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Community Based Management of a Protected Area: The Case of GEPRENAF in Burkina Faso

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Type: Journal Article
Author: Vallino, Elena
Journal: International Journal of Social Forestry
Volume: 2
Page(s): 24-42
Date: 2009
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10535/10706
Sector: Forestry
Region: Europe
Subject(s): participatory conservation
protected areas
Abstract: "The present work analyzes the GEPRENAF project (West Africa Community-based Natural Resource and Wildlife Management Pilot Project) dealing with a threatened ecosystem in southern Burkina Faso. The project, funded by the World Bank, established a Protected Area and entrusted its management with the local village association AGEREF. This is the first empirical case study ever conducted about the protected area. The work assesses the socio-economic impact of the project on the local population. A qualitative field study was conducted, including review of the project documents, and interviews with focus groups and key persons. The following findings emerged from the study. On the one hand, the income generated by tourism activities, safari hunting and the establishment of value chains for non timber forest products is still low and sporadic. The scarcity of land for food crops due to the creation of the protected area is still an important concern. From an economic point of view, the management of the protected area is not a credible alternative to the traditional exploitation of natural resources, such as agriculture and grazing. On the other hand, the establishment of the reserve and the appointment of AGEREF to manage the park have meant significant institutional empowerment of the local community, and this has been essential to channel additional financial resources for infrastructures and micro-projects. Recommendations are advanced for improving the social and economic benefits of the project."

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