parks Board Zululand Reserves. In: Proceedings of International Symposium: National Parks, Nature Reserves, and Neighbours, pp 11. Endangered Wildlife Trust, Johannesburg, South Africa

    Google Scholar 

  5. Cunningham AB (1988) People, plans and conservation: where do we draw the line? In: Proceedings of International Symposium: National Parks, Nature Reserves, and Neighbours, pp 75–80. Endangered Wildlife Trust, Johannesburg, South Africa

    Google Scholar 

  6. DNFFB (1996) Forest and Wildlife Policy and Strategy. Direcção Nacional De Florestas e Fauna Bravia. Ministèrio de Agriculcutura e Pescas, Mozambique

    Google Scholar 

  7. Government of Mozambique (1997)Lei de terras. Boletim da Republica I Serie numero 40. Maputo

  8. Hitchcock R (1980) Traditional social justice, and land reform in central Botswana. In: Richard P and Werbner (eds) Traditional Ideology and Public Policy in Botswana. Journal of African Law (Special Issue)

  9. Hutton J (1995) The biodiversity of the proposed Maputo Trans-frontier Conservation Area (TFCA). Directorate for Forest and Wildlife, Maputo, Mozambique

    Google Scholar 

  10. Infield M (1988) Attitudes of a rural community towards conservation and local conservation area in Natal, South Africa. Biological Conservation 45: 21-46

    Google Scholar 

  11. IUCN (1996) Plano de Maneio Reserva Especial de Maputo 1997-2001. Vol. 2: Informação de Base. Direcção Nacional de Florestas e Fauna. Ministério de Agricultura e Pescas. Maputo, Mozambique

    Google Scholar 

  12. Jones BTB (1999) Policy lessons from the evolution of a community-based approach to wildlife management, Kunene Region, Namibia. J. Int. Dev. 11: 295-304

    Google Scholar 

  13. Lucas PHC (1988) The park/people interface: living with our neighbours. In: Proceedings of an International Symposium: National Parks, Nature Reserves, and Neighbours, pp 7–12. Endangered Wildlife Trust, Johannesburg, South Africa

    Google Scholar 

  14. Mishra HR (1982) A delicate balance: tigers, rhinoceros, tourists and park management vs. the needs of the local people in royal Chitwan National Park, Nepal. In: McNeely JA andMiller KR (eds) National Parks, Conservation and Development, the Role of Protected Areas in Sustaining Society, pp 197–205. Smithsonian Institute Press, Washington, DC

    Google Scholar 

  15. Mkanda FX andMunthali SM (1994) Public attitudes and needs around Kasungu National Park, Malawi. Biodiversity and Conservation 3: 29-44

    Google Scholar 

  16. Munthali SM (1993) Traditional and modern wildlife conservation in Malawi-the need for an integrated approach. Oryx 27(3): 185-187

    Google Scholar 

  17. Munthali SM andMughogho DEC (1992) Ecocomic incentives for conservation: bee-keeping and Saturniidae caterpillar utilisation by local communities. Biodiversity and Conservation 1: 143-154

    Google Scholar 

  18. Murphree MW and Metcalfe SC (1997) Conservancy policy and the CAMPFIRE programme in Zimbabwe. Center for Applied Social Sciences, Harare, Zimbabwe. Technical paper series; 1/97

    Google Scholar 

  19. Oglethorpe J,Botha M andBoyd C (1997) Some environmental impacts of fencing the Futi Corridor. DNFFB/Endangered Wildlife Trust, Maputo, Mozambique

    Google Scholar 

  20. Owen-Smith G andJacobsohn M (1988) Involving a local community in wildlife conservation pilot project at Purros, south-west Kaokoland, SWA/Namibia. In: Proceedings of an International Symposium: National Parks, Nature Reserves, and Neighbours, pp 41–47. Endangered Wildlife Trust, Johannesburg, South Africa

    Google Scholar 

  21. Patel H (1998) Sustainable Utilisation and African Wildlife Policy. The Case of Zimbabwe' Communal Areas Management Programme for Indigenous Resources (CAMPFIRE). Rhetoric or Reality? Indigenous Environmental Policy Centre (IEPC)

  22. Pollock G (1994) Eco-tourism: the KwaZulu case study. In: Robinson R (ed) African Heritage 2000: The Future of Protected Areas in Africa. IUCN, Switzerland

    Google Scholar 

  23. Schapera I (1955) A Handbook of Tswana Law and Custom. Frank Cass Company, London

    Google Scholar 

  24. Spinage C (1991) History and evolution of fauna conservation laws in Botswana. The Botswana Society

  25. Van Wyk AW andAnderson JL (1988) Tribal resource use in KaNgwane: a promising start. In: Proceedings of an International Symposium: National Parks, Nature Reserves, and Neighbours, pp 61–63. Endangered Wildlife Trust, Johannesburg, South Africa

    Google Scholar 

  26. Walker P (1994) Case Study: Botswana National parks and Wildlife management Areas. In: Robinson R (ed) African Heritage 2000: The Future of Protected Areas in Africa, Chapter 4. IUCN, Switzerland

    Google Scholar 

  27. World Bank (1996) Trans-frontier Conservation Areas Pilot and Institutional Strengthening Project. Project Document. The World Bank, Washington, DC

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Soto, B., Munthali, S.M. & Breen, C. Perceptions of the Forestry and Wildlife Policy by the local communities living in the Maputo Elephant Reserve, Mozambique. Biodiversity and Conservation 10, 1723–1738 (2001). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1012005620906

Download citation

  • awareness
  • community-based tourism
  • land law
  • policy