African Traditional Cultural Values and Beliefs: A Driving Force to Natural Resource Management: A Study of Makonde District, Mashonaland West Province, Zimbabwe

Sigauke, E., Katsaruware, D., Chiridza, P.,, Saidi, T.


Natural resources in Africa are in jeopardy of depletion as a result of increasing demographic pressure and  climate change. Sustainability of the natural resource base can be achieved through adoption of traditional cultural values and beliefs. This research was conducted in Makonde District, Mashonaland West Province of Zimbabwe. The research is qualitative in nature and employs the empirical case study research design through adopting the descriptive approach to data. The research involved description of knowledge, behaviors, perceptions and attitudes of the people in the Makonde District on cultural values and beliefs for the sustainable management of natural resources. The results of the study indicate that cultural norms and values such as totems, taboos, traditional ceremonies, and the formation of the old age group committees as well as the role of the spirit mediums have an impact of the conservation of natural resources namely tree species, water resources, forests, minerals and some sacred groves in Makonde district. Therefore, we recommend that traditional leaders should be a vital cog whenever natural resources management policy is crafted by central government. We also recommend cultural values and belief should be integrated into the development plans of the country.

Keywords: natural  resources management, cultural values, beliefs, sustainability

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