Recent concerns over a crisis of identity and legitimacy in community-based natural resource management (CBNRM) have emerged following several decades of documented failure. A substantial literature has developed on the reasons for failure in CBNRM. In this paper, we complement this literature by considering these factors in relation to two successful CBNRM case studies.These cases have distinct differences, one focusing on the conservation of hirola in Kenya on community-held trust land and the other focusing on remnant vegetation conservation from grazing pressure on privately held farm land in Australia. What these cases have in common is that both CBNRM projects were initiated by local communities with strong attachments to their local environments.
The projects both represent genuine community initiatives, closely aligned to the original aims of CBNRM. The intrinsically high level of "ownership" held by local residents has proven effective in surviving many challenges which have affected other CBNRM projects: from impacts on local livelihoods to complex governance arrangements involving non-government organizations and research organizations. The cases provide some signs of hope among broader signs of crisis in CBNRM practice.