Case Studies Involving Community Engagement

Natural Resources

Water Resources

Natural Resources

 

Farmer and Conventional Perspectives on Conservation in Western Mexico. 2005. Peter Gerritsen, Freerk Wiersum. Mountain Research and Development: 25: 1:30–36.

Abstract:
Establishment of conservation areas became a standard strategy for protecting biodiversity in Mexico. Conservation areas were established through either the strict protection approach, with no community involvement, or the conservation and development approach, where some level of community participation was involved. Although rapid evolution towards community participation started in the 1970s, stimulating participation still challenges conservationists. To find more effective methods of conservation, conservationists need a better understanding of the complex issues affecting participation. This article addressed this issue by contrasting farmer and conventional perspectives on conservation in Sierra de Manantlán biosphere reserve, western Mexico. A differentiation between ecologically oriented biodiversity conservation perspectives and livelihood-oriented resource diversity perspectives was proposed.

Problem:
Biodiversity conservation through establishment of protected areas was a common policy measure. Two approaches: strict protection where specialized agencies achieve conservation vs. conservation and development that stresses local participation. The participatory approach was initiated by the government and conservationists to expand conservation beyond conservation reserves, to stimulate grassroots development and give more attention to local people’s interests.

Time period: 1992 – 2002.

How was the project participatory?

  • Local communities created two advisory councils
  • Implementation of a collaborative forest fire prevention and combat program,
  • Drafted collaborative forest management plans

Who was involved?

  • Government (no specific department mentioned)
  • Local communities
  • Conservationists

What made the project successful?

  • Farmers and conservationists co-produced a landscape zoning that was more diversified than that created by professional conservation agencies alone.
  • The impact of human activities on landscape was sometimes positive e.g. enhanced biodiversity.
  • Farmers had a vast body of ecological knowledge related to niche differentiation, species distribution and succession processes, species growth, and use characteristics.
  • Local communities’ participation was strengthened by the creation of advisory councils.
  • Implementation of collaborative forest conservation and management programs.
  • Acknowledging that the human impact on biodiversity was not always detrimental due to overexploitation and habitat loss, but could have a positive potential by creating differentiated landscape with different niches favoring specific forms of biodiversity.
  • Resource use resulted in resource diversity that was dynamic, and potentially enhanced spatial resilience.

Challenges:

  • Increased cattle production in the 1970 resulted in decline in resource diversity as more land use zones were converted to pasture land.
  • Biodiversity in the core zone diminished when farming activities were prohibited in these areas whose biodiversity depended on the co-production processes.
  • Understanding ecological processes was key in determining how to strike the balance between conservation and human-induced disturbance, to optimize biodiversity.

How was success measured?

  • Spatial biodiversity (landscape, species, genetic)
  • Temporal biodiversity
  • Change in the concept of biodiversity conservation to include anthropogenic factors

     

Impact of participatory forest management on financial assets of rural communities in Northwest Pakistan. 2007. Tanvir Alia, Munir Ahmada, Babar Shahbaza, Abid Sulerib.  Ecological Economics 63: 588 – 593.

Abstract:
Participatory (or joint) forest management started in the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) of Pakistan in 1996, as an attempt to eliminate the main causes of forest depletion through participation of local communities. Nevertheless, after decades of the donor interventions, deforestation rates were still high. This paper analyzed the impacts of joint forest management initiatives on financial assets and livelihood strategies of local people. Results indicated that the majority of the respondents were not dependent on natural resources for cash income, but adopted various such as migration, labor etc. The main priorities of the local people were financial and food security; not forest protection and regeneration emphasized by the NWFP project. Although joint forest management enhanced the social assets of the local communities, the lack of immediate financial benefits was a barrier in motivating local people’s interest in forest protection.

Problem:The project was started in response to high rate of deforestation in the forest rich North West Frontier Province (NWFP) of Pakistan. However, high deforestation rates persisted even after decades of donor intervention. This paper investigated what motivated local communities in forest conservation activities, in an attempt to find links between local livelihoods and state policies, hoping the understanding will shed some light on how to develop sustainable forest management systems.

Time period: 1996 onwards

How was the project participatory?

  • Farmer organization and committees - formed to manage resources.
  • Committees were elected democratically to represent community diversity – e.g. tribes and villages.

Who was involved?

  • Asia Development Bank – provided funding
  • Village development committees  and women organizations
  • The local committees and organizations managed natural resources, implemented village land use plans prepared in collaboration with the forest department, and monitored the physical and financial affairs of the village plan.
  • Joint Forest Management Committees (JFMCs) – helped manage resources and represented different tribes.

What made the project successful?

  • Formation of many farmer organizations and committees that represented different groups in the community to help manage resources.
  • The democratic process of electing representatives.
  • Collected both quantitative and qualitative data to get a holistic understanding of the problem.
  • Monthly meetings enabled community members to interact more, creating new (democratic) for a, which enhanced social capital.

Challenges:

  • The project did not achieve planned outcomes because the emphasis of the project to achieve better forest cover was different than the community’s priorities of better livelihood outcomes (financial and food security).
  • The important lesson is for project developers to make sure they understand community problems and priorities for project success to happen. 

How was success measured?

  • Sources of cash income
  • Improved food security
  • Reduced vulnerability
  • More sustainable use of natural resources
  • Households having livelihoods that met their ‘good living’ standard

     

Improving Rural Livelihood through CBNRM: A Case of Self-organization in Community Mangrove Management in Thailand. 2006. Somying Soontornwong.  In Hanging in the Balance: Equity in Community-Based Natural Resource Management in Asia. Sango Mahanty, Jefferson Fox, Michael Nurse, Peter Stephen, and Leslie McLees (eds.) Bangkok: RECOFTC (Regional Community Forestry Training Center for Asia and the Pacific); Honolulu: East-West Center.

Abstract:
Marginalized communities, who depend on decreasing forest resources, are often accused of being the cause of deforestation and degradation. Meanwhile alternative natural resource conservation approaches illustrate the potential of these communities to manage and conserve natural resources. The participatory approach to forest management is one means of increasing equity, while promoting sustainable forest practices. This paper discussed the potential of participatory community-based natural resource management (CBNRM) to alleviate poverty in a mangrove community in the eastern coast of Pred Nai mangrove community in Thailand.

Problem:
“Forest resources around the world have been decreasing at alarming rates. Thailand lost 50-60% of its mangrove forests, mainly due to conversion to shrimp aquaculture from 1961–1996. The continued shrimp farm expansion and release of chemicals that ended up in the mangroves had devastating impact upon the quality of the coastal environment. Many people lived and worked among the mangrove forests and the destruction of the resources and ecological functions of these forests had direct impact on their livelihoods. Community forestry in Thailand ranged from a centralized government controlled forest management scheme, which promoted reforestation and commercial tree plantations on former croplands, to a decentralized process, based on concepts of community rights and common property systems. Many civil society organizations and academics, involved in conservation-oriented, community-based forest management promoted the latter.”

Time period: 1986 – 2005

How was the project participatory?

  • Formation of the Pred Nai Community Forestry Group to (1) conserve and restore mangrove forest to promote the regeneration of aquatic resources; (2) prevent exploitation of natural resources by outsiders; and (3) spearhead community development and preservation of mangroves.
  • The group created management plans to increase planting in the mangrove area and allow sections to naturally regenerate.
  • The group got support from government and NGO agencies.

Who was involved?

  • Local communities
  • Pred Nai Community Forestry Group
  • Community Development Department
  • Royal Forest Department
  • Department of Fisheries
  • Ministry of Interior
  • Ministry of Public Health
  • Regional Community Forestry Training Center for Asia and the Pacific (RECOFTC)
  • Social Investment Fund (SIF)
  • Thailand Research Fund and the Education Institute

What made the project successful?

  • The community initiated the project by forming the Pred Nai Community Forestry Group.
  • The communities using forest resources had a direct stake in the conservation of the forest.
  • Letting the communities determine the rights of access to forest resources through social agreements, in turn led to more equitable access to resources by the communities.
  • Increased sense of ownership of mangrove forest by managing committee.
  • Legal recognition of the forest as a community forest.
  • Developing a forest management plan, including mapping local resources, patrolling forests and revising rules and regulations.
  • Open communication lines between communities and the council about changes in the mangrove area.
  • Acknowledging that communities’ experience and local knowledge enabled them to monitor mangrove ecosystems.
  • Community Forest Groups made decision to periodically stop crab harvesting.
  • RECOFTC worked as a facilitator in the participatory process.

How was success measured?

  • Increased diversity of marine products such as fishes, shellfish, shrimps, birds, bees and other animals.
  • Quantity of Grapsoil crabs.
  • Locations of crabs.
  • Number of crab harvesters.
  • Income earned per crab.
  • Time period in crab catching.
  • Quantity of different kinds of mangrove plants and trees.
  • Continued role of communities as mangrove conservationists and watchdogs.

     

Landcare and Livelihoods: The Promotion and Adoption of Conservation Farming Systems in the Philippine Uplands. 2004. R.A. Cramb and Z. Culasero.  International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability

Abstract:
Slow adoption of conservation farming systems in the Philippine uplands has been a major problem and to address this, the landcare approach was piloted and evaluated in Barangay Ned in the Philippines. The sustainable rural livelihoods approach was used as a framework for evaluation. The study evaluated two potential impacts of the landcare approach: (1) adoption of conservation practices and (2) formation and development of landcare groups. The program was associated with rapid adoption of conservation farming practices, rapid formation of landcare groups, and enhanced human capital through practical, farmer-led training and extension on soil conservation methods. The social capital formed through the landcare association was crucial to these outcomes. A community landcare group is a group of people concerned about land degradation problems, working together to do something positive for the long-term health of the land and are supported to varying degrees by partnerships with government and non-government agencies.

Problem:
Agricultural land degradation in the densely populated, steep sloping upland regions of the Philippines was a major environmental problem. Conservation farming systems based on contour hedgerows of shrub legumes were not adopted by many farmers. Of interest was the potential of the landcare approach to enhance the development, dissemination, and adoption of appropriate conservation farming measures.

Time period: 1999 - 2003

How was the project participatory?

  • Groups of farmer innovators led the promotion of the conservation methods
  • The group identified the problem at the local level and mobilized information, finances and community effort to help solve the problem

Who was involved?

  • Farmers
  • Landcare Association and Landcare Advisory Group
  • Landcare facilitators
  • NGOs e.g. ICRAF

What made them successful?

  • Promotion of the conservation approach was led by local farmers who had already adopted contour hedgerows, experimented with alternative annual and perennial crops, and learned the benefits of working in small groups.
  • Facilitator had considerable locally-validated technical expertise, as well as credibility in the farming community.
  • Promoting natural vegetative strips (NVS) as a simpler, lower-cost alternative to legume hedgerows.
  • The formation of community landcare groups.
  • The landcare approach had more potential as a more effective way for achieving adoption of sustainable farming practices than using government regulation and enforcement or a  top-down transfer of technology.

How was success measured?

  • Rates of adoption of conservation practices (and the effect of these practices on natural resources).
  • The relevance of the approach as a model for local and regional extension services.
  • Potential for long-term rural poverty reduction and environmental conservation (sustainable rural livelihoods).

     

More effective information flow between researchers, extension officers and farmers in Zambia: Lessons learned from the Zambian Agriculture Research Institute (ZARI). 2011. Davy Simumba, and Martine Koopman. International Institute for Communication and Development (IICD)

Abstract:
The INFORNET (Development of an Effective Information Flow Network) project was carried out by the Zambia Agriculture Research Institute (ZARI) supported by IICD with the goal of improving the flow of information between researchers, extension workers, and farmers by repackaging scientific research reports into relevant and readable agricultural information products that helped farmers improve crop production. The project also sought to improve communication between ZARI headquarters and the rural research stations, and in turn bring information closer to the farmers and extension workers.

Problem:
Agriculture is the key source of income for more than 75% of rural Zambian households. Growth in the sector fluctuated, mainly because of a heavy dependence on seasonal rainfall, poor communication network, and low farmer access to improved technologies that were resilient to sudden shocks caused by natural disasters such as drought, crop pests, and diseases. Beside natural calamities, the agricultural sector also faced challenges including market access and poor access to agricultural information. Zambian farmers, mostly small-scale farmers, either lacked access to agricultural research information or the reports were too technical to understand due to low levels of literacy. The resulting information gap was further increased by weak links between agricultural researchers and extension agents, and local NGOs. This resulted in low adoption rates of new agricultural practices.

Time period: 2008-2010

How was the project participatory?

  • Two way communication among farmers, extension agency and ZARI.
  • Farmers provided input about what content information products should include.
  • A questionnaire was administered on a sample of members.
  • Focus groups were open to everyone.

Who was involved?

  • Community members
  • ZARI
  • International Institute for Communication and Development (IICD)
  • Travaillant vers une Economie Liberale (TEL), the local Monitoring & Evaluation partner
  • Ministry of Agriculture (MACO)
  • National Agricultural Information Services (NAIS) used radio, TV and other multi-media to reach farmers
  • Melinda and Bill Gates Foundation provided a grant for computer purchases and internet connection

Why was the project successful?

  • The project identified roles of different members e.g. ZARI’s role was to carry out better and more relevant research.
  • Initial involvement of many organizations to determine most relevant participants.
  • Improved collaboration between extension workers and researchers.
  • Two-way communication between researchers and farmers.
  • Making research information accessible, relevant, and simple for farmers.
  • Pilot projects were undertaken in two different ecological regions (wet and dry) to capture the diversity of agricultural production practices and their different potentials and challenges.
  • Presence of farmer organizations (e.g. farmer associations, cooperatives, women and youth groups) that played a role in information distribution.
  • ZARI focused research around four important thematic areas: crop improvement and agronomy, soil and water management, plant protection and quarantine, and farming systems.
  • Capacity building of ZARI by improving agencies’ access to information communications technologies (ICT).
  • More diverse information products i.e. agricultural publications, reports, brochures, flyers, maps, picture stories, videos, posters, TV and radio broadcasts, newsletters, etc.
  • Monitoring and evaluation system consisted of quantitative (questionnaires) and qualitative (focus groups) assessments.

Challenges:

  • Weak linkages between researchers, extension officers, and farmers.
  • Some researchers used ICT for own scientific work, but not as a tool to reach more farmers with simplified Information Products.
  • ZARI’s centralized research system slowed response to urgent farmer questions.

How was success measured?

  • Levels of use and satisfaction by research agencies e.g. quality of information, timing of information, and access to electronic information.
  • Impact of the project on production and communication.
  • Number of information products/publications.

     

Morocco Case Study: Blending Old with New Institutions - An Innovative Approach to Sustainable Range Land Development and Management in a Traditional Society. 1998. Khalid El Harizi. The World Bank/WBI’s CBNRM Initiative.

Abstract:
The Livestock and Pasture Development Project in Eastern Morocco emphasized the formation of pastoralist cooperatives to promote new range management practices. The project convinced pastoralists to sacrifice immediate economic gains for increased long-term productivity of their rangelands by reversing the trends of serious land degradation. The project involved both the Moroccan government and international agencies. The objective was to improve the livelihoods of pastoral families, by boosting and sustaining the productivity of their rangelands. This project proposed it would achieve these goals by focusing on: (i) pasture improvement, (ii) livestock development, (iii) extension, training, research, (iv) credit for small herders, (v) women’s activities, and (vi) institutional strengthening.

Time period: 1992-1997

Problem:
Drought spanning several years in the eastern region of Moroccan resulted in sheep deaths and subsequent drops in incomes and increased debt. In these semi-arid steppes, where small-livestock-raising is the main activity, rangelands had been degraded and areas around water points had been overgrazed. The agriculture ministry required communities to organize themselves in return for support for their herding activities. Although promising technical solutions had been identified in the past, they were not adopted by the herders and no suitable delivery structure that accounted for the complex social organization was found.

How was the project participatory?

  • Herders were in the decision-making process from the very beginning.
  • Herders came together and created cooperatives and by-laws that guided future activities.
  • The cooperatives played an active role in determining the grazing schedule.
  • With guidance from the project team, forage reserves were created.

Who was involved?

  • IFAD
  • African Development Bank
  • Moroccan government
  • Pastoralists
  • The Provincial Office for Agriculture

What made the project successful?

  • Herders and project leaders worked together to set aside areas of forage reserves.
  • Change of herders mentality from “tragedy of the commons” to working together to manage rangelands i.e. herders practiced land withdrawal, animal carrying regulations, and agreed to pay user fees.
  • Practicing rotational grazing without using fences ensured the (1) use of affordable means to achieve goals because fencing costs would have been inhibitive on such a large scale and (2) use of collective discipline, rather than fences.
  • Herders were required to organize as a precondition for support.
  • The agricultural agencies took an active role in negotiating with the herders, build consensus and raise awareness.
  • Herders were included in the decision-making process from the very beginning.
  • The blending of modern and traditional concepts was attractive to the community.
  • The project succeeded in opening up channels of dialogue and interaction between public authorities and the community.

Challenges:

  • Potential for project sustainability maybe limited because the project reinforced some of the contentious traditional power structures since the representation and decision-making processes in the ethnic lineage cooperatives did not follow modern democratic principles.
  • There were some apparent economic inequalities in the distribution of project benefits.

How was success measured?

  • Number of household that participated in cooperatives
  • Area of forage reserves
  • Forage production levels
  • Financial income from livestock production
  • Availability of water supply

     

One-way, two-way, which way? Extension workers: from messengers to facilitators. 2007. T. Enters and J. Hagmann . Unasylva 226/227: Vol. 58: 58-62.

Abstract:
Extension can be a key means of weaving knowledge into development. But in the 1990s, concepts of effective extension were shifting, away from the one-way offering of solutions developed through research, towards stimulating discussion aimed at linking research and practice. In Thailand and Zimbabwe, pilot activities based on active farmer participation in research and extension showed potential for improving the adoption of agricultural and forestry research results, increased rates of technology adoption, and improved natural resource management and food security.

Time period: 1987 – 1994 Thailand; 1988 onwards Zimbabwe

How was the project participatory?

  • Active farmer participation: from problem identification, project planning, project development, and throughout all stages of the project cycle
  • Farmer experimentation as a way to assess options and to develop alternatives appropriate to their specific ecological, economic, and socio-cultural environments.

Who was involved?

  • Farmers
  • Extension Services ( in both countries)
  • German Agency for Technical Cooperation (GTZ)

What made the project successful?

  • Leadership training.
  • More on-farm research projects helped link solutions to practical realities and needs.
  • Facilitating dialogue and communication in village workshops.
  • Emphasis on participation by all gender and age groups.
  • Strengthening local institutions.
  • Building up confidence in farmer-to-farmer extension.
  • A two-way flow of information up and down the farmer-extension agent-researchers ladder.
  • Transforming extension workers into facilitators that provided farmers with background knowledge and technological options to stimulate discussions and encourage farmers to experiment with options and ideas.
  • Farmers became more innovative and organized themselves better.

How success was measured?

  • Amount of research carried out at on-farm level, facilitated by extension i.e. research was linked to practical realities and needs.
  • Technology adoption rates.
  • The levels of farmer organizations, set research agendas and targets.
  • Fewer discouraging hierarchical structures.
  • Prevalence of farmer-to-farmer extension.

     

Participatory Investigation As a Means to Promote Community Based Management: Examples from the Bolivian Lowlands. 1998. Wendy R.  Townsend. The World Bank/WBI’s CBNRM Initiative.

Abstract:
The participation of local people is vital for successful community-based management. Long-term management success depends on the depth of participation and the way people assume ownership of the management efforts. Therefore promoting community participation must be a continual process with new techniques constantly being employed. This paper described experiences from lowland Bolivia that showed how involving community members in investigating their natural resource requirements and monitoring levels of harvest of various natural resources can be a useful tool in increasing participation in resource management planning.

 

Problem:
Four indigenous communities from the Beni and the Izozog regions of Bolivia chose to participate in management planning to ensure accuracy of information on resource use. Previously, management plans, were written with little or no connection to the actual daily needs of the local people. This led to conflicts with outsiders who had government permission to harvest resources without consideration for local people. Indigenous communities expressed concern about how outside investigators completed their work and results were rarely communicated to them. The local people’s active participation in data collection ensured that they had a say in the way the data was used, while people gained a sense of empowerment.

Time period: no dates provided (est. 1990s)

How was the project participatory?

  • Communities created their own management plans.
  • Community members assessed their own resource needs
  • Communities had a say in decisions affecting natural resources management in their areas.
  • Communities were key players in negotiations because they felt that they offered hard data instead of just opinions on resource requirements.
  • Communities took an active role in making management decisions e.g. in Lomerío and the Izozog, community members created community wildlife reserves and protective regulations.
  • Community members monitored the harvest rates e.g. game take.

Who was involved?

  • Local communities
  • CIDDEBENI (Centro de Investigación y Documentación sobre el Desarrollo del Beni)
  • Yuracaré- TIPNIS (Territorio Indígena Parque Nacional Isiboro Sécure)
  • Izoceños (Guaraní)
  • Lomerío
  • US AID (BOLFOR)

What made it successful?

  • Bolivia passed new agrarian reform laws that permitted community land ownership and legalized the creation of indigenous territories (TCO -Tierra Comunitaria de Origin).
  • Enforcement of forestry laws that required natural resources harvested for sale from within TCO’s to be accompanied by management plans i.e. creating management plans was mandatory.
  • Assessing resource needs increased community understanding of the importance of natural resources in their lives.
  • Communities demanded involvement in management decisions about their territories.
  • Self-monitoring resource use was viewed as a viable contribution to sustainability during rapid rural appraisal (RRA) workshops.
  • Community participation in generating information on management decisions increased their confidence in choosing management options.
  • Communication, especially among resource users, was key to community - based management of communally owned resources: created social agreement and trust.
  • Asking people to be responsible for producing information needed for planning was empowering to the community.
  • Participatory investigation tools learned during this process strengthened the communities’ potential to analyze specific problems and eventually led to community-created management plans adapted to local conditions i.e. cultural, economic and environmental.

Challenge:

  • Well-funded projects may reduce voluntary participation in communities, and could subsequently compromise sustainability of the project.

How was success measured?

  • Harvest rates of various natural resources

     

Participatory Planning for LandCare under a Transformed Government Planning System the SDARMP Experiences in Zimbabwe. 2004. Bekezela Dube.  Presented at Limpopo Land Care Awareness Week Conference, Polokwane South Africa (29 March - 1st April 2004).

Abstract:
The paper described the changes in agricultural production and natural resources management when participatory approaches in agriculture extension replaced the traditional top-down approach in Gwanda and Shurugwi Districts, Zimbabwe, during an International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) funded Smallholder Dry Areas Resource Management Project (SDARMP). The paper discussed the participatory planning approaches used in the two districts.

Problem:
Natural Region IV and V in Zimbabwe are characterized by low erratic rainfall. As a result farmers that depended mostly on rainfed agriculture had low income from agriculture production. Before the changes, communal farming practices, especially livestock production, were not economically and environmentally sustainable due to high population density. The fragile ecosystems in these areas required a delicate mix of increased agricultural productivity and more appropriate use of natural resources.

Time period: 1997 - 2002

How was the project participatory?

  • During PRA sessions, the project emphasized farmer planning, prioritization, problem diagnosis, and self-management.
  • Strengthened participatory dialogue between farmers.
  • Stronger communication among communities, governmental, and NGO agencies.

Who was involved?

  • Farmers
  • District council
  • Government extension agencies in agriculture and natural resources
  • Government research agencies
  • IFAD personnel
  • Non-governmental organizations
  • Provincial council

What made the projects successful?

  • Better dialogue among farmers.
  • The relationship between the state institutions and farmers changed from teacher-student to equal partners.
  • Strengthening inter-agency collaboration.
  • Involving communities in identifying problems and solutions related to agriculture and natural resource management.  
  • The governmental and non-governmental agency personnel went through “Training for Transformation” training to equip them with tools for carrying out PRAs and changed their attitude from teachers to facilitators.
  • Content for adaptive research trials and participatory adaptive trials was identified during RRAs.
  • Farmer-to-farmer visits to other communities with relevant development projects were facilitated as part of “Look and Learn” approach.

How was success measured?

  • Information generated and documented – how useful was the information in project planning and implementation.
  • Changes in relationship between state institutions and farmers included:
    • changes in institutions’ culture of top down approach,
    • improving farmers’ capabilities to participate in planning and implementation of programs and
    • presence of multi-disciplinary committees and farmer groups.
  • Improved levels of agricultural production.
  • Improved knowledge on sustainable natural resources management.
  • Farmer’s awareness to issues that affect them and increased spirit of entrepreneurship.
  • Incorporating local knowledge when developing innovations that address local problems.

 

Water Resources

The Evolution of Government/Community Partnerships for Resource Management in Atlantic Canada. A Case Study of a Work in Progress: The Clean Annapolis River Project and The Atlantic Coastal Action Program. 1998. Stephen Hawboldt and Jim Ellsworth. The World Bank/WBI’s CBNRM Initiative.

Abstract:
The Atlantic Coastal Action Program (ACAP) was launched within Canada’s eastern provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland in response to deteriorating environmental quality and its social and economic impact; diminishing resources and the move toward knowledge based economies; increasing user conflict; a growing public demand to participate in decision making and resource management and a collective realization that the issues facing the region were beyond the capacity of any single sector or level of government.  In Atlantic Canada, Clean Annapolis River Project (CARP) focused on the Annapolis River watershed and initially the emphasis was on issues of quality and use of water resources, but now also includes terrestrial and atmospheric concerns. This was a review on multi-stakeholder processes that involved residents in determining the environmental future for their communities and finding ways to achieve the desired goals.

Problem:
Traditionally, institutions had to take a reductionist approach and divide issues according to their respective mandates and disciplines. Institutions were reluctant to take responsibility for issues which did not fall nicely within their mandates. As a result, complex, multi-jurisdictional issues were left to fester, communities were denied ownership of issues and their solution, and anyone attempting to resolve the issues was forced to navigate a maze of jurisdictions. However, citizens and governments could not avoid dealing with the symptoms and impacts of theseissues. Treating the symptoms was consuming resources that could be better spent on root causes and/or preventative measures. ACAP was charged with introducing community-based governance and innovations necessary to address challenges to sustainability in the Annapolis watershed, faced with declining quality of the resources that sustained the region's economic base. The apparent broad-based issues involving divergent interests, led to the residents’ conclusion that they needed to take a pro-action stance and this led to the creation of CARP and indirectly to the initiation of ACAP.

Time period: Since 1980s

How was the project participatory?

  • Some government agencies started to facilitate a participatory partnership among all stakeholders as equals partners.
  • Community groups, industry, and resource users started to embrace and build on the evolving partnerships.
  • Participants changed as all gained knowledge, discovered interdependencies and learned to work across boundaries of time, space, and interest.
  • Instead of citizens and communities being participants in government programs, in this project community members empowered one another by collaborating as equals.

Who is involved?

  • Residents of the watershed (farmers, homemakers, fishers)
  • Clean Annapolis River Project (CARP) - non-governmental organization created to work with residents and communities for the sustainable use of the regions resources
  • Atlantic Coastal Action Program (ACAP) - a multi-disciplinary team that assists community-based resource management initiatives and introducing necessary institutional changes for community resource management
  • Atlantic Estuaries Cooperative Venture (AECV) – an informal alliance of university and government researchers concerned about declining water quality in Atlantic Canada
  • Environment Canada

What made it successful?

  • Willingness and capacity to expand the partnerships to more participants.
  • Public workshops sponsored by the regional board of trade to investigate remedial options for degradation in the region brought about enhanced local awareness of the environmental challenges facing all residents of the watershed.
  • The AECV concern about declining water quality in Atlantic Canada decided that community based approaches, involving all stakeholders, was the best option to address the problem.
  • High level of public awareness arising from workshops held after the rejection of the heritage river status.
  • Creation of CARP to work with communities on sustainable use of resources
  • The roles of institutions were changed to suit the new approach e.g. Environment Canada’s role changed from that of conveyor, to facilitator and finally to participant.
  • A holistic community-based management approach centered on governance initiatives where citizens; government and private sector; social, economic and environmental interests; and local, regional and national perspectives come together.
  • Increased trust and mutual respect allowed the development of relationships that respected the political/institutional opportunities and boundaries that partners required.
  • Empowerment of governmental representatives in community-based initiatives to represent all department branches and programs.
  • Governmental representatives provided with financial authority to commit to project funding.
  • Environment Canada has changed the national policy on ecosystem initiatives to accommodate community-based approaches.
  • Through programs like volunteer water quality monitoring, CARP afforded residents the opportunity to teach themselves the connection between human activities and environmental quality.
  • Participation increases the residents’ sense of stewardship of the region's environmental resources.
  • Developed a comprehensive environment management plan for the watershed to guide activities in the watershed.

How was success measured?

  • Water quality
  • Habitat restoration
  • Environmental conservation
  • Pollution prevention
  • Eco-efficiency
  • Biodiversity (plants, wildlife and aquatic life)
  • Direct and indirect contributions to sustainable livelihoods
  • Human capital - awareness to environmental issues
  • Institutional changes – that facilitate community-based initiatives and less community participation in government programs

     

Incentives and institutional arrangements for participatory watershed management: The case of Arenal, Costa Rica. 1998. Álvaro Fernández-González and Bruce Aylward. The World Bank/WBI’s CBNRM Initiative.

Abstract:
The 41,000 hectare Arenal watershed in Costa Rica has strategic importance, given the goods and services it produces and the future potential. Arenal generated 44% of the country's hydroelectricity. The reservoir also supplied the water for Costa Rica's main irrigation district in the very dry Guanacaste province. In the area is the Monteverde Cloud Forest Preserve, a world-known ecotourist attraction, and a local source of innovative regional trends in community organization, agroindustry, reforestation, and conservation. The watershed was also the country's leading focus for geothermal and eolic energy. Carbon sequestration projects were drawn up for the watershed, as a prospective fund-raising mechanism for forest conservation and regeneration efforts in the area. However the projects in this area were threatened by high sediment loads from the Río Chiquito subwatershed and strong community opposition because the communities were not involved in planning the details of the project that directly affect their livelihoods.

Problem:
Downstream from Monteverde is the Río Chiquito subwatershed, which contributes one-fifth of the reservoir's inflow as well as a strong load of sediments which local environmentalists speculate, may eventually split the reservoir in half. Río Chiquito has a rugged terrain, steep slopes and cave-ins resulting from the 1973 earthquake. Over 70% of the area is pasture and the rest mainly forest. During the planning process for the reservoir, a local NGO, the Tropical Science Center (TSC) conducted environmental impact assessments and recommended that due to the watershed's slope, soil characteristics, and gradual encroachment of pastures into the forest, the state must buy out the land and convert all pasture to forest. This recommendation was not based on collaborative or ecologically sound research. Local ranchers strongly opposed this development and believed that the King Grass pastures were environmental more suitable for the area.

Time period: 1979 - 1996

How was the project participatory?

  • Field teams discussed maps and their inferred policy implications with local stakeholders throughout the Arenal watershed.
  • After the initial top down community involvement did not yield positive results, the TSC-IIED-UNA interdisciplinary team initiated a stronger bottom-up, people-centered participatory approach.
  • Consultations were made with individual stakeholders, selected to express their respective groups' opinions on what was right, what was wrong, and how could wrong be righted.
  • Then consultations were made with all stakeholders, to discuss findings of the first round of consultations.

Who is involved?

  • Local communities (ranchers, coffee-growers, and cooperatives)
  • Local municipalities
  • State’s electricity institute (ICE)
  • Local environmental NGO - Tropical Science Center (TSC)
  • World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Canada
  • International Institute for Environment and Development, in London (IIED)
  • UNA - a local state university
  • Bridging Committee for Río Chiquito – made up of all relevant stakeholders: the conservation area, the electricity institute, the municipality, the coffee coops, and \the local cattle ranchers association.

What made it successful?

  • Local ranchers insisted that the King Grass pasture were financially more productive and promoted runoff while preventing erosion and subsequently sedimentation.
  • Second phase of the project tapped into the ranchers experience in the area – local knowledge.
  • Involved all stakeholders as possible in the consultation process.
  • Developed a draft management plan for the Río Chiquito subwatershed during the consultation meetings.
  • Formation of the Bridging Committee that included all relevant stakeholders.
  • The outcome of the consultative meetings was finding common ground (with subtle differences) and reduced conflict among stakeholders.
  • Elaborate modeling of hydrological functions, sedimentation impacts and forest-to-pasture cost-benefit analyses to investigate options that resulted in optimum hydrological benefits and reduced sedimentation.
  • The hydrologic models showed that the ranchers’ assertions that pasturelands were better for hydropower generation than forests were true.

How was success measured?

  • Short and long term effects on:
    • Hydropower generated
    • Carbon sequestration
    • Biodiversity levels
    • Levels of ecotourism
    • Social capital

       

Participatory action research on community management of water resources in six countries from the South. 1998.  Marc P. Lammerink, Eveline Bolt, Isaack Oenga, Cecilia Gomez. The World Bank/WBI’s CBNRM Initiative.

Abstract:
Four-year participatory action research programs in Cameroon, Kenya, Nepal, Pakistan, Colombia and Guatemala, dealt with community management and developed tools to enhance the capacity of rural communities to manage their own water supply systems. The goal was to develop a flexible support and development methodology, which would strengthen community water management under the various water supply systems, and environmental, socio-economic, and cultural conditions.

Problem:
Often, water agencies have not been able to successfully implement, operate and maintain a network of widely dispersed water systems without the full involvement and commitment of users. Staff, transport and budgets become overstretched, leading to broken down systems, dissatisfied consumers and demoralized agency personnel.

Time period: 1994 –2002

How was the project participatory?

  • Communities had a more prominent role as managers of the water supply systems.
  • Rural communities and supporting agencies shared and analyzed information together.
  • More open dialogue between researchers and community members.

Who was involved?

  • Local communities
  • NGO water supply agencies in Cameroon, Kenya, Nepal, Pakistan, Colombia and Guatemala
  • IRC  International Water and Sanitation Centre (The Netherlands)
  • Dutch government funded the program

What made it successful?

  • Agencies made transition from being providers to facilitators resulted in more cost effective, widespread, and sustainable benefits.
  • The projects promoted decentralization and greater community involvement in decision making and management, placing more emphasis on water resources management on the lowest appropriate level.
  • Community management did not come with the communities’ responsibility to take care of everything or pay the full costs:  partnerships allowed for sharing responsibilities between supporting agencies and communities.
  • The functions performed by local management organizations varied depending on the agreed division of responsibility between agencies and the community.
  • Rural communities and supporting agencies shared and analyzed information and this enhanced the understanding of conditions and allowed them to plan and implement problem-solving action.
  • Participatory action research (PAR) offered an effective and powerful strategy for interdisciplinary research needed for rapid adjustment of tools and technology to different local conditions in the six countries.
  • Feedback mechanism helped a better understanding of local reality.
  • Dialogue between researchers and grass-roots people enhanced learning from experiences.
  • Emphasis on gender-sensitive appraisal and needs assessment.
  • Use of both qualitative and quantitative data collection on system performance and service.
  • Process enhanced the problem solving capacity of both community and supporting organization.
  • The role of researchers changed to that of a convener, a colleague, a catalyst and sometimes of a consultant, who brought in new ideas or experiences.
  • Exchange visits between project areas were a very effective way of learning. 

Challenges:

  • Agencies had a strong tradition of focusing on construction of water supply systems, with little emphasis on establishing management capacity at local level.
  • Communities often lacked management experience and tools.
  • Partial coverage of user populations and absence of proper gender balance.
  • Lack of effective and equitable financing systems.
  • Environmental degradation of watersheds.

How was success measured?

  • Distribution of services
  • Breakdown rates of equipment
  • Management and maintenance skills
  • Local organization
  • Socio-economic characteristics of served and unserved households

Valuation to support local water resources management in the United Republic of Tanzania. 2006. Leon Hermans, Daniel Renault, Lucy Emerton, Danièle Perrot-Maître, Sophie Nguyen-Khoa, and Laurence Smith. In Stakeholder-oriented valuation to support water resources management processes: Confronting concepts with local practice; Chapter 3. Rome: The United Nations, FAO. 

Abstract:
To address the severe water scarcity in the Mkoji subcatchment (MSC) in Tanzania, the Government promoted policy and legal framework transformation aimed at important institutional reforms that would see communities become more actively involved in determining solutions to their problems. Responsibilities for water resources planning and management were transferred from the national level to local levels, through river basin water organizations and water users associations (WUAs). These decentralized management structures were formed and strengthened, working toward increased involvement of local stakeholders in the process of integrated water resources management (IWRM). In the MSC, water valuation was undertaken as part of an effort to enable the local stakeholders to engage in implementing IWRM principles.

Problem:
In Tanzania, the MSC faced water scarcity as water demands increased for hydropower and agricultural production. Past uncoordinated planning for water use, inadequate water resources data, and inefficient water use resulted in water use conflicts among the energy and irrigation sectors and among both upstream and downstream users.

Time period: 2003 - 2004

How the project was participatory?

  • A participatory action research approach was used to conduct water valuation.
  • Local stakeholders were involved to discuss specific linkages between local conditions and the value of water.
  • Participatory problem analysis and data collection methods were used to improve the understanding of dynamics in the study area, and to create a sense of ownership of the outcome.
  • A sample of six villages, two from each of the three farming systems represented the local communities.
  • The first phase included rapid rural appraisals (RRA) that included a wealth-ranking exercise used to design the household survey.
  • The second phase involved focus group discussions with representatives from the villages, water users associations (WUA) and officers from district councils.
  • The last phase was a stakeholder workshop where preliminary results from prior phases were presented and used for discussion. Stakeholders analyzed the problems and concerns and worked towards a joint strategy for IWRM.
  • Participants in the final workshop included representatives of the villages, district officials, local training institutes, experts from national ministries, and representative of NGOs.

Who was involved?

  • Upper zone (irrigating) farmers depended on water for year-round farm production as main source of food and income.
  • Middle zone paddy farmers depended on water for rice production and/or dry season irrigation.
  • Lower zone pastoralists depended on water for rainfed agriculture and to raise their cattle; dry season pasture grounds and water resources were becoming scarce.
  • WUA were platforms for local water users to manage their water resources and were the lowest level water management institutions.
  • District councils were regional-level government, responsible for rural development in their regions.
  • Rufiji Basin Water Office was responsible for water allocation and regulation within the river basin, administering water rights, user fees and conflict resolution.
  • National park officials were responsible for protecting national parks from illegal activities (e.g. grazing).
  • Environmental NGOs (i.e. World Wildlife Fund (WWF) were interested in environmental protection and nature conservation, especially in downstream wetlands.
  • Ministry of Water and Livestock Development was the national-level government institution responsible for water policy and strategy and for livestock development, involved mainly through district councils.
  • Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security was the national-level agency responsible for agricultural development, involved mainly through district councils.

What made the project successful?

  • New government policy and legal framework and institutional reforms that involved transferring responsibilities of water resources planning and management from the national level to local levels, through river basin water organizations and WUAs.
  • Forming and/or strengthening decentralized management structures.
  • Increasing involvement of local stakeholders in the process of integrated water resources management (IWRM).
  • Use of appropriate technical tools for assessing water availability: considered seasonal changes in demand and supply both in the upstream and downstream.
  • A holistic water valuation method that looked at economic, social, and environmental values.
  • Stakeholder participation provided stakeholder-specific values, key information and analysis of their livelihoods and strengthened potential for a more coordinated IWRM, improved communication, conflict reduction, and more equitable distribution of water resources.
  • Institutional reform was also targeted by broadening the mandates of WUA to include market research and local districts to look at water rights and input availability.

How was success measured?
Economic values:

  • Economic crop water productivity in different zones,
  • Economic value across water-using sectors
  • Income derived from water-related production activities

Social values

  • Food security in different zones
  • Access to drinking-water
  • Conflicts over water

Environmental values

  • Environmental base-flows
  • Environmental changes

Valuation of aquatic resource use at the Stoeng Treng Ramsar site, Cambodia. 2006. Leon Hermans, Daniel Renault, Lucy Emerton, Danièle Perrot-Maître, Sophie Nguyen-Khoa, and Laurence Smith. In Stakeholder-oriented valuation to support water resources management processes: Confronting concepts with local practice. Chapter 5. Rome: The United Nations, FAO.

Abstract:
The Mekong Wetlands Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Use Program (MWBP) was a partnership between the four governments of the Lower Mekong (Cambodia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Thailand and Viet Nam) supported by several international organizations. The MWBP applied the water valuation tools and techniques to support wetlands management for poverty alleviation. The project involved many stakeholders, but organizational and policy issues hindered effective wetland management. The study examined how community-based water resources management including monitoring illegal fishing, could strengthen wetland conservation and sustainable development in Veun Sean, a village in the Stoeng Treng Ramsar, Cambodia (Chong 2005).

Problem:

  • Wetlands in Cambodia were vital to the livelihoods of millions of rural people, particularly for food security. However, effective management of wetlands was hampered by:
    • lack of coordination between different agencies ;
    • weak policy frameworks and unsupportive economic environments;
    • inadequate information base on which to base wetland policy, planning and management decisions;
    • inadequate human and technical resources; and
    • lack of options for resource use by local communities.
  • Also some villagers were illegally fishing and selling to commercial fish-buyers at reduced prices.

Time period: 2004 - 2005

How was the project participatory?

  • The community fisheries subdecree was drafted as a key piece of legislation to support community-based fishery management by defining the role, responsibilities and relationships between villagers, NGOs and government agencies involved in the management of the resources.
  • Resource management committees were elected to guide community-based management initiatives.
  • Governments or NGOs provided support to communities to establish physically demarcated management areas and plans.
  • Rules and regulations for the community management association were established.
  • However, community-based natural resource management initiatives required approval from government agencies at provincial or national level.

Who was involved?

  • Villagers who depended on the fishery resource for food and income.
  • Community Fisheries Committee received training from the CEPA and was charged with communicating to and encouraging the villagers to maintain the fisheries resource.
  • Culture and Environment Preservation Association (CEPA), a Cambodia-based NGO that supported community fisheries management.
  • Provincial Fisheries Office (PFO), authority dealing with illegal fishing. 
  • Department of Environment (DOE), pending enabling legislation, the DOE was responsible for managing resources, including community fisheries. In practice, the PFO had greater influence than the DOE.
  • Ramsar Rangers had the authority to detain individuals conducting illegal activities, but lacked training and resources.
  • Provincial governor provided support for agencies that supported community fisheries.
  • Community Council reported illegal fishing to the police, planned and prioritized village-level projects, and negotiated support from line departments and NGOs.

What made the project successful?

  • The project promoted an integrated cooperative approach to wetlands management at regional, national and local levels.
  • Involvement of national and local stakeholders in developing wetland planning and management mechanisms.
  • Combining conventional economic valuation with participatory rural appraisals (PRA): the study went beyond quantitative assessment to understand the context in which resource-use decisions were made by communities,
  • Evaluated the linkages between poverty and the importance of wetland resources.
  • In consultation with stakeholders, the constraints and opportunities for using valuation in key planning processes were identified.
  • Took a broader look at the processes that affected the use and management of wetlands (including fisheries).

How was success measured?

Economic impacts:

  • Costs and benefits of conservation management regimes
  • How benefits were redistributed to cover the costs of conservation
  • Level of funding of wetland management initiatives by outside agencies and government

Social factors:

  • Levels of local- and national-level advocacy and awareness of issues that promoted wetlands resources value to villagers
  • Poverty alleviation
  • Quantifiable links between wetland status and improved livelihoods

Environmental factors:

  • Biodiversity status
  • Conservation initiatives implemented
  • Presence of long term development and investment plans

Institutional:

Cambodia’s international commitment to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands