Print this page

Participatory approaches

The philosophy of participation gives guidance in how to involve and inspire concerned local parties in a CWR in situ conservation process. Participatory approaches present many opportunities for sustainable CWR in situ conservation. It is important to also consider the challenges this practice can entail with limited local understanding and capacity, in order to support the participatory methods successfully.

This module introduces the concept of community participation and participatory approaches applicable for CWR in situ conservation planning and action.

Let the locals lead

Community participation is key to achieving sustained CWR in situ conservation; however, scientists often have limited knowledge of how to apply participatory approaches, leading to the exclusion of local and indigenous communities from the conservation planning and development process.

Local and indigenous communities maintain intimate knowledge of their natural environments and the wild plant species, including CWR, surrounding them. This module introduces the concept of community participation and participatory approaches available for the planning and implementation of CWR in situ conservation projects. It aims to encourage an understanding of how to develop and utilize participatory approaches, what participation involves and the role it can play in various conservation settings.

To top

The challenges

Participatory processes are demanding and often involve a range of different perspectives, opinions and interpretations of goals and purposes which must be discussed and negotiated. This is important to consider as substantial resources may be required for capacity development and to fund community consultation and engagement; a long-term commitment is essential.

To ensure an effective participatory process, it is good practice to identify social (and natural) scientists in your organization and among others with skills and experience in using participatory methods and approaches with local and indigenous communities.

To top

Key opportunities

Working closely with communities can facilitate data gathering and provide insights into indigenous knowledge including, understanding and distribution of CWR, patters of use and potential threats. Participatory approaches also give local groups the opportunity to be involved in planning and partnerships and allow scientists to work with these communities to improve the management of habitats and CWR species. With additional capacity building support, these groups can become involved in the development and implementation of national action plans.

To top

Web Address of the page: