Capacity Building in a Forest Project, India Integration of Biodiversity aspects in development cooperation -a case study

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The report describes and analyses to what extent and how biodiversity aspects have been identified and addressed in the preparatory phase of a participatory forest management programme in the state of Orissa, India. Biodiversity issues were specifically addressed in the development of the programme. A main reason for this was the professional competence of Sida staff, as well as intimate knowledge of the situation in the country/area of cooperation, including knowledge of the policy/legal context in relation to biodiversity issues and related socio-economic issues. A main recommendation from the case study is that Sida staff be given sufficient time to 1) follow the international discourse and policy development in biodiversity-related areas; 2) acquire a high level of knowledge of the country-specific situation, and 3) undertake a genuine dialogue with the cooperation partners, with sufficient time for the actors concerned to reflect on and come back to crucial issues. The report further recommends that clear processes for participatory planning, monitoring and review be agreed upon early in the planning stage and that mechanisms be developed for the adherence to these processes. Of particular importance is the need to ensure that all interest groups are able to participate to sufficient degrees. Monitoring of biodiversity as part of natural resource management needs to be simple, based on local knowledge and an integral part of local management systems.

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