The Community Resource Management Plan: A Tool for Integrating Indigenous Knowledge Systems into Natural Resource Management

Phosiso Sola


Resource management strategies are attempts to address
the challenge of balancing resource conservation
and utilisation. The state of resources and how they are
used are inseparably linked to ecological processes. Thus
sustainable resource use should be based on socially responsible
economic development while promoting the resource
base and the status of the ecosystem. The efforts
to attain social responsibility make indigenous knowledge
systems (IKS) a crucial component of any development
and conservation intervention.

SAFIRE,(Southern Alliance for Indigenous Resources) an
environmental local NGO mooted the idea of a community
resource management plan (CRMP) during the implementation
of the Managing our Indigenous Tree Inheritance
(MITI) project. A CRMP consist of the assessment of livelihood
systems and resources on which they are based as
well as the development of strategies aimed at promoting
and enhancing livelihoods and key natural resources. In
addition, the plan has an adaptive management component
based on a monitoring and control system to ensure
sustainable use of resources. IKS integration was done
through the participatory development of resource management
strategies, by promoting best practices and mitigating
negative impacts on resources and livelihoods.

The Tombo community of Nyanga, Zimbabwe have harvested
thatch grass for both subsistence and commercial
purposes for centuries. Their resource management strategies
were based on the indigenous knowledge of grass
productivity. This strategy was identified during the development
of the CRMP. To date this community is harvesting
and marketing grass to both local and international

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