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Natural resource management by rural citizens in developing countries: innovations still required


We summarise the main issues related to Community-Based Natural Resource Management which were discussed at an International Workshop organized in Niamey, Niger, in March 2008. The objective of the workshop was to compare and contrast different development-oriented biodiversity conservation and natural resource management approaches as they exist across Africa. These approaches were explored following (1) the fundamentals of natural resource management in relation to local development and livelihoods and (2) the multi-functional nature of land use. The major topics subject to debate were the dichotomy between strictly protected areas and conservation areas including human activities; the importance of legitimate, people-centred conservation, as opposed to legal (drawn from the law) conservation; the key role of market instruments, participatory approaches, interdisciplinarity and local governance; and finally the strong relationships between agriculture and biodiversity conservation, especially at landscape level. We then provide a short summary of the 12 papers addressing the above topics and selected for the Special Issue of Biodiversity and Conservation on “Natural Resource Management and Local Development” (Vol xx, No xx, 2009).

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A regional platform on natural resource management by and for local communities (Harare, Zimbabwe:


Communal Areas Management Programme for Indigenous Resources


Community-Based natural Resource Management


Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement (French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development)


Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora


Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations


Fonds Français pour l’Environnement Mondial (French Global Environmental Facility)


Integrated Conservation and Development Project


International Union for Conservation of Nature


Man and the Biosphere


Millennium Ecosystem Assessment


Payment for Ecosystem Services


Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation


TransFrontier Conservation Area


United Nations


United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity


United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change


United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification


Programme Régional Parc W/Ecosystèmes Protégés en Afrique Soudano-Sahélienne


World Wide Fund for Nature


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Correspondence to Emmanuel Torquebiau.

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Torquebiau, E., Taylor, R.D. Natural resource management by rural citizens in developing countries: innovations still required. Biodivers Conserv 18, 2537–2550 (2009).

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  • Community conservation
  • Conservation agriculture
  • Landscape
  • Legitimacy of conservation
  • Livelihoods
  • Local governance
  • Niger
  • Protected areas
  • Rural development
  • W Regional Park
  • Zimbabwe