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Mr. Delali B.K. DOVIE
Department of Animal, Plant & Environmental Sciences
University of the Witwatersrand, JOHANNESBURG
South Africa


Management of Non-Wood Forest Products like most biological resources have experienced several drawbacks in the past due to perpetuation of pseudo-facts resulting from the pressure on researchers and resource managers to quickly deliver results. This has apparently resulted in undermining management and development objectives of the resources. As a result, local resource users and other stakeholders are excluded, and deprived of benefits due them, and ultimately reducing the role of sustainable management. It has however been observed that commitment and clarity, representation of all stakeholders, provision of skills, time and group dynamics through a participatory approach are important ingredients of management (Buchy & Hoverman, 2000). The challenge therefore is to develop consensus and understanding of NWFP operations and to promote and implement a sustained framework for merging scientific results with management goals in planning. This presentation proposes an interactive model of addressing the issue, interfacing management and scientific interests with other stakeholders through a Community Conservation Interface (CCI) model.

Understanding Community Conservation

Community Conservation (CC) is an approach to managing biological resources and can be described as a derivative of Ecosystem-Based Management (EBM), similar to Integrated Conservation and Development Projects (ICDP) and Community-Based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM). Defined as a “new form of partnership development among all stakeholders directly or indirectly involved in the utilization and management of a biological resource”, community conservation has implications for resource planning and ecosystem science in development.

The knowledge of EBM may often engage the integration of various disciplines of socio-cultural and economic origins involving collaboration and focusing on the broader ecosystem at all levels (Slocombe 1993, 1998). However, operations of CC first recognize livelihood impacts on sustainable utilization as a baseline for integration and from which the CCI model has been developed. This is therefore a useful model for developing and implementing a framework for planning and managing NWFP operations.

Operating the CCI Model

The CCI model fully recognizes the difficulties and redundancies associated with scientists or researchers and managers in developing management strategies acceptable to both. Some of these handicaps have been noted to be lack of consensus building, degenerating into institutional territoriality; lack of partnership; absence of higher ethical principles; inadequate coordination of goals; lack of recognition of resources without formal markets and respect for local and indigenous knowledge (Slocombe 1998, Rogers & Biggs, 1998). The CCI initiative however promises to resolve most of these predicaments of management through a more interactive process of setting goals and objectives that are reasonable and achievable, and possessing ideal attributes.

The CCI model (Fig. 1) offers several opportunities of sharing ideas, accepting realities of issues, building consensus and developing sound partnership. These are broken down as follows:

Fig. 1: The Community Conservation Interface Model

Fig. 1

Vision at CCI Seat

The seat of CCI is the coordinating body of all management operations with the aim of resolving differences in goals of all stakeholders, building and enhancing knowledge capital for effective and informed participation. Further adopting and integrating ethical and democratic principles, and values into policy frameworks of key actors and stakeholders, and finally enhancing information services and communication linkages for informed participation of local key actors, groups and networks.


Managing natural resources without the virtues of multiplicity and diversity to link management rights and the role of local people who have lived with these resources for decades may undermine conservation objectives. The ultimate threat of this could be difficulty in attaining desired goals hence a potential flaw that can trigger unsustainable harvesting. The use of the CCI model through the community conservation concept promises a more pragmatic and adaptive strategy for managing these resources, and further enhancing the resolution of conflicts between researchers, managers and other stakeholders. Finally, the model represents a strong institutional amalgamation required for sustainable management of natural resources.

Literature Cited

Buchy, M. & S. Hoverman, 2000. Understanding public participation in forest planning: a review. Forest Policy and Economics 1: 15–25.

Dovie, B.D.K. 2000. Who counts most? - Managing Non-Wood Forest Products operations through the “Community Conservation Interface” Model. FAO/ECE/ILO Seminar on Harvesting of Non-Wood Forest Products, 2nd–8th October 2000, Izmir, Turkey.

Rogers, K. & Biggs, H. 1998. Integrating indicators, endpoints and value systems in strategic Management of the rivers of the Kruger National Park. Freshwater Biology. 41:439–451.

Slocombe, D.S. 1993. Environmental Planning, ecosystem science, and ecosystem approaches for integrating environment and development. Environmental Management 17(3): 289–303.

Slocombe, D.S. 1998. Defining goals and criteria for ecosystem-based management. Environmental Management 22: 483–493.

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