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Stellenbosch University (2015)

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

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

Auteur : Gird, Justin William

Université de soutenance : Stellenbosch University

Grade : Master of Science (MS) 2015

Présentation
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.

Présentation

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