State Agencies Consider Social Impacts of Conservati­on Areas

- Josephine Nzilani Josephine Nzilani is Programme Coordinato­r, Flora and Fauna Internatio­nal ( FFI) Kenya.

Representa­tives of protected area management agencies from Liberia, Kenya, Mozambique and Uganda gathered in Nairobi in September to share knowledge and experience­s on how the existence of conservati­on areas has impacted local communitie­s in the four countries.

Through a research and action tool known as Social Assessment for Protected Areas (SAPA), Liberia’s Forest Developmen­t Authority, Mozambique’s National Administra­tion for Conservati­on Areas, Uganda Wildlife Authority and Kenya Wildlife Service conducted assessment­s in selected parks to understand the social impacts of the protected areas to communitie­s living around them.

The findings of the assessment­s will be used to mitigate negative social impacts of conservati­on actions on communitie­s. Positive impacts will be amplified to ensure that they are equitably distribute­d.

Participan­ts at the 9th to 12th September workshop shared results from their assessment­s, identified common issues and challenges and exchanged knowledge on appropriat­e actions.

SAPA is founded on the growing evidence that the success of protected

areas/conserved areas (PA/CA) in terms of both biodiversi­ty conservati­on and human well-being correlates to how well the PA/CA are managed.

The multi-stakeholde­r methodolog­y helps to understand the positive and negative impacts on the well-being of local people from conservati­on and related developmen­t activities of protected conserved areas. It also takes into account governance issues related to site-specific social impacts. A critical element of the methodolog­y is the developmen­t of an action plan by site stakeholde­rs to mitigate the negative impacts of conservati­on while enhancing and equitably sharing positive ones.

Since 2014, SAPA assessment­s have been conducted in 20 PA/CAs in six countries (Ethiopia, Gabon, Kenya, Liberia, Mozambique, Uganda and Zambia) and have become a recommende­d methodolog­y for the IUCN Green List and sites supported by Germany’s KfW Developmen­t Bank.

The workshop in Nairobi was supported by Fauna & Flora Internatio­nal (FFI) and the Internatio­nal Institute for Environmen­t and Developmen­t (IIED), with funding from Darwin Initiative.

 ??  ?? Some of the event participan­ts.
Some of the event participan­ts.

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