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Abstract

Zimbabwe's CAMPFIRE programme is widely regarded as one of Africa's most successful contemporary conservation initiatives. It permits the residents of communal lands—basically poor, black people—to share in the benefits generated by wildlife utilization on those lands. Despite its achievements the programme still faces fundamental challenges. In particular the development strategies of households in CAMPFIRE areas are focusing on land uses that are incompatible with wildlife—population in-migration, the extension of cropping and increased livestock numbers. To a significant degree these problems arise because CAMPFIRE has only been able to devolve authority over natural resources from the central government to rural district councils. If the programme is to be effective then a further devolution of authority is required so that producer communities, those who live directly beside wildlife, are given full control of the natural resources on their lands. Copyright © 1999 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.