Hunting as a conservation tool : investigating the use of hunting in CBNRM programs : a case study of the Ntabethemba Community Reserve, South Africa.

Gird, Justin William (2015-04)

Thesis (MSc)--Stellenbosch University, 2015.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The conservation of resources which fall under communal tenure has been a major dilemma for the past 60 years. In South Africa communal lands support more than a quarter of the country’s citizens, mostly the poorest members of society whose livelihoods rely heavily on natural resources. Wildlife enterprise is an alternative land use strategy for implementing community based resource management on communal lands. Additionally, safari hunting has been recognised as an efficient means of initiating wildlife based land use practises. In the 1980’s a community owned game reserve, which utilised safari hunting as an income source, was established on one of South Africa’s black homelands, the Ciskei. Since then, the reserve has been disbanded but little is known about how it operated, the reason it was formed or why it failed. The aim of this study was twofold: firstly, to document and understand the happenings of a failed community owned hunting reserve in South Africa’s Eastern Cape Province and secondly, to determine what level of support there would be amongst the local residents if the reserve was to be re-established. Semi structured, qualitative interviews were conducted to gather information about the reserve from key informants. Structured, randomly selected household surveys were used to gauge local residents support on the idea of having the reserve re-established. Additionally, in doing so it was possible to view, though indirectly, the thoughts and attitudes of the residents to the notion of safari hunting as a land use option. In review of the reserve history it was found that complexities that make up the social settings of communal lands in South Africa were ignored and dealt with through the age-old approach of top-down management regimes. Once the power of the initial authorities was lost the entire project was doomed to failure as local residents felt no need to keep the project alive. Results showed that 73.7% of the respondents would support the redevelopment of the Ntabethemba Reserve while 19.5% would not. The remaining 6.8% could not say whether they would or would not. The majority of the respondents (73%) believed that the area should be marketed for safari hunters, whilst 13% were against it, 9% were neutral and 5% were unsure. The Ntabethemba Reserve can be viewed as a ‘joint-management’ project where management responsibilities were adopted by a non-community party. If a future project is to be undertaken it needs to be aware of the complex socio-ecological setting of the area and account for this in ways that are beyond those advocated in the traditional approach to protected area conservation. The highly skewed distribution of livestock ownership needs to be taken into consideration in that those few individuals who own the most livestock would lose the most from any development that reduces grazing lands. Both the benefits and the costs need to be distributed in such a way that a situation is avoided where only a few are benefiting at the expense of others.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die bewaring van hulpbronne in gebiede met kommunale grondregte is reeds vir die afgelope 60 jaar uiters problematies. In Suid-Afrika is meer as ‘n kwart van alle landsburgers afhanklik van kommunale grondgebiede vir hulle lewensonderhoud. Dit is hoofsaaklik die armste lede van die gemeenskap wat op die natuurlike hulpbronne in hierdie gebiede staatmaak. Natuurlewe-ondernemings bied ‘n alternatiewe strategie vir grondverbruik, wat die implementasie van gemeenskapsaangedrewe hulpbronbestuur op kommunale grond moontlik maak. Daarmee gepaard, is safari-jag ‘n erkende en effektiewe metode om praktyke rondom natuurlewe-gesentreerde grondverbruik te inisieer. Gedurende die 1980’s is ‘n natuurreservaat met gemeenskapsregte in een van Suid-Afrika se swart tuislande, naamlik die Ciskei, gevestig. Safari-jag is as inkomstebron in hierdie reservaat benut. Die reservaat is sedertdien ontbind. Daar is egter min inligting oor hoe die reservaat bedryf is, oor die redes waarom dit geskep is, of waarom dit misluk het. Hierdie studie was tweedoelig: eerstens om die gebeure rondom ‘n mislukte jagreservaat met gemeenskapsregte in die Oos-Kaapprovinsie te dokumenteer en te begryp, and tweedens, om te bepaal of, en in hoe ‘n mate, die plaaslike inworners die hervestiging van die reservaat sou ondersteun. Half-gestruktureerde, kwalitatiewe onderhoude is gevoer om inligting oor die reservaat van sleutelinformante in te win. Gestruktureerde, ewekansig geselekteerde huishoudelike steekproewe is gedoen om die steun vir die moontlike hervestiging van die reservaat te peil. Op indirekte wyse was dit verder moontlik om inwoners se houdings en benaderings tot safari-jag as grondverbruikerskeuse te evalueer. Toe die geskiedenis van die reservaat in oorsig geneem is, is bevind dat die ingewikkelde sosiale agtergrond van gemeenkappe met kommunale grondregte in Suid-Afrika verontagsaam is, en dat die afgeleefde bestuursbenadering “van-bo-af-ondertoe” ook hier gebruik is. Toe die eermalige owerhede al hulle uitvoerende magte verloor het was die projek tot mislukking bestem, omdat die plaaslike inwoners geen rede gesien het om dit aan die lewe te hou nie. Die resultate het getoon dat 73.7% van die respondente die herontwikkeling van die Ntabethemba Reservaat sou ondersteun, terwyl 19.5% dit nie sou doen nie. Die oorblywende 6.8% kon nie sȇ of hulle ten gunste daarvan was of nie. Die meerderheid van die respondente (73%) is van mening dat die gebied as safarijaggebbied bemark moet word, terwyl 13% daarteen was, 9% neutraal en 5% onseker was. Die Ntabethemba-reservaat kan eerder as ‘n projek van “gesamentlike-bestuur” beskou word, as ‘n inisiatief wat uiteraard op “kommunaal-gebaseerde natuurlike hulpbronbestuur” (CBNRM) gegrond is. As ‘n projek in die toekoms weer geloots word, moet sorgvuldig ag geslaan word op die ingewikkelde sosio-ekologiese agtergrond van die gebied. Dit mag nie, soos in die verlede, bloot volgens die tradisionele benadering tot die bewaring van beskermde gebiede van stapel gestuur word nie. Die erg skewe verspreiding van veebesit is uiters belangrik in hierdie konteks, aangesien die paar individue wat die meeste vee besit, die grootste verliese sal moet dra as ‘n ontwikkeling plaasvind wat weidingsverliese behels. Beide voordele en verliese moet opgeweeg en eweredig versprei word, sodat ‘n paar mense nie ten koste van ander begunstig word nie.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/96746
This item appears in the following collections: