Strategies for the management of cultural heritage resources within a sustainable development concept framework are examined. In line with the 1992 Rio Declaration principles of sustainable development, the paper suggests sustainability principles relating to community participation as more relevant for the field of cultural heritage resource management in Botswana. The article illustrates this relevance by exploring and drawing out production and consumption indicators of cultural heritage resources in both their tangible and intangible composition. It concludes that participation principles of sustainable development are more applicable as a point of departure towards integration of sustainability into cultural heritage resource management as communities are carriers and immediate custodians of cultural resources in Africa. Conservation processes that set limits of acceptable change for resource use are suggested within a modified framework that links community interaction with cultural resources at both social and resource management levels. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment.