There is growing recognition in Zambia of the need to transfer power and decision-making processes into local communities and establish principles of local ownerships of natural resources.
The Community Based Natural Resources Management (CBNRM) strategies were formulated and implemented in 1988 under the Administrative Management Design (ADMADE) for Game Management Areas (GMAs). The programme allows for co-management of wildlife with the local communities in the GMAs and sharing of the benefits of conservation that included financial resources. Under the ADMADE, the producer local communities in GMAs retained 35% of the funds generated.
The experiences earned during ADMADE led to the enactment of the 1998 Zambia Wildlife Act that makes specific provisions for the participation of local communities in wildlife management through local institutional structures known as Community Resources Boards (CRBs).
The Nsama CRB is the local CRB with vested interests in the natural resources of Lake Tanganyika, Nsumbu National Park and Tondwa GMA. CLT has identified that the existing structure provided by the CRB is the best means through which to engage the community. We have initiated several projects:
- CLT pays daily wages for 5 village scouts employed under the CRB
- CLT provided all requirements for the CRB to construct a hippo proof fence in the areas near Nsumbu to protect crops from Hippo.
- as of 2014 all participating lodges and businesses charge a levy for recreational fishing on the waters of Lake Tanganyika. the monies raised through this is jointly administered by CLT and the Nsama CRB towards small scale infrastructure projects such as borehole rehabilitation.
- We are in the process of creating a new CRB on the Eastern side of the National park. currently CLT provides all stationary for meetings, travel and accommodation allowances during meetings, and has identified the Chomba community school as a primary beneficiary of CLT education.
The current government of Zambia has indicated its desire to realise increased benefits from natural resources through CRBs. This includes country wide elections of new VAGs and CRBs in June 2014 giving communities the power to negotiate with potential investors over tourism sites and gain revenue from hunting and fishing. CLT looks forward to facilitating this new era of Community Based Natural Resource Management.