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Reality and Preferences in Community Mopane (Colophospermum Mopane) Woodland Management in Zimbabwe and Namibia

Authors: Constansia Musvoto, Isaac Mapaure, Tendayi Gondo, Albertina Ndeinoma, Takaendesa Mujawo


There is increasing pressure on, and decline of mopane woodlands due to increasing use and competition for mopane resources in Zimbabwe in Namibia. Community management strategies, based largely on local knowledge are evidently unable to cope. Research has generated potentially useful information for mopane woodland management, but this information has not been utilized. The work reported in this paper sought to add value to research work conducted on mopane woodlands by developing effective community-based mopane woodland management regimes that were based on both local and scientific knowledge in Zimbabwe and Namibia. The conditions under which research findings were likely to be adopted for mopane woodland management by communities were investigated. The study was conducted at two sites each in Matobo and Omusati Districts in Zimbabwe and Namibia respectively. The mopane woodland resources in the two study areas were assessed using scientific ecological methods. A range of participatory methods was used to collect information on use of mopane woodland resources by communities, institutional arrangements governing access to and use of these resources and to evaluate scientific knowledge for applicability in local management regimes. Coppicing, thinning and pollarding were the research generated management methods evaluated. Realities such as availability of woodland resources and social roles and responsibilities influenced preferences for woodland management interventions

Keywords: Community, Woodland Management, coppicing, thinning, pollarding

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