IUCN Bangladesh Country Office has undertaken a six month extension to the initial CICMEA project. The second phase of the project is designed to empower local communities to liaise with the local government by enhancing their ability to raise issues and facilitate negotiations.
To improve the role of communities in effective implementation of Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) and relevant national strategies and action plans on biodiversity conservation and climate change.
• Strengthen links and understanding between communities and MEAs
• Enhance the capacity of community in implementing MEAs
• Stimulate and promote community sustainable learning processes
• Strengthen the feedback of local opinion and knowledge to the macro-policy-making at the local government levels
The project location is 30km north of Dhaka in central Bangladesh. The community involved with the project is located within the Durgapur Union of the Kapasia Upazila in the Gazipur District.
The project focuses exclusively on the local community of the Durgapur union.
Key stakeholders are:
• Major community groups
• School and college teachers
• Local NGOs
• Union Parishad (local government level) representatives
• Civil society
• Government service providers
• Methodology developed, incorporating community participatory mapping of the local areas.
• Completed individual maps of ward (cluster of several villages), highlighting features such as forests, rivers, canals and other water bodies e.g. beel, housing and fruit gardens, rice and vegetable fields, irrigation channel, sluice gate, etc.
• Collate all maps to produce a single map of the entire project site for the Durgapur union
• The local Union Parishad is using the maps as planning, management and negotiation tools for biodiversity and disaster management.
• Process and outputs clearly recorded, documented and made available.
• Dissemination of knowledge and methodology collected during the project to the local community
Building on the knowledge gathered in CICMEA
The knowledge gathered under CICMEA forms the basis of CICMEA 2.0. Capacity building of the selected communities will be taken from the assessments provided in the previous phase. The selection of community participation for this phase is based on the communities involved with the original CICMEA consultations and other IUCN activities.
The project anticipates multi-stakeholder participation. Along with the local community it expects local governmental institutions, development NGOs, school children and teachers, and university researchers to be involved in different project activities.
Data collection, documentation and development of maps as communication and management tools will be undertaken with assistance from the local community. This multi-stakeholder approach will not only improve the interaction among the stakeholders, but also facilitate knowledge transfer between traditional methods and advanced technology.
Focusing on biodiversity, climate variability and traditional knowledge
The initiative will concentrate in three main areas, namely i) biodiversity, including agriculture, ii) climate variability including disaster management and iii) traditional and indigenous knowledge. Data collection, arrangement and utilization will be adjusted according to these focus areas.
Involving local government institutions and community-based organizations (CBOs)
Leaders of the relevant Union Parishad (UP) and existing CBOs should be actively involved in the learning process and implementation process. If possible, the exercise will be considered as a UP-led activity. Involvement of UPs and CBO representation will not only strengthen the participatory aspect of the initiative, but also enhance environmental governance and governance in general at local level.
Following major activities will be undertaken in the current phase of CICMEA.
• Inform local communities, including local leaders, of selected sites with project objectives.
• Develop methodology for data collection.
• Organize participatory data collection workshops.
• Develop maps with community participation.
• Conduct follow-up meetings with UP for utilizing the maps in decision-making and negotiation purposes.
• Organize national symposium for experience and knowledge sharing.
• Undertake documentary filming of the project development, highlighting community engagement, workshops and field work. The United Nations University will take the lead of the documentary production.
• Distribute resources developed during the project.
Participatory Mapping: Learning Process
The second phase will be implemented only in the Durgapur union. The local people will be provided information using the communication materials developed in CICMEA.
Through training workshops, communities will also be introduced to Japan’s Jimotogaku method or ‘localogy’, also known as the neighbourhood study method. This method of community learning involves walking, exploring, communicating and sharing the observations and perceptions of the local community. Through this process communities will identify their i) challenges ii) explore their self-capacity, iii) realize local solutions and iv) share their experience. This format creates the opportunity to readily share experiences and knowledge. The needs of local communities and local government will also be assessed throughout the process.
Timeframe: June 2009 – 4 December 2009.