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How can the business skills of community-based organizations be improved? (6 answers)

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This question is about CBNRM Stocktaking in Botswana
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The stocktaking report identifies lack of entrepreneurial skills at the community level as one of the key challenges to improving and scaling up CBNRM in Botswana. One successful, true joint venture partnership is highlighted in the report: the Chobe Enclave Conservation Trust (CECT). Is the CECT model replicable for other CBNRM sites in the country? Are there other models or programs that should be considered when trying to improve business skills at the community level?

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Nov 15, 2011
Hello,

I could not agree with you more. but what I believe is not that the
developers stay with the community longer, but make the training such
that people see the actual value of the capacity built.

First and foremost, we must develop the user to see natural resources
as a business and once they see the value and appreciate that if they
manage these NR sustainably, they would benefit then the themselves
will pay much more attention on how they can sustain this themselves

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    Nov 4, 2011
    Dear all,

    That's a very pertinent question.

    In my opinion business skills shall be always administrated in a daily basis, through institutions that promotes CBNRM. however, since it has to be a constant topic, one way is share this responsibility with the private sector, in cases where there is a private sector investing in a community. For example, in case of Mozambique, where the communities benefits from 20% of forest exploitation revenue, it should be the private sector, who runs the forest cencession that could be train selected community members in increasing their business skills.

    In order for the communities to change their skills, they need to be in a constant practices, they need to be involved in a real business activities. Therefore, we also need to promote local natural resources business, such as honey, timber, other NTFP, where the communities are involved in planning and management of the business.

    That's part of my opinion. Would like to hear other colleagues suggestions as well.

    Cheers

    José Monteiro
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      Nov 7, 2011
      Jose:

      Thanks very much for your input into this question. For the case of Mozambique, I wonder how CBNRM stakeholders, promoters, and proponents can engage the private sector and encourage them to enter into TRUE joint venture partnerships with local communities. Is there any way CBNRM promoters and the government can encourage (or even require?) some capacity building of local community members? This could be suggested as part of a given company's corporate social responsibility policy (and it should be in their interests to be on good terms with the local communities where they operate). In the Mozambique report, there was one example of a best practice joint venture partnership: the Ndzou ecotourism camp. How can this best practice be replicated?
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        Nov 7, 2011
        Dear Tom,

        Thank you very much for sharing your ideas in this topic.

        I believe you real delivered the issue: capacity building! There are many
        CBNRM promoters, and I believe they are doing great work, but many of these
        promoter works with funds from donors outside Mozambique, and many of these
        promoter are under programs that doesn’t stand more than 4-5 years! Well, in
        my suggestion we need promoters that stay much longer with the communities,
        building capacity and promoting linking with the business world. Therefore,
        I defend that these promoter can start a capacity building program, but it
        should be taken over by private(long term) investor, where member with
        skills should be leading cascade training to other community members.

        Ndzou camp is an existing model, and I believe in the Ndzou camp model,
        because, the promoter is also the investor, and they are planning to live in
        the community for years. However, we (other stakeholders and promoters),
        cannot just stare and wait! We need to help this partnership, by addressing
        complementary activities, such as participatory training (business
        management, leadership, accounts, etc) to community members, so they can
        gain more in this type of models. The Government, shall regulate, and be
        ready to change things (legislation mostly) according to the lessons learned
        coming from implementation of these king of initiatives.

        I foresee community members running local business activities to sustain
        positive partnership, where the value of natural resources will continue
        increasing, benefiting the communities and the society.
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          Nov 15, 2011
          Hello,

          I could not agree with you more. but what I believe is not that the
          developers stay with the community longer, but make the training such
          that people see the actual value of the capacity built.

          First and foremost, we must develop the user to see natural resources
          as a business and once they see the value and appreciate that if they
          manage these NR sustainably, they would benefit then the themselves
          will pay much more attention on how they can sustain this themselves
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            Nov 16, 2011
            Ernest:

            Thanks very much for your input. I think you raise 2 important points:

            (1) Communities need to see natural resource management as a business.

            (2) Training and capacity building programs should not continue forever, but need an end point (or exit strategy).

            Regarding (1): what are your ideas on transforming communities' perceptions of NRM so that they see it as a business? How do we transform their perceptions? Are there any successful examples from Zambia?

            Regarding (2): how do we ensure that training or capacity building programs have a built-in exit strategy and that these strategies are executed? In other words, how do we ensure that the necessary skills are transferred to the communities in a finite timeframe?
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              Jan 18, 2012
              This is an interesting and informative discussion, and I would like to join by reporting on a key characteristic that I saw in comparing successful training programs in Niger, Mali, and Senegal. In each case, business management training was given in the context of running an actual business, even if a modest enterprise. For examples, when the business plan development course was given, it used information from an actual business; when cost: benefit analysis was taught, the class used real numbers to compare the viability of alternative business opportunities; and, when financial management training was given, the trainees used the books from their enterprise.

              In each of the successful cases observed, graduates not only managed enterprises in the sector for which they were trained (agriculture) but we found that in several cases, graduates had used their training to branch out into other sectors (e.g., commerce, small processing.

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Date CreatedWednesday, November 2, 2011 11:16 AM
Date ModifiedWednesday, November 2, 2011 11:16 AM
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