Accepted 23rd November, 2015
For the most part of the operations of Zimbabwe’s CAMPFIRE appear to have rendered the Community Based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM) irrelevant and dysfunctional around Hwange National Park and in a few other areas. The setbacks in the dysfunctional state of CAMPFIRE gave rise to unprecedented illegal extractions of natural resource products and the widespread silent killing of the prized large wildlife species that include elephant. Whole ecosystems were at risk from annihilation from the chemical cyanide. A state of emergency declared by the Zimbabwe Government elicited urgent turnaround solutions. In an analysis of events the roles played by a mix of different actors and i.e. approach, roles of units, guiding principles, and ethics and assessment methods of the effectiveness of CBNRM did not match the rising challenges of a spiraling poverty cycle of local communities. The metrics used to calibrate performance in environmental management should provide direction of impact of penetration of action in environmental management. An effective environmental awareness and education has been suggested as a starting point in a time-bound mitigation to solve the unfolding livelihood crises by building a foundation and forming the building blocks of a viable CBNRM. This paper examines the dysfunctional state of CAMPFIRE and the most overlooked role of environmental awareness and education by an environmental officer in turning around the livelihood crises. The actions of pedagogy and education and tangible benefit flows should make citizens partners in environmental protection and retrieve the central role of gatekeepers for local identity. Policy makers are urged to marshal resources and reconstitute institutions to meet desirable metrics in environmental protection.
Keywords: Environmental officer, environment awareness and education methods; CBNRM, CAMPFIRE