Wildlife management and land reform in Southeastern Zimbabwe: a compatible pairing or a contradiction in terms? | Land Portal

Información del recurso

Date of publication: 
Enero 2003
Resource Language: 
ISBN / Resource ID: 

Is land reform compatible with wildlife management? Zimbabwe is seeking to combine the redistribution of large, 'under-utilised' landholdings to smallholders, with wildlife management, which needs extensive land holdings to be viable. Whilst one stresses direct redistribution, equity and land for crops, the other emphasises maximising foreign exchange earnings, encouraging public-private partnerships and relies on trickle down. This paper considers why Zimbabwe is attempting to combine the two, and whether it is possible.The paper:traces the ways the two have come together in Zimbabwe's southeast lowveldexamines the 'science' and politics underlying their meldingexplores the potential implications for rural people's livelihoods of this developmentThe paper argues that wildlife-based land-reform is:an attempt to safeguard dwindling assets and get state and community ‘buy-in’ to wildlife or to expand operations into new spaces by the existing (predominantly white) wildlife industry itis an opportunity to muscle in on a potentially lucrative industry under the twin flags of land reform and ‘indigenisation’ by indigenous elites (including local politicians, war veterans and civil servants)is a potential means of bringing resettlement areas into the realm of expertise of the Ministry of Environment and Tourism and conservation-oriented NGOs wildlife-based land reforma new development model whcih could be used as a way of attracting funding, should donors re-engage with Zimbabweis a means by which the repossession of ancestral land can be justified in the language of community development by members of communities with land claims on private and state land
The paper concludes that:wildlife is a potentially highly lucrative landuse potion for wealthy elites, whether they be white or black, and offers very little financially to poor members of ‘communities’wildlife does not combine well with other landuses – particularly those that involve the presence of peoplethe experience of revenue trickle down in wildlife ranching in the lowveld has to date been pretty miserableagriculture, particularly in a context of economic meltdown, alongside labour migration, remittance income and other diversified activities, will constitute a vital element of poor people’s livelihoods in the new resettlement areas in southeastern Zimbabwe‘wildlife-based land reform’ is being mooted as it is bound up with the economic and political repositioning of the wildlife sector, various branches of government, NGOs, indigenous elites and local communitiesland reform and wildlife management can be reconciled, but probably not in a particularly equitable way, what is more likely is that an opening for an equitable land reform agenda will be usurped by local and non-local elites with wildlife interests

Autores y editores

Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s): 

W. Wolmer
J. Chaumba
I. Scoones

Proveedor de datos

eldis (ELDIS)

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