Community conservancies in Namibia: An effective institutional model for commons management?
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Common property resources (CPRs) remain of great significance for livelihoods among rural and poor communities of the world. CPRs are particularly important because in many contexts they remain resources of last resort since they provide grazing, timber, wood fuel, thatching, fruits and other products for domestic use and income generation. Access to collectively-managed resources is important for poor rural households and yet many governments continue to pursue policies that undermine the livelihoods of those most dependent on CPRs by privatising them or entrenching monopoly and state control over them. Community-based natural resource management (CBNRM) policies have been developed and implemented in a number of southern African countries, including Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mozambique, South Africa and Namibia. The experience of Namibia provides important lessons for how to implement policies which provide tangible benefits for rural communities living on communal land.
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