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Globally, over a billion rural people are dependent for some part of their livelihood on the use and trade of wild natural resources. In some areas, 25–40% of household income is being derived from wild resources. These astounding realities are reported in a 2011 IUCN paper called “Raising Local Community Voices: CITES, Livelihoods and Sustainable Use.”
With such reliance on wildlife, it is crucial that community involvement is central to conservation. Broad, centralized government oversight of wildlife management has shown to be difficult to implement and enforce, whereas localized, community-based wildlife management quickly addresses the needs of the people while ensuring resource sustainability.
Private organizations, such as the Community Areas Management Program for Indigenous Resources (CAMPFIRE), are working with local communities to create incentives for people not only to tolerate wildlife, but to embrace their existence and their value. CAMPFIRE is an innovative rural development strategy in Zimbabwe that has…
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