The SACF ideology was born in 2004 out of the need to create a platform for collaboration and peer learning among member countries. Prior to the establishment of the forum, there was little collaboration between regional countries in CBNRM issues. Therefore, the formation of a forum through which ideas, best practices and experiences in CBNRM can be shared was a necessity.
Through the desire to harness and capitalize on the vast wealth of knowledge, skills, resources and technical expertise that had been developed in the national and regional CBNRM institutions following more than a decade of development and implementation of the CBNRM concept in southern Africa, an initial meeting to establish a regional CBNRM forum was conducted. This meeting was hosted by the WWF Regional CBNRM Project, in partnership with the World Conservation Union (IUCN) Botswana Country Office (Secretariat for the National CBNRM Forum in Botswana) on the 9th and 10th of December 2004.
During this meeting, participants discussed their experiences, suggested ideas for the Regional Forum, and nominated individual experts to work on thematic working groups. Through the Forum’s establishment, the underpinning strategy was to influence policy makers to improve the national/regional legislative enabling environment; improve the credibility of CBNRM as a development strategy for the southern Africa region; establish viable demonstration sites for dissemination of appropriate ‘Best CBNRM Practices.’
The goal of SACF is to ‘Contribute to poverty alleviation and sustainable livelihoods at rural household level from management of natural resources by communities in Southern Africa’.
Outputs from the WWF Regional CBNRM Programme Support.
Output 1: Institutional strengthening of National CBNRM Forums and the Regional CBNRM Forum.
This output is aimed at strengthening the capacity of the Regional Forum, National Forums and Working Groups to meet and exchange information and through this enable them to induce a multiplier effect and thus promote and enhance CBNRM nationally and regionally, ultimately without the coordination support of an external programme Management Unit (PMU).
Output 2: Consolidating Best Practice & Capacity Building in core CBNRM Processes.
This Output has two elements:
i) Practical tools & applications: Identification, documenting and packaging of 'best practices' to be utilised as useful learning material or experiences. So much data, information, understanding and skills lie in scattered projects and initiatives and invariably not adequately documented in the participating countries. Some countries might be more advanced in some respects while others are lagging behind. These CBNRM ‘best practices’ include fire management, Resource inventory and management - game counts, forests, biodiversity assessment; Management Oriented Monitoring System (MOMS); Human Wildlife Conflicts (HWC) and many more.
ii) Cross cutting issues and thematic areas: This element concerns the need for Mainstreaming Gender and HIV and AIDS, and climate change in CBNRM in the region.
Output 3: Performance Monitoring, Evaluation & Dissemination.
This Output focuses upon obtaining data and information about CBNRM performance as an optimal land use and sharing it - to empower regional and national forums with justification and credibility to promote CBNRM as the most suitable form of land use, and provide opportunities for synthesis and lessons learned.
Output 4: Policy Development & Implementation.
The Output aims to support processes towards creating an enabling policy environment for CBNRM to flourish and to contribute to improving compliance monitoring and enforcement, consolidating best practice and capacity building in core CBNRM processes, and performance monitoring evaluation and dissemination. Activities include policy reviews and development; policy compliance and enforcement, lobbying, policy roll out and awareness, consolidating best practice, performance monitoring and evaluation, and assertion of benefit realization at community level.
Output 5: Conclude Support to Select Existing Partner Training Institutions.
This output includes support for formal and non-formal training. Activities will however be limited to institutions of learning supported during the first two phases to conclude processes initiated so far. The focus will be on training material development and supply and the training of staff to deliver CBNRM courses.
Output 6: Programme Management and Coordination.
The output has to do with effective and efficient programme coordination, including communication, information management, financial management and fundraising and includes many of the activities of the PMU.