This paper examines the possibility of extending biodiversity conservation onto the communal lands of the Dwesa-Cwebe area in the Eastern Cape, South Africa, by investigating the natural resource based factors, the community based factors and the external institutions based factors that have contributed to the perceived success in the on-going biodiversity conservation programme in the Nqabara Administrative Area using the qualitative approach to scientific investigation. To accomplish this, this study developed a conceptual framework to unravel the complex community conservation initiative in the Nqabara Administrative Area to gain a good understanding of the factors that have enhanced its successful implementation. The field work lasted the period July, 2009 and March, 2010. The interview sample composed of thirty participants, with sex ratio of 18 males to 12 females. The number of villages under the umbrella name Nqabara Administrative Area is ten, and each village was represented by three people which made our sample’s spatial allocation even. A focus group discussion was adopted as the data collection method; and the underlying factors that have contributed to the success of the conservation initiative were subsequently identified. Appropriate coding was assigned to each distinct and major factor for proper presentation of the results, and observations were appropriately provided to buffer the explanation of the results. The main findings of the study indicate that for success: (a) there is a major need for any community that desires to participate in biodiversity conservation to possess important biodiversity species on their lands, understand the basic principles and demands of engaging in conservation, and have alternative sources of livelihood to reliance on these important biodiversity; (b) it is important to seek for assistance from reliable and relevant external institutions in the form of finance, community training, coordination, regular evaluation, and adequate representation in the decision-making processes at the government level and (c) it is important to have a common interest and goal by a community on the issue of adopting biodiversity conservative initiative, and to what extent it is to be adopted; and reliable members should be appointed as their Trust Board members who will be charged to direct the affairs of the conservation initiative on behalf of the general community and represent their best interest with the government and other concerned external institutions. Based on the foregoing, this study recommends that the Dwesa-Cwebe area should adequately consider and ensure the above-mentioned factors are in place to achieve successful community biodiversity conservation.
Dissertation (MInstAgrar)--University of Pretoria, 2010.