Beyond Proprietorship – Murphree’s Laws
December 2014, Volume 12-6

The book seeks to capture the spirit of Professor Marshall Murphree’s work and convictions from the past, present and in shaping future research initiatives. It is based on a collection of papers that were prepared for and presented at a conference hosted in honor of Murphree’s work, held at Leopard Rock Hotel, Vumba, Zimbabwe, in May 2007. Professor Marshall Murphree contributed immensely to academia, to the conservation of wildlife resources, to community development and to race relations for more than four decades. His professional career as an academic and social developer was anchored at the Centre for Applied Social Sciences (CASS), formerly called the Centre for Race Relations, which he opened in the 1960s.

The book covers a wide range of issues and conveys a central concern with the notion of equality and fairness to all humankind. There is a deliberate focus on the poor and marginalized people living in Southern Africa’s most impoverished and remote regions, characterized by low rainfall, limited agricultural potential, and poor infrastructure and social services. However, these remote regions have latent opportunities for economic development and conservation of natural resources, particularly wildlife. This opportunity for wildlife-based development was noted by Murphree and his colleagues while they worked with the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Management.

Murphree and his colleagues spearheaded the wildlife proprietorship initiatives which led to the creation of the world acclaimed Communal Areas Management Program for Indigenous Resources (Campfire) in the mid-1980s. The program, though encompassing other natural resources, was centered on wildlife in Communal Areas adjacent to National Parks and other protected areas. It was, and is still, based on the principles set by Murphree and his colleagues, notably Rowan Martin, who crafted the initial Campfire document. These principles center on proprietorship of wildlife by communal people living with wildlife and their right to benefit from funds generated through wildlife-based activities including trophy hunting, culling and eco-tourism.

Contributors to the book have interacted with Professor Murphree in various capacities: people who have worked with him over the last 20 or more years, his former students and friends, academics currently based at CASS who have benefited immensely from his scholarship and leadership, as well as postgraduate students who continue to be inspired by him. Download the full text HERE.

Source: Edited by B.B. Mukamuri, J.M. Manjengwa & S. Anstey; 2009 Weaver Press Harare and International Development Research Centre