Integrated Conservation and Development Project

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Integrated conservation and development projects (ICDPs) are biodiversity conservation projects with rural development components. This is an approach that aspires to combine social development with conservation goals(Hughes and Flintan 2001). These projects look to deal with biodiversity conservation objectives through the use of socio-economic investment tools. The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) first introduced ICDPs in the mid 1980s. They wanted to attend to some of the problems associated with the “fines and fences” (nonparticipatory) approach to conservation (4-Abdoulaye Ndiaye 2001).

ICDPs under WWF[edit]

The Wildlands & Human Needs Program was initiated in 1985 by WWF and incorporated19 ICDPs in 12 countries in Africa and South America. They wanted to improve the quality of life of rural people through projects that integrated the management of natural resources with economic development. Today there are around 300 ICDPs (1-Hughes and Flintan 2001).

Various names of ICDPs[edit]

ICDPs have many different names like “People-Centered Conservation and Development”, “Eco-development”, “grassroots conservation”, community-based natural resource management (CBNRM) and community wildlife management (CWM). All of which were created by the conservation organizations, rather than the indigenous people (2-Chapin 2004).

Characteristics of ICDPs[edit]

Biodiversity conservation is the primary goal, but ICDPs also like to deal with the social and economic requirements of communities who might threaten biodiversity. They wish to improve the relationships between state-managed protected areas and their neighbors, but do not inevitably seek to delegate ownership of protected area resources to local communities. They usually receive funding from external sources and are externally motivated and initiated by conservation organizations and development agencies. ICDPs are normally linked to a protected area, usually a national park. (1-Hughes and Flintan 2001) ICDPs, through benefit sharing, are believed to discourage poaching and promote economic development. ICDPs try to benefit indigenous populations in several ways: through the transfer of money from tourism, the creation of jobs, and the stimulation of productivity in agriculture (3-Johannesen 2006).

ICDP assumptions[edit]

ICDPs make many assumptions during their project implementations, each of which may prove true or not:

  1. Diversified local livelihood options will reduce human pressures on biodiversity, leading to improved conservation.
  2. Local people and their livelihood practices comprise the most important threat to the biodiversity resources of the area in question.
  3. ICDPs offer sustainable alternatives to traditional approaches of protected areas management.

(1-Hughes and Flintan 2001)

Critiques of ICDPs[edit]

Conservation organizations do not necessarily understand the social and economic arenas they are trying to work in. They are the ones to start the ICDPs, rather than the rural people, and have little experience working with communities. They are also unwilling to bear or support legal battles over land and are not willing to strengthen rural organizations because they find it to be “too political” (1-Hughes and Flintan 2001). However, WWF claims that ICDPs strengthen local organizations and "broker new land-use agreements between governments and communities, and helping communities challenge encroachment upon their natural resources, ICDPs involve local communities to improve livelihoods and conservation" (6-WWF).
Agroforestry and organic gardening projects do not work as well because it is difficult for indigenous people to market what is grown. [1]
Minority ethnic groups and women are many times not accounted for in the redistribution of costs and benefits. There are many limitations on participation by women, so many feel there are not equal opportunities for all people within the community.
External effects like a growing market demand for forest and wildlife products, demographic pressures and vested interests like illegal logging, mineral extraction and ranching often go disregarded by ICDPs.
In addition, community-based conservation projects are often found to be divergent to the goals of biodiversity conservation, and should be based more on biological sciences. As stated by Katrina Brandon with, “Not all things can be preserved through use” (2-Chapin 2004).
Another problem is that some of the ICDPs that are funded internationally may not be financially or economically sustainable once their external funding has been exhausted.

Examples of ICDPs[edit]

For ICDPs to be successful Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) systems need to be institutionalized and unnecessary data needs to be avoided.

Related books[edit]

  • In the Dust of Kilimanjaro - David Western
  • Indonesia - World Bank
  • Investing in Biodiversity - Michael Wells

See also[edit]


Integrating Conservation and Development Experience Ross Hughes and Fiona Flintan, Copyright: 2001, International Institute for Environment and Development
World Watch: Vision for a sustainable world, A Challenge to Conservationists, Mac Chapin, Copyright: 2004, Worldwatch Institute
Designing integrated conservation and development projects (ICDPs): illegal hunting, wildlife conservation, and the welfare of the local people. Johannesen, AB (2006)
A Practitioner's View of Conservation and Development in Africa: Integrated Management and the Djoudj National Park in Senegal Abdoulaye Ndiaye, Copyright: 2001 Africa Today Consultants, Inc
  1. ^ Marcus and Kull. "Setting the Stage: The Politics of Madagascar's Environmental Efforts". African Studies Quarterly. Retrieved 15 November 2013. 

External links[edit]

Case Studies: