Ecosystem Approach

Ecosystem Approach Sourcebook - Case-Study Details

1. Project Details
Author or Responsible Organization R D Smith and E Maltby. (2003) 'Using the Ecosystem Approach to Implement the Convention on Biological Diversity: Key issues and case studies. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK x + 118pp.
Project Title The Pendjari Biosphere Reserve, Benin
Date of Publication
Project Status Ongoing
Project Start Date
Project End Date
Countries Benin
Regions Africa
Funding Source
2. Background to Project
Project Issue/Problem Statement The management of Pendjari was failing, as it formerly prioritised conservation for the benefit of tourism and neglected the need for grazing land and the economic needs of the local population. This led to significant poaching.
Project Description Pendjari has been a protected area since 1954 and a Biosphere Reserve since 1986.Initially, management of the protected area was for conservation for the benefit of tourists. This system had limited success due to social and technical difficulties. For example, although every year thousands of domestic animals (particularly cattle) undertook seasonal migrations through the reserves this use conflicted with management objectives. Biosphere Reserve management has since implemented an integrated approach with some success. These are the key changes in management: •Management that seeks to integrate the interests of all parties. •Initiation of community participation in management. • Grazing rights that have been formalised as part of a strategy to ensure that livestock rearing is sustainable and does not compromise the conservation objectives of the reserve. • Allowing agriculture in designated areas within the reserve. •Organisation of fruit picking and hunting so as to ensure its sustainability. • Allowing ritual use by local communities. • Transfer of some hunting revenues to the local community.
Highlighted Aspects of Ecosystem Approach • Conservation, equitable sharing of benefits and the sustainable use of biological diversity are addressed. • The importance of providing alternative livelihood strategies outside the reserve is emphasised. Tourist guides have been employed as a benefit sharing measure. • The importance of inter-ecosystem linkages is recognised and the impact of agriculture in surrounding areas on the biosphere reserve is being examined. In particular, the impact on the river of pesticides used in cotton growing requires investigation. • Goods and services included grazing resource, hunting, fishing, firewood, fruit and cultural/religious value. • Benefit sharing has been strengthened through granting of use, access and some hunting revenues to local communities. • New legislation has been prepared and is being examined by the authorities with a view to legalising the participation of local communities in the management of the reserve. • The Ecosystem Approach may provide a basis for negotiating an agreement with Burkina Faso for the harmonisation of certain practices, especially fishing. At present, Benin forbids all commercial fishing in the frontier stretch of the Pendjari River, which borders the national park, while Burkina Faso is intensifying its fisheries activities in the same waters on its side of the river. • It is hoped that development agencies use the Ecosystem Approach to harmonise their assistance. For example, the European Union has funded the protection of the Pendjari National Park while simultaneously financing the development of fishing in the Pendjari River. Similarly, the World Bank supports the management programme for protected areas at the same time as it promotes the cultivation of cotton around, and in some cases within, these areas. • Developing ecological monitoring is a priority and support is needed.
Conclusions • The Ecosystem Approach can be used to support the Biosphere Reserve through promotion of transboundary cooperation and harmonisation of development assistance. •Conservation goals are best achieved if local economic and cultural needs are also met.
3. Sectors and Biomes
Sectors Agriculture
Biomes Forest Biodiversity
4. Tools and Approaches
Tools and Approaches   Relevance
Public Participation 3-High
- Community based methods 3-High
Governance, Law and Policy 3-High
- Legislation and treaties 3-High
- Policy development, planning and reform 3-High
Management and Incentives 3-High
- Practical management techniques 3-High
- Conservation enterprises/Diversification 3-High
Data, Monitoring and Modelling 3-High
Protected Areas and Land Use Policy 3-High
- Protected/managed areas 3-High
Cross-sectoral Research and Working 3-High
5. Issues
Issues   Relevance
Public Participation 3-High
Sustainable Use of Biodiversity 3-High
Tourism and Biodiversity 3-High
Traditional Knowledge, Innovations and Practices - Article 8(j) 3-High
Transboundary Conservation 3-High
6. Ecosystem Approach
Principles and Operational Guidance   Relevance
(Only if NOT relevant)
Principle 1: The objectives of management of land, water and living resources are a matter of societal choices 3-High
Principle 2: Management should be decentralized to the lowest appropriate level 3-High
Principle 3: Ecosystem managers should consider the effects (actual or potential) of their activities on adjacent and other ecosystems 3-High
Principle 4: Recognizing potential gains from management, there is usually a need to understand and manage the ecosystem in an economic context 3-High
Principle 5: Conservation of ecosystem structure and functioning, in order to maintain ecosystem services, should be a priority target of the ecosystem approach 3-High
Principle 6: Ecosystem must be managed within the limits of their functioning 3-High
Principle 7: The ecosystem approach should be undertaken at the appropriate spatial and temporal scales 3-High
Principle 8: Recognizing the varying temporal scales and lag-effects that characterize ecosystem processes, objectives for ecosystem management should be set for the long term 3-High
Principle 9: Management must recognize the change is inevitable 3-High
Principle 10: The ecosystem approach should seek the appropriate balance between, and integration of, conservation and use of biological diversity 3-High
Principle 11: The ecosystem approach should consider all forms of relevant information, including scientific and indigenous and local knowledge, innovations and practices 3-High
Principle 12: The ecosystem approach should involve all relevant sectors of society and scientific disciplines 3-High
Operational Guidance A: Focus on the relationships and processes within ecosystem 3-High
Operational Guidance B: Enhance benefit-sharing 3-High
Operational Guidance C: Use adaptive management practices 3-High
Operational Guidance D: Carry out management actions at the scale appropriate for the issue being addressed, with decentralization to lowest level, as appropriate 3-High
Operational Guidance E: Ensure intersectoral cooperation 3-High
7. Lessons Learned and the Outcomes
Lessons Learned • The Ecosystem Approach can be used to support the Biosphere Reserve through promotion of transboundary cooperation and harmonisation of development assistance. •Conservation goals are best achieved if local economic and cultural needs are also met.
Other Information
8. References
References Smith, R.D. & Maltby, E. (2003) Using the Ecosystem Approach to Implement the Convention on Biodiversity: Key issues and case studies. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, Uk x + 118pp.
9. Contact Details
Contact Person Ms. Diana Mortimer
Job Title Ecosystem Approach Officer
Organization Joint Nature Conservation Committee
Address Monkstone House, City Road,
Postal Code PE13 4LA
City Peterborough
ZIP/State/Province Cambs
Telephone +44 1733 866857
Fax +44 1733 555948
E-mail Address