A National Conference on CRBs took place on 6 and 7th December at Golden Peacock Hotel in Lusaka. It was a huge success and we hope to continue working together with all the stakeholders.
The main goal was at the end of the two-day conference that:
- Government will work towards total devolution of GMAs to communities; allow communities to retain 100% of all GMA revenues including concession, resident animal fees;
- Government and especially Minister of Tourism and Arts will act swiftly to issue new statutory Instruments to allow for communities through CRBs retain control of revenues, resource ownership and use; to allow operators pay communities directly;
- Government will push and lead in formulation of new national CBNRM policy to guide implementation and strengthen the existing management systems;
- Government will start process of addressing the human wildlife conflicts, which has a negative impact on the cooperation between the state and communities. Community ownership and control over these resources in the communal areas could be one solution;
- Build coalition to fight for any forms of illegal use and harvest of wildlife and natural resources;
- Urge government to serious consider increasing funding to DNPW or allowing them to operate business centers where revenues are retained at the business center such as what used to be the case at SLAMU;
- Create a directorate of GMAs and communities under the office of the President so that it receives the necessary political and legal recognition as a critical component of state governance. In the current arrangement, the CBNRM unit under DNWP and Ministry of Tourism is not receiving necessary attention of funding making it very irrelevant;
- Further implement a participatory or sector driven review of the Zambia wildlife Act, possibly create a new community conservation or GMA act, that will clearly speak to the needs of the poor, rural marginalized communities;
- Grant authority of selecting hunting outfitters to communities through CRBs, and that the role of DNPW in GMAs should be reviewed; The association and Forum will continue to work with the government to improve on the governance of natural resources in GMAs/open areas. We aim at expanding the wildlife economy in our areas. We work for empowering of communities, and developing sustainable rural livelihoods.