THE POLITICS AND ECONOMICS OF COMMUNITY-BASED NATURAL RESOURCE MANAGEMENT IN /XAI/XAI, NGAMILAND, BOTSWANA
This study examined assumptions surrounding the issue of community-based natural resource management (CBNRM) projects in southern Africa. Data were drawn from the village of /Xai/Xai in Ngamiland (North West District), Botswana, a multi-ethnic community consisting mainly of Ju/'hoansi San and Herero located on the Botswana-Namibia border in the northern Kalahari Desert. The /Xai /Xai people formed the /Xai/Xai (Cgae Cgae) Tlhabololo Trust in 1997, the first of its kind in Botswana. An
... n of the /Xai/Xai Trust's activities and implementation over time reveals some of the complexities of CBNRM projects, including those relating to management, transparency, benefit distribution, equity, and the impacts of decision-making on local people. Gender, ethnicity, and class issues are examined along with the problem of elite capture of resources, the tendency of the state to favor private companies, the challenges of conflicting government policies, and power relations at the local, district, and national levels. The analysis shows that if CBNRM projects are to be successful, then community-based institutions and their members as well as district councils and the central government must be able to come to agreements about benefit distribution, ways to resolve conflicts, provision of investment in livelihood-related activities, and security of tenure over land and resources.