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2007 AEC - Challenges and Opportunities in Community Based Dryland Natural Resources Management


Community based natural resource management (CBNRM) is often framed as alternative to top-down development. This paper describes challenges and opportunities of CBNRM. The case implemented in a Kenyan dryland region under the Elangata Wuas Ecosystem Management Programme funded by the Ford Foundation and the International Development Research Center (IDRC) of Canada demonstrates community-based approaches can be effective in addressing certain key problems facing rural people and especially those in drylands. Results obtained from individual study themes and microenterprises reveal noticeable progress in building community governance structures, ecotourism, consumptive and non-consumptive use of wildlife, sand harvesting, woodland management, non-timber forest products and women in development and their operative organs. Despite gains realized, CBNRM as a construct is not easy and takes time and resources and relies heavily on community empowerment as a crucial ingredient

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