Bruce Ndlovu, Sunday News Reporter

A REFOCUSED and revitalised Communal Areas Management Programme for Indigenous Resources (CAMPFIRE) programme will result in the increased utilisation of natural resources as livelihood options for rural communities, while also aiding the drive towards devolution, Government has said.

After a presentation to cabinet by the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development Joel Biggie Matiza, Government had resolved that the CAMPFIRE programme needed revitalisation, with a renewed focus on expanding the income streams of rural communities.

“Cabinet considered and approved proposals to re-focus and revitalize the Communal Areas Management Programme for Indigenous Resources as presented by the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development. Implementing the proposals will result in a more effective and transparent CAMPFIRE that will benefit communities and further operationalise the devolution concept.

“The CAMPFIRE initiative targets the conservation and sustainable utilisation of wildlife and other natural resources as livelihood options for rural communities. Cabinet highlights that a widely consultative CAMPFIRE Review Process was conducted in 2016 which revealed that the CAMPFIRE Programme was experiencing institutional, operational, legal and external challenges,” Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Monica Mutsvangwa said in yesterday’s post Cabinet meeting briefing.

Minister Mutsvangwa also highlighted the fact that income generating projects in rural areas were still dominated by hunting, hence the need to diversify streams of income.

“Furthermore, the CAMPFIRE Model is highly dependent on hunting revenue, which generates 90 percent of the total revenue. There is need for diversification if the programme is to remain viable. Cabinet noted that the CAMPFIRE Programme should diversify into other activities, such as photographic safaris, ecotourism, and bird viewing to widen the revenue base and explore alternative markets for trophy hunting,” she said.