Traditional ecological knowledge and community-based natural resource management: lessons from a Botswana wildlife management area
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The advent of community-based natural resource management (CBNRM) in Botswana in the late 1980s ushered in a new paradigm in natural resource management. The strategy marked a change from state-controlled to community-controlled wildlife management. The expectation is that under community control, local expertise on biodiversity, termed in this paper as traditional ecological knowledge (TEK), plays a significant role that is supposedly facilitated through local institutions and traditional practices. This paper examines the incorporation of TEK in the CBNRM projects in KD 1, which is a controlled-hunting area (CHA) in the north-western part of the Kgalagadi North sub-district, Botswana and illustrates that the projects acknowledge and demonstrate the utility value of TEK in sustainable natural resource management. It concludes that TEK systems and institutions could serve as entry points into sustainable natural resource utilisation and management. This could be achieved through the exploration of cultural practices of the local people and integrating useful aspects into the modern natural resource management expertise.