The influence of CBNRM on natural ecosystems: management of anthropogenic disturbance
Gareth Edward Jones
School of the Environment and Natural Resources College of Natural Sciences University of Wales, Bangor
Last modified: September 17, 2007
Livelihoods of many people are dependent on forest products and therefore anthropogenic disturbance cannot be excluded from such ecosystems. There is evidence that human activities result in dramatic changes in the structure and composition of ecological communities either through species loss, introduction of exotics, or increase in invasive species. In addition, it has been claimed that the greatest threat to ecosystems is simplification and total loss through land use conversion which often results in patchy landscapes.
Community based natural resources management (CBNRM) strategies are initiated to manage and guide human behaviour so as to minimise perturbation of ecosystems. Therefore, this paper seeks to present findings of a research that sought to investigate whether CBNRM strategies such as commercialisation of non timber forest products (NTFPs) and institutional arrangements had indeed managed to reduce the impacts of anthropogenic disturbance on ecosystems and improved their conservation status. In summary, there is very little evidence from this research to suggest that commercialisation of NTFPs has improved ecosystem conservation in Zimbabwe. However, results from this study do suggest that the success and strength of institutional arrangements contributed to ecosystem conservation by reducing the scale of anthropogenic disturbances.