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Common pool resource management among San communities in Ngamiland, Botswana


  • Lefatshe Magole


The contestation for common pool resources in Botswana pits powerful institutions such as national governments and international organisations against powerless local communities who continue to rely heavily on these resources despite all attempts to dislodge them. This paper explores how common pool resource management has shifted from locally based and people-centred endogenous resource management to state-defined and controlled forms. This shift has marginalised San communities, who have historically relied on their commons for survival. The paper is informed by case studies of two San villages in Ngamiland District in northwestern Botswana, Mababe and Phuduhudu, both situated adjacent to national parks. The government and donor agencies introduced community-based natural resource management with the promise of reversing the loss of the commons for such groups as the San; however, the evidence on the ground suggests the promise has not been translated into practice.

Suggested Citation

  • Lefatshe Magole, 2009. "Common pool resource management among San communities in Ngamiland, Botswana," Development Southern Africa, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 26(4), pages 597-610.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:deveza:v:26:y:2009:i:4:p:597-610
    DOI: 10.1080/03768350903181381

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. James K. Boyce, 2002. "The Political Economy of the Environment," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 2080.
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    Cited by:

    1. Poteete, Amy R. & Ribot, Jesse C., 2011. "Repertoires of Domination: Decentralization as Process in Botswana and Senegal," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 439-449, March.


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