A Comparative Analysis of Collaborative Natural Resource Governance in Two Protected Areas in Zambia

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Kampinda Luaba
Kobus Muller
Paul Vedeld
Vincent R. Nyirenda


In Zambia, early models of natural resource governance were based on state-centric approaches to conservation and later, to some degree, based on Community-Based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM) models. Both of the models delivered poorly in terms of improved biodiversity management, enhanced rural livelihoods, and rights-based benefits. A lack of productive dialogue, involvement, and participation of local communities in natural resource governance resulted in considerable conflicts between protected area managers and local communities, with substantial local political and socio-economic costs. Through a mixed-methods approach using a questionnaire, focus group discussions, and key informant interviews, the Environmental Governance Systems (EGS) framework was applied to compare how interactions among political, economic, and civil society actors influence resource use and the state of resources in the state-led Kaingu chiefdom and the community-managed Kaindu Community Conservancy. Results show limited communication, cooperation, and coordination among the actors in both cases. Conflicting interests over the use of land, wildlife, forests, and fisheries among actors have led to strained relationships, limited interactions, and many negative outcomes in both cases. Both protected areas exhibit a top-down structure of natural resources governance with limited community participation, conflictual relationships among actors, corruption, lack of transparency, and low accountability. The CBNRM structures and processes need to be changed legislatively to improve local ownership and a sense of responsibility and legitimacy by restructuring the constitutions of CBNRM organizations and developing their human resource, financial, and logistical capacities. The study proposes a proactive transformative model for mitigating negative impacts on the state of resources and resource use.


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Kampinda Luaba, Kobus Muller, Paul Vedeld, & Vincent R. Nyirenda. (2023). A Comparative Analysis of Collaborative Natural Resource Governance in Two Protected Areas in Zambia. PanAfrican Journal of Governance and Development (PJGD), 4(2), 36-68. https://doi.org/10.46404/panjogov.v4i2.4847
Research-based/ Original Articles
Author Biographies

Kampinda Luaba, Copperbelt University, Kitwe, Zambia

Dr. Kampinda Luaba is a Lecturer in the School of Natural Resources at The Copperbelt University in Zambia. He is a specialist in natural resources governance and management. He has over 23 years of experience in transdisciplinary (environmental governance and fisheries) training and research at postgraduate and undergraduate levels. His research interests include Community-Based Natural Resources Management (CBNRM) for fisheries, wildlife, and forests in communities proximal to protected areas. His work is focused on the development of management strategies that ensure biodiversity conservation, sustainable livelihoods, and equitable sharing of benefits among stakeholders.

Kobus Muller, Stellenbosch University, Matieland, South Africa

Professor Kobus Müller joined the School of Public Leadership at the University of Stellenbosch (South Africa) in 1989 after extensive experience in environmental conservation in various scientific and management capacities. A National Research Foundation rated him as a researcher since 2006; he was involved in more than 60 completed research projects relating to his fields of expertise, including environmental governance and policy. He has published widely and is the author/co-author of over 50 articles, chapters, and research reports. He retired as a full-time academic in 2016 but remains active in teaching and supervising postgraduate students as an Emeritus Professor.

Paul Vedeld, NORAGRIC, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Norway

Professor Paul Vedeld specializes in environment and development studies at Noragric, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, specializing in institutional economics and governance. He has worked extensively on issues related to efficiency, legitimacy, and participation in the governance of protected areas and forests, both in East and Southern Africa and Norway. He has also worked on climate change mitigation and adaptation in relation to sustainable livelihoods. He has also worked more generally with broader development issues related to agriculture and management of commons. He has supervised more than 100 master's students and 25 PhD students.

Vincent R. Nyirenda, Copperbelt University, Kitwe, Zambia

Dr. Vincent R. Nyirenda is a Senior Lecturer at The Copperbelt University, Zambia. He is also a nature conservationist with long hands-on and field experience. He has been working with several reputable local and international conservation institutions in various portfolios. His research interests include human-human-wildlife interactions, wildlife ecology, functional & landscape ecology, social-ecological sustainability, animal behavior, biodiversity research, community-based conservation, tourism, and wildlife management. He has extensively published in peer-reviewed scientific journals.


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