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Community-based natural resources management (CBNRM) attempts to address the problems of poverty and natural resource degradation simultaneously, even though their solutions are often seen as being in direct conflict. CBNRM is premised on the idea that communities will sustainably manage local resources if they:

  • are assured of their ownership of the natural resource;
  • are allowed to use the resources themselves and/or benefit directly from others’ use of them; and
  • are given a reasonable amount of control over management of the resources.


The CBNRM chapter of the EGSSAA describe promising approaches to mitigating or preventing environmental damage to commonly managed or owned resources. Under CBNRM, local communities benefit from the sustainable use of natural resources. Although core principles and elements of CBNRM have been identified, they are still new and evolving. There are many adaptations, depending on variations in locations and legal, social, political and economic contexts. USAID, along with many other international NGOs, has sponsored, facilitated, and catalyzed many current CBNRM projects.