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Negotiating resource access

institutional arrangements for woodlands and water use in southern Zimbabwe

Nemarundwe, Nontokozo (2003). Negotiating resource access. Diss. (sammanfattning/summary) Uppsala : Sveriges lantbruksuniv., Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae. Agraria, 1401-6249 ; 408
ISBN 91-576-6427-7
[Doctoral thesis]

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The last two decades have witnessed a ‘paradigm shift’ in conservation and natural resource management away from costly state-centred control towards approaches in which local people play a much more active role. The inefficiency of state control over woodland and water use, has partly led to the enactment of decentralisation policies to facilitate participation of local actors in resource management. Within the decentralisation discourse, there is a renewed debate on the role of institutions in community based natural resource management (CBNRM). Using a case study of Romwe catchment, Chivi district in southern Zimbabwe, this thesis examines the role of local level institutions, both formal and informal within donor supported CBNRM initiatives. Emphasis in the study is on the analysis of informal institutions, a focus that is rare in conventional CBNRM studies. Informal institutions are defined as those institutions that are not legally recognised by the state. These include cultural norms, beliefs and social networks. The study explores how these institutions influence patterns of women’s and men’s access to woodlands and water resources. The study further examines the gendered aspects of decision-making processes in CBNRM. The study finds that at community level, there are a multiplicity of institutions and management structures with unclear mandates and jurisdictions. This may partly explain the state’s recentralisation of management authority at the Rural District Council (RDC) level rather than devolution to levels below the RDC. While there is often reference to formal and informal institutions in the CBNRM literature, the dichotomy between these institutions is overemphasised in theoretical debates. In practice, there are inter linkages and overlaps. Relations between the various forms of institutional structures are influenced by a diversity of factors that include power dynamics. These power dynamics influence processes of negotiating resource access by various actors. In the process of negotiating resource access and use, conflicts may inevitably emerge as was found in Romwe. Although women have historically been sidelined in formal decision-making processes, this study finds that with the emergence of non-governmental organisations (NGOs), women have become more actively involved. Women’s access to productive resources such as land and water has also been enhanced through garden projects. There is some indication of changes in the institutional framework at the local level, with women playing a much bigger role in formal decision-making processes.

Authors/Creators:Nemarundwe, Nontokozo
Title:Negotiating resource access
Subtitle:institutional arrangements for woodlands and water use in southern Zimbabwe
Series Name/Journal:Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae. Agraria
Year of publishing :September 2003
Number of Pages:265
Place of Publication:Uppsala
ISBN for printed version:91-576-6427-7
Publication Type:Doctoral thesis
Full Text Status:Public
Agris subject categories.:E Economics, development, and rural sociology > E50 Rural sociology and social security
Subjects:Not in use, please see Agris categories
Agrovoc terms:decentralization, government, role of women, woodlands, water, participation, nature conservation, right of access, zimbabwe
Keywords:institutions, decentralisation, CBNRM, gender, woodlands, water, participatory management, conservation, conflict, access, power, Zimbabwe
Permanent URL:
ID Code:356
Department:(LTJ, LTV) > Institutionen för landsbygdsutveckling (fr.o.m. 960901)
Deposited By: Staff Epsilon
Deposited On:17 Sep 2003 00:00
Metadata Last Modified:02 Dec 2014 10:04

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