Research is required to determine the value of sustainable resource use, and its associated cultural and spiritual values to the Khomani San, linked to a reconnection with the land, and relative to the Khomani San’s broader socio-economic livelihood strategies.
The issue of sustainable livelihoods from resource management is quite central to assessing the impact of community-based natural resource management (CBNRM) approaches in conservation as evidence can be brought to support or refute this issue. The issue being that in marginal environments that many protected areas are located in Southern Africa, rural livelihoods have been sustained from enhanced economic activities from natural resource management, especially wildlife based tourism and hunting. Measuring the impact of CBNRM approaches needs to be broadened to explore tools that are more effective and nuanced to understand the contribution of protected areas to poverty reduction.
Having successfully been awarded the land claim, and subsequently entering into a contractual park agreement with SANParks, the Khomani San have the means to potentially access a number of ecological, social and economic benefits. Sustainable resource use by the Khomani San within the park will ultimately not be towards the support of livelihoods but rather serve as a way by which the community (young and old, men and women) can re-connect with their cultural heritage. But resource use, as a livelihood strategy, along with eco-tourism initiatives and stock farming, will take place on the six farms (37 000ha) outside of the park.
The key questions for this project will be:
- What are the use and non-use values of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park resources (plants and animals) to the Khomani San?
- What is the relative importance of resource use to the Khomani San, taking into account their broader livelihood strategies?
- What is the impact of Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park on the livelihoods of the Khomani San, and vice versa?