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Livelihood strategies in the Game Management Area of South Luangwa National Park, Zambia

Authors: Caroline Parks*,
Topics: Africa, Rural Geography, Land Use
Keywords: social network analysis, rural livelihoods, Africa, community-based natural resource management (CBNRM)
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

In Zambia, people living in Game Management Areas (GMAs) are disproportionately disadvantaged as a result of low agricultural potential and few alternative livelihood opportunities. In addition, these communities suffer considerable losses from living with wildlife, ranging from crop damage to human fatalities (50 people are killed annually by wild animals). However, because of the revenue from trophy hunting, GMAs provide the basis for a major tourism industry that can potentially improve the livelihoods of communities living in GMAs. The Zambian Government recognizes this potential and has attempted various interventions in GMAs through community-based natural resource management (CBNRM). This study analyzes data collected from 419 households living outside the South Luangwa National Park to determine the impacts of GMAs on rural livelihoods and the effectiveness of CBNRM. A social network analysis is applied to determine patterns in livelihood strategies among households and reveals that the households that benefit the most from GMAs (indicated by their agricultural diversity) are centrally located and connected through similar strategies.

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