FINDING THE COMMUNITY IN COMMUNITY-BASE NATURAL RESOURCE MANAGEMENT: THE CASE OF NDUMO GAME RESERVE, SOUTH AFRICA
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In South Africa Community-based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM) has recently gained popularity as the dominant approach to conservation due to its perceived environmental and social benefits and as a form of restitution for communities that were forcibly evicted from their land during apartheid. This dissertation investigates the disconnect between the rhetoric and reality of CBNRM in South Africa, by focusing on the case of Ndumo Game Reserve. It aims to critically evaluate the social justice and economic impacts of CBNRM on the neighbouring Mbangweni and Mathenjwa communities. It argues that there are significant tensions between the community focused rhetoric of CBNRM, the predominantly fortress-style of conservation, and the neo-liberal eco-tourism venture at Ndumo Game Reserve. I conclude that CBNRM at Ndumo is largely guided by western conservation and economic ideologies and driven by the support of state and private interests while alienating local people from their land and its management.