Southern African Journal of Environmental Education

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Local ecological knowledge and community based management of wildlife resources: a study of the Mumbwa and Lupande Game Management areas of Zambia

Inonge Milupi, Michael Somers, Willem Ferguson


The aim of this study was to investigate the scope of local ecological knowledge (LEK) in the Lupande and Mumbwa Game Management Areas (GMAs) of Zambia and to assess the extent to which such knowledge has been used in the management of wildlife resources in the two areas. Quantitative and qualitative data were gathered through interviews and surveys in the two case-study areas. It was found that LEK in the study areas included taboos associated with the sustainable use of natural resources, traditional teachings that guided the local people as to the correct time to harvest their natural resources and provided knowledge of the natural distribution of plants in the two areas. Finally, it is recommended that, in order to complement modern scientific knowledge in the realisation of sustainable wildlife resource management, greater attention be paid to the LEK possessed by communities.

Keywords: Local ecological knowledge, sustainable utilisation, wildlife resources, Zambia

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