Participatory management planning and capacity building

Published: 30 March 2016
Last edited: 26 August 2016
Participatory management planning and capacity building of locals for long-term conservation of forests is one of the final steps of the community-based conservation model. Developing a participatory management plan helps communities to manage their forests effectively. Recently, we drafted a management plan for one of the conserved areas, using participatory decision making tools to identify different units of land-use, human-used areas for basic livelihood needs, grazing grounds and their associated values related to the biodiversity and livelihoods of the community. Through participatory tools, we identified areas where conservation action is needed, areas for regeneration and some of the pockets that needs better protection through the patrolling and monitoring. We undertook social mapping ensuring participation from all segments of the community i.e. elders having knowledge on village history/natural resources, herders, headman (gaonburah), women and youths to delineate all forest usage units. Once forest units and associated actions were identified, we outlined a budget and identified funding sources to support these planned endeavors. The management plan is valid for a period five years, and will be reviewed annually.

Classifications

Category
Education, training and other capacity development activities
Communication, outreach and awareness building
Management planning
Scale of implementation
Subnational

Enabling factors

- Baseline information on various use forms and quantification of natural resource use for livelihood - Identification and involvement of all segments of the community especially elders, key decision makers, influential members of the community, youths and women - Identify different resource user/ user groups i.e. herders, prospective farmers, hunters (former hunters), traditional healers, etc - Involvement of local authorities including forest department and district administration for leverage and convergence

Lessons learned

Enabling development of a participatory management plan ensures sustainability of a conserved area. Effective management planning and its implementation helps protect biodiversity as well as ensure long-term sustainable livelihoods. The community and the management committee of the conserved area in particular should feel the need and have ownership in preparing a management plan. Otherwise, it will be merely a document. We have undertaken numerous conservation education events with different segments of the community and involved them in participatory discussion. These programmes help raise their interest and clarify conservation linkages to their day to day livelihood. We have also taken enough time during our participatory appraisals ensuring optimum participation from the community segments.

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