Our analysis shows that a small number of individuals are even specialised in the collection and retail of natural resources from the village to the city, both in Seronga and in Mashare. While most stakeholders at higher governance levels blame the communities and smallholders for the excessive extraction, the latter report conflicts over the harvesting of sand, wood or grasses involving outsiders coming to grab resources in a community’s territory. Currently, neither the traditional authorities nor the modern statutory approach of prohibition (e.g. hunting bans, seasonal fishing bans, establishment of permits) nor the combination of both in the form of Community Based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM) in Botswana and Community Forests (CF) in Namibia seem to succeed in effectively controlling these trends. Initially, CBNRM and CF schemes are institutional innovations aiming to devolve management rights from the government to the communities. Yet, stakeholders at various governance levels have denounced the little decision freedom that communities de facto enjoy, leaving their individual members with a feeling of restricted access to resources for their own direct use.