Conservation activities in the Northern Plains landscape are designed to address the problem of escalating biodiversity loss across by increasing human land and resource use.
This is being achieved through a multi-year, three-pronged approach involving:
- the introduction of biodiversity considerations into provincial-level land use planning processes;
- the demonstration of specific mainstreaming interventions at three key sites (including community land-use tenure, community contracts and incentives for biodiversity supportive land-use practices, as well as work to mainstream biodiversity into the forestry and tourism productive sectors), using the Landscape Species Approach (pioneered internationally by WCS) to identify the sites; and
- strengthening biodiversity management by government in a Wildlife Sanctuary and a Protected Forest within the Project area.
Local communities are being closely incorporated into local management of wildlife and natural resources by the Northern Plains project. Through Participatory Land Use Planning (PLUP), project staff are working with all villages in and around the two protected areas as part of strategic planning to ensure effective and popular conservation. This process gives communities greater authority over their land which reduces land speculation and illegal land-grabbing. Through this process we have also improved wildlife protection by developing community management of tourism sites.
We reinforce this by supporting law enforcement teams which are led by staff from the FA or MOE, and include team members from other agencies such as the Police. They operate by vehicle and on foot from a central headquarters, with additional guard posts located at strategic points within the protected areas. Patrols target major crimes such as logging, large-scale land-grabbing and commercial hunting. Activities are recorded and fed back to the teams using a computerised law enforcement monitoring system.