This study employed participatory approaches to establish ways of engaging local
communities within a transfrontier conservation area, towards achieving the goals
of integrated agricultural production and biodiversity conservation at a landscape
level, known as ecoagriculture. We facilitated farmers’ meetings to create charts
of local environmental and livelihood concerns and of their vision of the future.
Water scarcity, bad road conditions, unemployment and low harvests emerged
among the most prevalent concerns. Through a visioning process, participants
arrived at a desired future that was largely inclined towards improved livelihoods,
with comparatively little attention on biodiversity enhancement. We conclude
that stakeholder-driven ecoagriculture could be a sustainable strategy to
simultaneously achieve the community’s vision and the goals of transfrontier
conservation areas, provided biodiversity management strategies are linked to
infrastructure improvement and income generating activities. We recommend a
community visioning process as an effective approach to encourage collective
action and to support local ownership of development programmes.