By the time Chaucer died in 1400 he had developed a vocabulary of about 8,000 words, twice as much as the most educated person of the time, adding over a 1,000 words to the language, and indeed, creating our literature. Shakespeare, who died two hundred years and a bit later, developed a vocabulary of about 24,000 words. And since that time who knows how many words have been added to the English word bank. Now in modern times, we are assailed with ever mutating phrase word-speak, particularly conservation and rural development word-speak, where the normal process of general rural development is described as, say, Community Based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM), or Integrated Conservation and Development Programmes (ICDP), or Community Based Wildlife Resource Management (CBWM), or Community Based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM), all meaning much the same thing. These phrases, describing a rather generalized approach to man’s development and the conservation of the land and biodiversity, are coined by people or organizations who then claim intellectual ownership. Development professionals often allude to the Campfire programme (Zimbabwe) and the ADMADE programme (Zambia) as being the pioneers in Africa of community-conservation programmes (I too must beware of falling into the same trap with the Landsafe ICDP Investment model for protected areas and chiefdoms). But these concepts and programmes are age old, expressed in the 20th Century by Jan Smuts, who in 1926 published Holism and Evolution, which suggested that we see the forest and not a particular tree in that forest, and in British Central Africa, in what is now Zambia, by some of the brilliant scientists who worked for the Northern Rhodesia Agricultural Department, people such as W. Allan and, in particular, C.G. Trapnell, who developed an holistic view of rural development. To this has been added the work of Allan Savory, a former Provincial Game Officer in the Game Department of Northern Rhodesia in the 1950s, who wrote Holistic Resource Management in 1990, his work the result of his experiences in Northern Rhodesia, Zimbabwe and the USA. And there are others, some like Johnny Uys, a great friend, but who left little written.
WWF thinks it invented ICDPs in 1985, ADMADE (Administrative Management Design Game Management Areas), that it pioneered the concept of CBNRM in Zambia in 1987. CAMPFIRE (Communal Areas Management Programme for Indigenous Resource), which also kicked off formally in 1987 in Rhodesia – having supplied the ideas for ADMADE, became a highly developed programme – unlike ADMADE, yet one based on earlier work, and called by a different name.
It is the Northern Rhodesia Provincial Administration of the Imperial Government that in 1946 started the first ICDP programme in Northern Rhodesia. In May of 1949, my late friend Errol Button, at the time District Commissioner at Lundazi, suggested that it would be advantageous to nurture non-hunting tourism (the Government Controlled Hunting Scheme, with 50% of revenue going to the Native Authority, started in the same year) saying that, unlike the hunting scheme, it would not interfere with the activities of local hunters. This was accepted, and the founding Director of the Game Department, T. Vaughan-Jones instructed Ranger, Norman Carr to take over the Department’s camp in Chief Nsefu’s country, Chipera, and to convert it for tourist use, with all revenue accruing to the Nsefu Native Authority. This was Zambia’s first ICDP; something not to be forgotten, or the fact that the first game reserve (Mweru Marsh) in British Central Africa was created by the British South Africa Company in 1899, one year after the creation of the Kruger National Park, and only five years after the BSA Co had taken over what was a large and magnificent wilderness inhabited by many tribes living a late iron-age existence.
And so, describing a full circle, as in someone lost in the bush, back to our Landsafe ICDP in the Luangwa – or whatever we should call it. Just about all ICDPs and their like are government and donor driven (the waPajero). Investors, such as we are, are a rare but growing phenomenon. As a result, ICDPs are easy to set up by the waPajero, but don’t last. Ours is devilishly difficult to establish and implement for we oppose illegal land alienations and other corruption, and therefore may not even get to a state where sustainability becomes an issue. What to do?
I was discussing this with a few members of the Forum, saying that small is big; meaning that small amounts of money, placed in the right place, do have a beneficial effect. Our Trust has the land-user rights to one million acres of Africa’s finest, and needs to roll-out its participatory landuse plan (lovely phrase for what is a sensible approach when dealing with 5,000 or so villagers, something we have been doing in Zambia since 1894, but calling it something else), but also needs to directly affect the lives of people still locked in the late iron-age, yet talking on the phone.
Avoiding the trap of the large paramilitary force set upon the villager feeding his family on a duicker, we are employing teaching assistants and resource officers at $40 dollars each a month. It’s the ‘hearts and mind’ campaign rather than the release of AK toting troops on a people who are actually the owners of the land. After all, customary land must not be confused – as CAMPFIRE did, with communal lands. Given the wholesale theft of most donor and government money, we need practical and very direct ways of getting a little cash to where it will do the most good. More of this later. In the words of our private investigator, “We must leave no stone turned.”