Thinking about the local area: woman presenting map for Step 1 at workshop. Photo: Judith Collins
Thinking about the local area
For most of the activities/questions below, arrange the participants into small groups of five or six. You may decide to split the participants into groups of men, women and children as their answers will reveal a lot about their differences in perspective. After each activity ask the groups to present their ideas and allow plenty of time for general discussion.
What do we need to manage and protect?
In groups of two, rank the listed resources in order of importance (eg if there are 10 natural resources in the list, a score of 10 should be given to the one thought the most important followed by 9, 8 etc so the least important is given a score of 1). Add all the scores together to produce a ranked list.
In the following example, mangroves, broadleaf forest and dune vegetation – and possibly manatee – would be chosen as things that need managing and protecting as a priority. These are called conservation objects.
|Fish of the lagoon
|Water of the lagoon
|Rivers and streams
What are the threats to the conservation objects?
Form small groups and ask each group to talk about one of the priority conservation objects. Ask them:
What causes the threats?
Ask the same groups:
Who is responsible for the threats?
Ask the same groups:
LOOKING AT BROADLEAF FOREST AS AN EXAMPLE OF THE PROCESS
Broadleaf forest from above. Photo: Steve Collins
Development of a community action plan
Ask the groups to fill in the table below for their conservation object, using the ‘trees’ of coloured card they have developed.
Although this seems like a big task, by this stage the participants will have thought deeply about each aspect of the problem and will find it surprisingly easy to fill in the table. The strategies and activities should not only take into account the threats and causes of the threats, but also the people responsible, aiming to involve them in tackling the problem wherever possible. At this point, think about any previous initiatives in order to learn from their failures and build on their successes.
Now put together the tables developed for each conservation object. You will have a community action plan for the rational use and conservation of the most important (and/or most threatened) natural resources in the focus area.
BROADLEAF FOREST AS AN EXAMPLE
|Threats||What causes the threats?||People||Ways to reduce the threats||Activities||People responsible for each activity|
|eg Reduction in traditional fallow period||Poor agricultural practices
Migration of people into the forest
|Train farmers, colonists and ranchers in more sustainable agroforestry techniques etc||Run a series of training events in ten different communities
Establish demonstration plots on five different farms
Local farmers’ co-operative with technical input from local NGO
The six steps were adapted from an approach called ‘site conservation planning’ developed by The Nature Conservancy, www.nature.org
MOPAWI is a Christian NGO dedicated to the integrated human development and conservation of the Honduran Mosquitia.
4b, 2da Calle, Tres Caminos,
Apdo. Postal 2175
Judith Collins was seconded by Tearfund to MOPAWI as an environmental advisor between 2000 and 2005. She is currently a freelance consultant and technical editor.
agroforestry growing crops and trees together so both benefit
colonists people connected with another region or culture who settle in an area
conservation object a species, a group of species, an ecosystem or a habitat identified as needing conservation
ecosystem communities of plants, animals and other living things, together with the non-living parts of the environment such as rocks and weather, which together form a working system
manatee marine mammal sometimes known as a sea cow
mangroves tropical evergreen trees and shrubs that can survive and thrive in saltwater coastal areas
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