The World Forestry Congress took place from 7 to 11 September in Durban (South Africa). Our Technical Director Hugh Doulton was invited by FAO to present an article on the integrated approach to landscape management used by Dahari in the Comoros.
Hugh, what is the article about and what’s its objective ?
I wrote the article in collaboration with Dr Gill Shepherd of the IUCN, my Dahari colleagues Misbahou Mohamed, Badroudine Ali, and Siti Mohamed, and Neil Maddison of Bristol Zoological Society. The article presents Dahari’s ‘landscape’ approach, which integrates natural resource management, biodiversity conservation, and human development in one intervention. We wrote the article to explain the approach and the actions Dahari has led in the Comoros since 2008. The landscape approach is a term widely used, but few practical examples exist.
How was the article’s presentation received in South Africa?
The article was presented at the congress under the theme « integratingforests and other land uses ».The other presenters on the theme were mostly researchers, so I think the audience appreciated having a concrete example of integration. As with all conferences where I’ve presented, few people present knew of the Comoros! The audience was touched by the severe loss of forest and water resources affecting the Comoros, Anjouan especially. The discussion after my presentation was mainly on the risk of ‘mission creep’, which is a term to describe when intervention stretches to solve a greater variety of problems than originally intended. We also discussed the importance of adaptive management in the landscape approach: it is a continuous circle of learning and adaptation.
Did your participation in the congress bear any fruit?
It was a pleasure to represent Dahari at the congress. As in all the conferences I’ve participated in, people were very interested to learn about the Comoros, since it is rarely heard of in the conservation and development field. I met many researchers, NGOs, and international organizations. It’s always difficult to convert such contacts into concrete collaborations, but since the conference, we have discussed with FAO on the possibility of collaborating in the Comoros. We have submitted a request for funding to have a researcher from the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) in Nairobi come conduct a study on a partnership for the development of agroforestry in the Comoros. It would be great for Dahari to collaborate with these globally-recognized institutions.
Dahari also won a blog writing contest, can you tell us about it?
Several contests were organized around the World Forestry Congress: design contests, photo contests, and writing contests. Dahari participated in a blog writing contest organized by the blog Forests2015. We chose to write an article on natural resource management at Adda, focusing on the story of Nabouhane Abdallah, one of the farmers involved since the beginning of our intervention in 2008. We illustrated the actions taking place at Adda, explaining that they later became a model for intervention for the entire forest region of Moya.
After gaining enough online votes, our article was selected by the jury. We won first place in our category and received a GoPro, which we look forward to using to film our successes in the field.
To find out more about the World Forestry Congress : https://forests2015.wordpress.com/
To view the winning blog article “Les agriculteurs comoriens se mobilisent pour préserver leur forêt » (Comoran farmers mobilize to save their forest) : https://forests2015.wordpress.com/2015/07/29/les-agriculteurs-comoriens-se-mobilisent-pour-preserver-leur-foret/