A recent paper examines the economic empowerment of Game Management Areas (GMAs) in Zambia :
The study finds that the gains from living in a game management area and from active participation in natural resource management are large but unevenly distributed. Only game management areas near Kasanka, Lavushi, Isangano, and South Luangwa national parks in the sample show significant benefits to general and participating households. And in those areas, the poor do not seem to gain even when they participate actively. More even distribution of gains from game management areas across households near different park systems and across the poor and the non-poor should be a continuing goal of national policy makers.The paper does not explain how such "even distribution of gains" may be attained. It seems obvious that two things must at least be part of the solution. First, tackling corruption in Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) - see previous discussions here, here , here and here. Secondly, the revenue sharing mechanism could be reviewed with greater focus on infrastructure spend which would have a wider benefit to residents. In that sense, infrastructure would provide a minimum floor of benefits for the people. This of course is easier said than done within the current corrupt operational framework of ZAWA. An added complication is that such an approach may also require pooling of resources across Community Resource Boards - not an easy task and likely to face opposition.