Engaging indigenous peoples and local communities in the participatory management of protected areasMar 2, 2017
Kaeng Krachan Forest Complex, Phetchaburi Province
28 February to 2 March 2017
A three-day training workshop on “Engaging indigenous peoples and local communities in participatory management of protected areas and benefit sharing” was organized from 28 February to 2 March 2017 at the Kaeng Krachan Forest Complex, Phetchaburi Province, Thailand. The training workshop was designed to strengthen the technical knowledge and skills of staff of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation in engaging indigenous peoples and local communities in participatory management of protected areas and World Heritage Sites to enhance their effectiveness.
A total of 64 participants attended the training workshop. 45 of the participants were from National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries of Thailand, and the remaining from International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN); World Wildlife Fund (WWF); Freeland Foundation; Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS); the Center for People and Forests (RECOFTC); and the UNDP/GEF-Small Grants Programme (GEF SGP). The training workshop was jointly organized by IUCN Thailand; the Thai Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation; and the Global Support Initiative for Indigenous Peoples and Community-Conserved Territories and Areas (ICCA-GSI) delivered through the GEF SGP with additional funding from the Government of Germany (BMUB).
The training workshop disseminated a Thai language translation of the UNESCO World Heritage Paper Series #40 ‘Engaging Local Communities in the Stewardship of World Heritage’, and was facilitated by the authors of the report, Dr. Terence Hay-Edie (UNDP/GEF SGP) and Ms. Jessica Brown (New England Biolabs Foundation, USA); Dr. Chamniern Vorratnchaiphan and Mr. Petch Manopawitr (IUCN Thailand).
The training workshop was very interactive with a mix of group work, panel discussions, and knowledge sharing from over a decade of experience from the Community Management of Protected Areas for Conservation (COMPACT) initiative implemented in eight natural World Heritage Sites in Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean, and Asia. Key topics covered included: (a) COMPACT case study experience from the Philippines; (b) overview, issues and challenges for protected areas in Thailand; (c) engaging local communities in the stewardship of World Heritage; (d) COMPACT planning frameworks and tools for facilitation of community dialogues; (e) IUCN landscape governance types; and (f) GEF-SGP programming priorities for Thailand during the 6th Operational Phase (2016-2020).
Protected area participants expressed that knowledge and skills learned from the workshop were useful, and would help Thai national parks enhance community participation and engagement in the management and governance of protected areas, including existing UNESCO World Heritage Sites, as well as tentative list sites, in Thailand.