Management transfers: building capacities of grassroots communities
The goal of this activity is to build the capacity of grassroots communities (COBA or Communautés de base) so that they become more autonomous and are able to manage their own resources. This is a voluntary process; nothing is imposed to the communities.
“Usually, two thirds of the households are convinced by the transfer of natural resources management and one third does not want to be involved at the early stage,” says Appolinaire Razafimahatratra, Head of project in Fandriana-Marolambo.
Currently eight COBAs – approximately 900 households or 5,000 people – have volunteered for natural resources management transfers.
The process starts with the development of appropriate structures within the COBAs. Then, socioeconomic studies and forest surveys are carried out to better understand the communities’ habits and needs, and identify the threshold for sustainable use of natural resources.
The next step includes the drawing of a management plan for the perimeter where transfers will occur, with clear indication of the strictly protected zones and areas where use of natural resources is allowed.
The process continues with the elaboration of terms of references and a social convention (also known as “Dina”), and once the COBAs have been trained to use efficiently all the management tools, authorities will officially approve and sign the transfer of natural resources management to local communities.