Public awareness on environmental and biodiversity conservation

Published: 09 June 2022
Last edited: 09 June 2022

Community buy-in and participation are key building blocks for project success and sustainability. These depend in large measure on community awareness of the project itself, as well as its intended benefits, beneficiaries, and long-term viability. Raising awareness around new protected areas, revised laws/regulations, community conservation agreements, etc. is also a key element of effective enforcement and interdiction, and assuring community adherence to conservation plans.

Classifications

Category
Alliance and partnership development
Co-management building
Communication, outreach and awareness building
Education, training and other capacity development activities
Enforcement and prosecution
Legal and policy frameworks, policy advocacy
Sustainable livelihoods
Scale of implementation
Subnational
Phase of solution
Review phase

Enabling factors

  • Creation and dissemination of messages that are comprehensible to locals, using appropriate vernacular (including media such as radio that do not require universal literacy)
  • Increased awareness of the benefits of environmental conservation increases community feelings of ownership of planted seedlings
  • Local community authorities play a vital role in involving community members and consensually ensuring adherence to agreed regulations

Lessons learned

  • Deforestation and loss of biodiversity take place in situations where there is a lack of awareness of the importance of forests for biodiversity conservation and sustainable livelihoods among local communities
  • Limited alternative livelihoods sources drive unsustainable utilization of forest resources and other factors including weak enforcement capacities to limit wildlife and forest crimes
  • Communities are willing to change when provided with viable options as was evident from the adoption of SRI rice production resulting to reduced pressure to encroach on forest land for agricultural production
  • For initiatives to be effective, viable and sustainable, economic alternatives to using forest resources need to be provided, to compensate for losses incurred due to restrictions imposed on the use of the forest resources

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