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Title:CAMPFIRE: Through the Lens of the 'Commons' Literature: Nyaminyami Rural District in Post-2000 Zimbabwe
Authors:Balint, Peter J.
Mashinya, Judith
Periodical:Journal of Southern African Studies
Geographic term:Zimbabwe
Subjects:natural resource management
nature conservation
community participation
Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment
Development and Technology
History and Exploration
Abstract:During its early years, Zimbabwe's CAMPFIRE (Communal Areas Management Programme for Indigenous Resources) was a highly regarded and influential national effort to promote community-based natural resource management. Despite the programme's early promise, however, outcomes in the field over the longer term have often been disappointing. Researchers offer various explanations for the uneven results. In this article the authors explore the idea that CAMPFIRE could benefit from emulating more closely the spontaneously emerging, community-level collective actions described in the 'commons' literature. Scholars of the commons identify several conditions necessary for successful community self-organization for natural resource management. The present authors examine discrepancies between the conditions identified as critical in the commons literature and the underlying conditions found in CAMPFIRE communities. These discrepancies both clarify the obstacles local CAMPFIRE projects face and suggest that the successful community efforts described in the literature are unlikely to provide a useful model in the CAMPFIRE context. The discussion is illustrated with references to findings from the authors' 2006 case study of the CAMPFIRE project in Nyaminyami Rural District. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]