Participatory governance for sustainable management of natural resources in the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park: The case of Parque Nacional do Limpopo, Moçambique
Nhancale, Camilo Correia
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This study assessed (a) the inclusion of local communities in the process of the establishment and management of Parque Nacional do Limpopo (PNL); (b) local community resources use practices, livelihoods strategies, land resources use and ownership and institutional arrangements at the grassroots; and (c) attitudes and perceptions of local communities towards the park and its implications for the sustainability of the park. The study shows that local stakeholders were left out in the planning and implementation processes of the park, which was through top-down approach. There was a lack of involvement of local communities and co-ordination with local stakeholders concerning on-the-ground activities. Local community participation occurs through consultation, thereby depriving primary stakeholders of any decision-making power. However, the study notes that the ongoing interaction between the park management, community advocacy organisations and local communities in the park represents a positive step towards the evolving practice of participatory governance of the protected area. It is also shown that local communities have diverse livelihood strategies, including subsistence agriculture, livestock herding, forest products harvesting, small businesses, handicrafts and cash remittances by migrate labourers. It is worth noting that land and forest resources use constitutes the foundation of their livelihood strategies. Local communities considered land to belong to traditional land chiefs who head local socio-cultural and political organizations in rural areas. They allocate land and control access to natural resources. Other community members asserted that the land belongs to the respective families that inherited and use it. The legal framework in Mozambique authorises the establishment of new institutions at the grassroots. This overlaps with the pre-existing traditional institutions in the rural areas, resulting in power conflicts and in some cases disruption of local institutions for governance ...
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