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Title: Impacts and outcomes of the commercialisation of non-timber forest products on human well being and ecosystems health
Author: Sola, Phosiso
ISNI:       0000 0001 3470 0863
Awarding Body: University of Wales, Bangor
Current Institution: Bangor University
Date of Award: 2005
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Commercialisation of NTFPs has been widely adopted in developing countries as a benefit driven community based natural resource management (CBNRM) strategy. Like many CBNRM strategies this approach seeks to enhance livelihoods and improve sustainable resources use. However, recent studies have indicated that there is no evidence as yet that CBNRM has led to improved welfare of the community or status of natural resources. This research aimed at evaluating outcomes and impacts of an eight year NTFPs commercialisation programme on ecosystem health and human well being in Zimbabwe. A holistic approach to conservation and development was adopted in this research. Specific methods used included, i) development and application of a novel tools for assessing the status of NTFP commercialisation and status of natural resources management institutional arrangements, ii) a questionnaire survey for the evaluation of outcomes on human well being, iii) ecological surveys for evaluating impacts on ecosystem integrity and iv) a decomposition experiment to investigate impacts of commercialisation and institutional arrangements on ecosystem function. Major results were that, firstly, there was no NTFPs commercialisation to talk about, the business models used were not viable and returns were too low or none existent to justify the existence of the enterprises. Secondly, NTFPs commercialisation has not generated enough returns for entrepreneurs to invest in the management of natural resources, or given incentives for local institutions to control ecosystem degradation. The lack of tangible benefits of NTFPs commercialisation on human well being and ecosystem health could be due to the fact that current practices are involving the wrong people under the wrong settings. NTFPs commercialisation is being advocated for in agriculturally marginal areas, which are geographically remote and provide limited livelihood options. These areas suffer social and political marginalisation, poor communication and transportation making commercialisation an unviable option. Therefore based on this study, NTFPs commercialisation as a benefit driven strategy for conservation cannot be entirely dismissed. If farmers were to invest more and policy makers ensure there was adequate investment in developing this industry then better outcomes could be realised. If not benefits of NTFP commercialisation will remain elusive and the whole process a fallacy to both developmentalists and conservationists.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available