Community-Based Natural Resource Management in Mozambique: A critical review of the concept's applicability at local level
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Since the early 1990s community-based natural resource management (CBNRM) has become a mantra of sustainable development, which has been broadly embraced by national leaders and policy-makers in Africa, as well as aid bureaucrats and technical specialists in donor countries. Its dissemination to local communities, however, has turned out to be a rather controversial process. On the basis of two case studies this article assesses the extent to which the new approach has been adopted in Mozambique, and the conditions on which it has been accepted by local communities. The results indicate that the CBNRM model cannot be considered independently of the local political context, even though this aspect has been largely neglected. Devolution of full authority to local institutions is also a crucial issue. Restrictions on the use of natural resources are acceptable to the local population, but only if they are compatible with local livelihood strategies.
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