Community Management Organizations and Winrock International


Location: Bangladesh
Organizations Involved:
Winrock International Community Management Organizations
Author: Salem Osseiran, Peace Direct

Climate Resilience Ecosystems and Livelihoods (CREL) was a six-year, USAID-funded project implemented by a Winrock International-led consortium in tandem with Bangladeshi partners and government agencies, most notably the Bangladesh Forest Department (BFD). CREL sought to strengthen biodiversity protection and conservation in Protected Areas (PAs), such as wildlife sanctuaries. To accomplish this, CREL implemented a co- management model in these areas, promoted alternative livelihoods, and advocated at the national level for changes to the legal framework pertaining to forests.

Historically, the BFD viewed the interests local communities had in forests as incompatible with conservation. This approach disregarded the longstanding
economic relationships that communities had with forests, and excluded them from any relevant management decisions. Co-management, adopted by the BFD in 2008, entails a participatory structure whereby various stakeholders can negotiate and collaborate on how to manage natural resources. Hence, in exchange for their cooperation in protecting the forest, communities would be offered support in developing alternative livelihoods, as well as being entitled to receive a portion of funds generated from tourist activities. CREL, at the behest of the government of Bangladesh and with support from the BFD, sought to implement co-management in 29 PAs (including 7 from IPAC, a previous program); establishing 45 co-management organizations (CMOs) and developing their capacity in a number of functional areas.


CREL an example of a programmatic transition involving a transfer of ownership and responsibility from an international organization – in this case, Winrock International, and its national partner organizations, including CODEC – to a
local government entity, in this case the Bangladesh Forest Department. CREL adopted a co-management approach throughout the program. This included setting up two types of entity at the local level – co-management committees and co management organizations – which have been sustained since the program’s transition.

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