Building Support 6.2: IBA Conservation Networks
The diversity of threats facing IBAs means that there is a need to pool resources and expertise in order to address them. At the same time, the diversity of approaches to IBA conservation currently being adopted means that there is also a need to document lessons learned, identify and replicate successful approaches, and develop models of best practice. Consequently, networks of stakeholders engaged in IBA conservation should be established and strengthened.
Such networks could comprise a diversity of individuals and/or groups, including local NGOs, community-based organisations, Local Conservation Groups (LCGs), academics and protected area managers, with coordination provided by a national (BirdLife Partner) or other appropriate organisation. The functions of these networks would depend upon the needs and capacities of their members but could potentially include the exchange of information, technical expertise and experience within and between networks, development and replication of best practice approaches to IBA conservation, or coordinated action on campaigning or awareness raising. In addition, by including both grassroots local organisations and organisations working at the national level, these networks would be able to feed information about the impacts of government and donor plans and policies at the site level into policy at the national level.
Risks and critical elements
The management of networks so diversified in composition and geographically dispersed can be complex and time consuming. Leadership, good internal communications and reporting is crucial. Differently from the NLCs of main stakeholders and decision makers, these IBA networks are basically a group of people interested in “action”, stretching from surveying to campaigning, education to site management. It is critical, therefore, that the members of the network feel empowered and that the support provided by the network help them achieve better conservation.
- Conserving Biodiversity In Africa: Guidelines for applying the Site Support Group Approach - BirdLife publication (English, 1.25MB)
- Conserving Biodiversity In Africa: Guidelines for applying the Site Support Group Approach - BirdLife publication (French, 1.25MB)
- IBA LOCAL CONSERVATION GROUPS: BirdLife’s Approach To Working Locally for IBAs (PDF, 165KB)
- IBA Local Conservation Groups and Caretakers: Learning from Early Experience and Future Directions (PDF, 1.36MB)
- Calling Nature's Caretakers - BirdLife feature article (August, 2006).
- Local Groups scoring Goals, September 2005 (Feature)
- Guidelines for the establishment of Site-support Groups in the conservation of IBAs in Africa (IBA Toolkit, Appendix 4) (PDF, 214KB)
- CASE-STUDY: Reviving Our Traditions in Conserving Natural Resources (WESCANA E-newsletter, August 2005) (PDF, 213KB)
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