Local participation

Local participation can be described as empowering people to mobilise their own capacities, be social actors rather than passive subjects, manage the resources, make decisions, and con-trol the activities that affect their lives. Projects may be classified on the basis of their approaches to and relationships with the in-tended beneficiaries as

There are five main areas in which local people can participate in projects:
1. Information-gathering;
2. Consultation;
3. Decision-making;
4. Initiating action; and
5. Evaluation.

Local participation in conservation projects implies the consistent involvement of local people in strategic project issues rather than their occasional or limited involvement in day-to-day activities.

Two principal approaches to organising and sustaining community participation in projects can be identified:

Conflicts of interest are inherent between rural people's ability to earn a living and the man-agement of nearby protected areas. Projects can, and should try, to mitigate such conflicts of interest by promoting alternative income sources and education programmes. But the conflicts cannot be expected to disappear.