Publications des agents du Cirad


Community based game ranching and politics in Chiriwo ward of Mbire district, Zimbabwe

Mombeshora S., Le Bel S.. 2010. In : Coudel Emilie (ed.), Devautour Hubert (ed.), Soulard Christophe-Toussaint (ed.), Hubert Bernard (ed.). International symposium ISDA 2010. Innovation and sustainable development in agriculture and food : Abstracts and papers. Montpellier : CIRAD, 11 p.. International symposium ISDA 2010, 2010-06-28/2010-07-01, Montpellier (France).

Community based wildlife management in Zimbabwe is rooted in ideas of global significance whose central premise is that local communities will manage natural resources sustainably when rights and responsibilities are devolved to them; benefits of management exceed costs; they capture benefits; and they are small enough in membership to enforce group rules. Using results of research conducted in Chiriwo Ward, Mbire district, this paper revisits these core principles. Six years after CIRAD handed over Chivaraidze Game Ranch to the community, the project is revealing a schism between the aforesaid principles and actual practice. First, the ideal of devolving authority over wildlife to the community has come up against powerful local sectional interests. Second, the ideal of benefits of management exceeding costs is being contradicted by the reality of costs exceeding benefits. Third, the ideal of the community capturing benefits is being negated by the reality of elite capture of benefits. Fourth, the ideal of community cohesion is being neutralised by local leaders' divisive use of kinship and party political ties to gain access to and control the ranch and its wildlife. On the basis of comparative literature and our own findings, we argue for the necessity to investigate and analyse the politics behind project appropriation at the local level. We conclude that building community collective action in wildlife management requires scrutiny and understanding of power politics which shapes local participation and structures the outcomes of wildlife management.

Mots-clés : zimbabwe

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