The past month, the Outreach Team visited 3 of the project sites in Moyamba District to continue capacity building among the local community leaders and elders focusing mainly on Land Use Planning Workshop.
The Land Use Planning Workshop was held for community leaders in partnership with the Paramount Chief’s representative to teach community leaders on long-term land use management plans to promote conservation. Outreach Officer, David Momoh explains “Land use planning is an important component of natural resources management and building the capacity of local leaders to understand their natural resources in their communities.” The participants were prompted to map out their communities and discuss future land use plans to promote biodiversity conservation. Aerial images were also shown to the community to better understand their current land use. This was especially effective as it allowed the leaders to visualize how much of their forest had been degraded because of farming and other various pressures. The Chief’s speaker used an analogy that was close to home stating “Farmers only manage when their food becomes small, eating as much as they want during the harvesting period, but leaving little for the planting season. It is the best practice to plan out when you’re food is plenty. In this same way, that’s how forests should be managed.” Communities were encouraged to make a plan now, while their forests are still intact.
The land use planning facilitated better community management for 18 local community leaders . The workshop urged the leaders to set up governance structures to begin creating by-laws for the protection of the forest and chimps and environments. “We encourage people to diversity their livelihoods in order to manage their resources sustainably”, Outreach Officer Edward Marah says.
The Outreach Team will continue to host workshops for community leaders their natural resources and take ownership of their land!