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CPR in Botswana

Participation in Common Pool Resource Management and Biodiversity Conservation: The Case of the Chobe Enclave, Botswana

Charity K. Kerapeletswe (2001)
The sustainable management of common pool resources (CPR) depends on the resources generating benefits for rural communities. If there is no immediate gain associated with participation in CPR management, then there will be insufficient incentives for rural communities to participate in its sustainable management (Ostrom, 1993; Swallow and Bromley, 1995, Kant et al., 1998).

It is hypothesised that the level of dependence, social heterogeneity, size of user group, government support, effective leadership and access to market are predictors of participation in CPR management. Factor analysis is being used to construct an index of participation and test these hypotheses empirically to assess to what extent they apply to Chobe Enclave CPR management.

Preliminary findings show that the best chances for effective participation in CPR management can be found among communities that significantly depend on the commons. A conducive policy environment significantly increases participation while wealth provides exit options and hence negatively affects participation in conservation activities.

Contrary to the hypothesis that communities that are isolated from markets are more likely to be successful in sustainable management of CPRs, empirical findings for the case study show that access to markets and transport positively increase participation in CPR management and resource conservation activities.

Factors that might predict participation in sustainable management of CPR are econometrically viewed as a series of explanatory variables, with an index of participation in conservation related activities being a dependent variable.

In the same spirit, the Government of Botswana encourages common property resource management through the Wildlife and Conservation and National Parks Act (1992), by allowing communities that live in proximity to national parks and game reserves access to benefits from sustainable utilisation of wildlife and other resources.

Key Questions for Management are:

Under what circumstances do common property regimes provide the best match between the resource and the economic, social and institutional context within which it is located?

What factors influence the community’s participation in conservation of such resources?

Predictors of participation in CPR management and biodiversity conservation activities are hypothesised to have the following effect (based on Ostrom, L. Baland, J.M and Platteau, J.P):

Level of dependence (+ve); Social heterogeneity (-ve); Conducive policy environment (+ve); Community isolation from markets (+ve); Household size (+ve); Age of participant (+ve); Gender (+ve); Years of schooling (ambiguous) and Wealth heterogeneity (ambiguous)

The index of participation in conservation activities (CPRI) is constructed using factor analysis (principal component analysis).

The components of CPRI are as follows:

A CPRI is constructed by taking a simple sum of scores over

participatory indicators.

The CPRI was regressed on predictors of participation. Where:

ETHN: Ethnic status as ranked by the community
AGE: Age
SEX: Gender
EDU: Years of schooling
HHS: Household Size
PRSH: Own produce share Remit Share of remittances
PUSH: Share of transfers
CPRSH: Share of the commons
LIV: Livestock units (1 cow = 4 goats)
INFR: Road expenditure per job
DOMT: Dominant Tribe membership
GST: Extension support

Regression Results

In Chobe, CPR management is positively influenced in heterogeneous societies if there is:

1) effective leadership
2) a high proportion of membership from the numerically dominant tribe.

Other variables have the following effects:

  • High level of dependence directly influences participation
  • Older people are more likely to participate in CPR
  • Women irrespective of ethnicity, are more likely to participate
  • CPR Household size positively influences participation in CPR
  • Cattle ownership in Chobe provides exit options and negatively affects participation in CPR. Those with large herds can afford to buy fodder for their livestock or can have access to private grazing land.

There is a U-shaped relationship between participation in resource conservation and ownership of cattle in Chobe (Fig. 1).At lower levels of wealth, there is tendency to participate in CPR management, but as wealth increases, individuals are less likely to continue participating in CPR management activities. Ethnic status positively increases participation. Those with lower social status are less likely to participate.







This poster was originally presented as part of the CPR workshop on Developing Management strategies that can benefit the poor, funded by UK Department for International Development (DFID).

This work is funded by:

Last Updated: 18 December 2018