LAPOLOGANG MAGOLE AND LEFATSHE I. MAGOLE, UNIVERSITY OF BOTSWANA, BOTSWNA
Abstract: Since its inception in the early 1990s in Botswana and elsewhere in Southern Africa, the Community Based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM) concept has been implemented in areas where poor and often marginalized communities reside. There are many reasons for this including that CBNRM in these countries is biased towards wildlife management and often these communities reside in pristine and wildlife rich areas. Some of the wildlife was believed to either be in danger of going extinct or the numbers were going down drastically supposedly due to hunting and or poaching. It was hoped then that the implementation of these projects would bring about biodiversity conservation as well as the much needed development and employment for these communities. This paper we present the situation in two Basarwa (San) communities of Gudigwa and Mababe who are currently involved in CBNRM projects in Ngamiland district. The paper looks at what CBNRM projects have been able to offer in terms of employment and village/community development. The study found that for both the villages studied, the CBNRM project is the main source of employment and empowerment for the community. The study concludes that although CBNRM has potential to be a viable poverty alleviation and development tool for Basarwa and other remote dweller communities, however, low education levels of residents, which translate into lack of capacity to tap this potential, as well as lack of appropriate support from better resourced development agents (Government and NGOs), present a challenge for the programme to fulfill this potential.
Keywords: Basarwa, Poverty, Poverty Alleviation, Traditional skills, Livelihoods, CBNRM