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Adaptive livelihood strategies of the Basarwa : a case of Khwai and Xaxaba, Ngamiland district, Botswana

by Madzwamuse, M.S.

Abstract (Summary)
This thesis looks into the land use and natural resource management systems of Basarwa communities in Ngamiland in the northwest of Botswana. The study specifically focuses on Basarwa communities living in and on the edges of the Okavango Delta. The link between these communities and their natural resources is explored using the Sustainable Rural Livelihoods Framework and the Adaptive Renewal Cycle. The core assumption in this thesis is that livelihood strategies are constantly renewed and adapted to promote resilience in ecological and social systems. Fieldwork data collected between May 2000 and July 2001 and secondary data is used to deliberate on this point. The thesis confirms that the Basarwa’s livelihood strategies were adaptive only in as far as traditional livelihoods are concerned. The thesis traces the changes that the Basarwa have experienced as a result of policy restrictions through the different phases of the adaptive renewal cycle. The period following Independence in Botswana saw a policy shift which resulted in the Basarwa becoming landless. With mainly land-based livelihood strategies, the Basarwa were faced with new forms of crises and vulnerability which their traditional adaptive strategies were not designed for. It comes to the conclusion that the Basarwa are currently stuck in a reorganisation phase; however, the CBNRM Draft Policy of Botswana offers a glimpse of hope as it provides an opportunity for the Basarwa to progress through the full cycle of reorganisation, renewal, conservation and release.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:

School:Rhodes University

School Location:South Africa

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:environmental science

ISBN:

Date of Publication:01/01/2006

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