My name is Lars Vermeer. I follow the MSc Forest and Nature Conservation and for my internship I will go to South Africa =)! During my MSc I mainly focused on animal ecology. However, I noticed that most ecological problems nowadays are caused by humans and, therefore, cannot be solved without involving social sciences. As a consequence my main goal during this internship is to learn more about a concept called Community Based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM), which enables nature conservation by improving the livelihoods of local communities.
Although this concept has a lot of potential, its success varies strongly. The reasons why it often fails are known, but what are the criteria or guidelines for success? This is the question I want to answer during my stay in South Africa.
Most of my time I will spent in a tented camp, named the Wild Olive Tree Camp, which can be classified as a CBNRM project. This camp is located around the corner of the Orpen Gate, Kruger National Park. It is one of the few tourist operations which is, successfully, co-owned and managed by a local community. By conducting social sciences I want to learn and document why this project is such a success so that other communities can also benefit from this knowledge.