Development and Conservation of Forest resources

Involving stakeholders in development and conservation of Forest Resources through a holistic approach

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Eligibility Criteria

  • I confirm that I am fully aware of the eligibility criteria and terms of the Act for Biodiversity Challenge and that I am eligible to apply.
  • I am 18 years old or older.

Initiative's representative name

Jafar Shah

Initiative's representative date of birth

March 10,1957

Initiative's representative gender

  • Man

Headquarters location: country

  • Pakistan

Headquarters location: city

Mingora Swat

Where are you making a difference?

Swat Kohistan

Website or social media url(s)

http://www.caravanpk.org/app/site/ face book page: syed afar shah twitter: @s- jafarshah https://www.linkedin.com/in/jafar-shah-a5507320

Date Started

2005/06

Project Stage

  • Established (successfully passed early phases, have a plan going forward)

Yearly Budget : What is your current yearly budget for the initiative?

  • Less than €1k

Organization Type

  • Nonprofit/NGO

1. Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that led the founder(s) to get started or the story of how you saw the potential for this project to succeed.

Forest exploitation through strong mafia is a major issue in the area which is famous for its scenic beauty & Forest cover but the present trend of cutting & lack of integrated management in sustainable manner has further added to it,resulting in big damage to the forest resources,threats to bio diversity,frequent flooding ,sliding,extinction of precious tree, wild life, medicinal plants & edibles. The scenic beauty / Tourism affected.Negative effects on the health & incomes. And isssue of growing tension between owners & users & between Government & communities.While realising it, we planned to find meanigful ways to find sustainable solutions to it by developing guidelines to integrate biodiversity concerns in over all planning process.

2. The problem: What problem are you helping to solve?

1. Lack of Coordination & partnership between different stakeholders:Due to lack of coordination between stake holders,some people in Government department have upper hand & remain hidden partner to timber mafia.People are not involved in decision making.Users & owners roles not clear. Biodiversity in decline due to un sustainable resource use,cultural practices & Governance.2.Discourage Timber mafia & reduce pressure on forests. 3. Minimise hazards of Climate changes, threats to Bio diversity.

3. Your solution: How are you working to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.

Establishing joint stakeholders forums: Communities,both users & owners are organised into combined village forums. Due to traditional barriers, Women have separate organizations at village level. The grass root orgs then have formed apex organization.They elect their office bearers,establish office & coordinate with Government agencies to get informed choices ,resources & develop joint management strategies. Participatory planning methods i.e. Participatory Reflection and Actions ( PRA) methods are used for grass root level planning where owners,users and Govt concerned, joinntly develop micro plans with specific responsibilities, resource allocation & roles & responsibilities along with follow up plans & to integrate biodiversity concerns in decision making process.Initial start in our case was to identify forest areas for In Citu Conservation for certain time.No cutting,no grazing,no entry. In addition,women are given training in Tree nursery raising,kitchen gardening, minimal wood consumption for heating & cooking .The area is now fully protected( habitat for Wild life,diff plants) while planting conducted on baren forest& communal land.plants purchased from women nurseries.

4. Innovation: How are you innovating or using unique approaches to solve the problem?

We used participatory research & planning techniques through ( PRA) to find out problems & solution for it through a holistic & integrated resource management system. Organising stakeholders into joint forums gave positive results by empowering community to include them in decision making & give them roles & responsibilitues.They own the natural resources in true sense.Another approach is the useful use of Range lands through fresh plantation.Fodder & Fuel wood &fruit trees, are grown for immediate benefits & minimise huge pressure on existing Forests.In addition, the apex organization have established Check posts to control illegal timber smuggling.Integration of biodiversity concerns in planning remained CROSS CUTTING THEME at all levels.

5. Collaboration: How does your initiative seek to bring key players together to preserve biodiversity?

It is a replicable model for effective resource management & integrate Bio diversity concerns in overall decision making process where community is highly dependent on biodiversity interlinked with social system & economy. Economic stake created,traditions & rights of people safeguarded by integrating bio diversity into Forest management thru strong synergies as locals are main drivers of exploiting biodiversity & protected areas is core biodiversity protection approach.Project is presented at National & international leves.I,presented it at RECOFT Thailand in 2006 in Internationsl event (AFN) Undp financed our project initialyl. I am awarded Ashoka Fellowship award for this project while am nominated as member of Asia Forestry Network. Echo tourism promoted,While area is habitat for lot of Wild life. We have been in contact with Scientists for scientific research& technological innovations.Women involvement for their contribution in resource management is a mile stone initiative

6. Impact: how has your project made a difference so far — in terms of both business outputs and social impact? How do you plan on measuring progress?

Positive impacts observed. Coordination between Government &communities improving while social cohesion developed among commnities specially Owners & Users. Women have the feelings & courage that they can contribute in this domain too.Smughling mostly controlled .It is worth mentioning here that one of the Community Guards at a Forest Check post was killed in the initial stage of the project. Employees( Guards) of these check posts are paid by the communities) Another important thing happened in this area is that an ongoing Micro Hydel Project is also adopting the same approach to complete a hydro project by Government.A forum of local communities & project staff are jointly managing the project with special consideration to protection of Environment.The project ,is not allowed to cut trees while constructing channels. And distribution of water is monitored jointly. Awareness about Biodiversity is increased.Overall & specially Echo Tourism promoting.Many wild life take refuge here.

7. Growth strategies: what are your main strategies for scaling your impact?

Policy reforms, sample strategies &geographical spread are considered basic growth strategies together with political will. Let me add here that, while elected to the provincial Legislative Assembly, I made a presentation to the Assembly Standing Committee about replication of this model. In addition,as member / focal person of standing committees on SDGs and Climate change, I too, made such presentation. I also discussed about this approach in Dhakka international SDGs conference in 2012. The conference was developing concepts for SDGs( vision after 2015 and beyond). Out sourcing to NGOs could be a reasonabke option too. Scientific research,specially for effective utlisation of Range lands is also recommended. 40% range land in this part.

8. Creating shared value: How does your initiative create value for society? Or different stakeholders?

This has been our core approach here. Including all stake holders,( men,women,users,owners, Government ) has been the beauty of the model. It built confidence & trust between them & had its results visibly felt. Reducing the hazards of climate changes is a common phenomenon and tackling it with positive result seems a miracle. Society as a whole become sensised and are thinking for feasible solutions as such. The people in this part of the world like many others, are mainly depending on natural resources i.e. Forest, small lands,water &wild life. This is the core value shared actually. It gives strength to the notion" ACT LOCALLY, THINK GLOBALLY". Timber,plants,wild life,water need managemnt

9. Financial sustainability plan: can you tell us about your plan to fund your project and how that plan will be sustainable in the short, medium, and long term?

Yes. Involving concerned Hovernment agencies and connect them with communities has been the core concept for its sustainability. Once roles are defined,then the actors get together to get it continued. The model needs replication. It is now a joint and shared responsibility to get it replicated. Efforts are underway to sensitize policy makers on one hand and continue Advocacy through community forums on the other hand. Contacting Donors, too, has positive impacts here.

10. Team: what is the current composition of your current team (types of roles, qualifications, full-time vs. part-time, board members, etc.), and how do you plan to evolve the team’s composition as the project grows?

Team is comprised of sector prifessionals . NRM experts ,both full & short time are hired while the organisation has a competent management team. Community development specialists, social mobilisor &Gender experts are part of the team. Of course, there is a team of support/ admin staff too. A 7 member Board of Governors is in place. This is included of specialists in different fields with good experience. They are volunteers. The board besides over all monitoring is also playing advisisory role

11. How did you hear about this challenge?

  • Email

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