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3 Community Action Framework 

There are many benefits to be gained from adopting an inclusive approach to planning initiatives, some relating to public agencies and some to the communities themselves.


For public agencies, community engagement can assist in the identification of needs and problems, inform policy-making at a local level and help target services in the most appropriate manner. It can also provide feedback on the effectiveness of service delivery and identify where greater co-operation and co-ordination with other organisations and agencies are needed.

For the community, involvement allows local people to identify their own needs and priorities, opens up decision-making processes to those normally excluded such as young people, ethnic minorities and job creation, helps to build community spirit and a sense of local ownership, encourages an acceptance of responsibility and empowers individuals and groups to make environmental improvements.


Community engagement does not provide all the answers to the problems facing planning. However, working co-operatively can help to develop credibility and trust, lead to more flexible and creative responses to planning issues and provide a stable foundation on which to manage future change and uncertainty.


Public environmental education is the essential underpinning for both community action for conservation and for the funding of the conservation and research activities of conservation institutions.


In a global context the community action framework includes communities and local enterprises which sustainably harness biodiversity as a means of income generation by adopting sustainable production within the following categories: forest products (timber, palm fronds, pulp/paper products); non-timber forest products (such as rubber, resins, fruits, seeds, nuts); agricultural products (native crops, indigenous seeds, major and minor crops, roots, shoots and tubers, fruits, honey, beeswax); horticultural and botanical products (ornamental flowers, medicinal plants); agroforestry products (coffee, cocoa, cacao and other fruits); handicrafts and textiles (baskets, silk and cotton fabrics, embroidered clothing); personal care and health items (makeup, soaps, essential oils, medicinal plants and supplements); aquatic products (edible and ornamental fish, oysters, pearls, sea urchins, seaweed, sea moss); livestock products (ostrich, green beef); and insect products (butterflies).

For certification and marketing purposes, community biodiversity-based products may also be categorized by social group (women's products, indigenous/ traditional products, small farmers/fishers products), region (desert/rainforest products), productive scale (community products), and applicable marketing models (organic, fair trade, climate-friendly).



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