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The Challenge of Ownership in the Communal Management of Natural Resources by the Local Political Decision Makers and of Gender Mainstreaming: The Case of Protected Areas in Senegal

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Sanogo, Diaminatou; Diop, Rokhaya; Kabato, Celestin; Gomis, Patrick; Thior, Pascal; Butare, Innocent
Conference: Sustaining Commons: Sustaining Our Future, the Thirteenth Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of the Commons
Location: Hyderabad, India
Conf. Date: January 10-14
Date: 2011
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/7234
Sector: General & Multiple Resources
Region: Africa
Subject(s): resource management
natural resources
local governance and politics
decision making
protected areas
Abstract: "To cope with ecological, socio-economical and demographical changes, the rural populations in Senegal have tried to combat the degradation of their environment by promoting some local adaptation strategies. Indeed, in several areas, the populations have taken the initiative of restricting some inter-village forestry and pastoral land ranges to exploitation, so as to protect, conserve and use them to cater to their various needs. These local management measures are not, in most cases, taken into account by the rural council which is the local institution mandated for the management of the natural resources by virtue of Decree No. 96-1134 as of December 27th 1996. The Decree addresses the implementation of the act of law relative to the transfer of authority to the provinces, communes and rural communities with respect to the management of the environment and of natural resources. Most of the local representatives are more concerned with the other functions rather than those related to natural resource management. Yet, the populations they represent earn their livelihood mainly from the exploitation of the available natural resources. This work examines the difficulties the populations face so as to succeed socially and above all benefit properly from the favorable socio-economic consequences of these protected areas in the absence of any external support. On the basis of a socio-economic, organizational, and institutional evaluation as well as gender-based studies that considered situations with or without any external support, we pay close attention to local mechanisms of support to the populations with communal local initiatives; to empowerment of the local decision-making representatives in charge of the environment; to dialogue between communities and local stakeholders; and to the level of creativity in mobilizing the required financial resources."

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