Innovative scheme will support poor communities

The University’s Centre for International Development and Training (CIDT) has won a new European Union project, which will run for two and a half years and started in January.

Disadvantaged communities suffer the most from poor governance of the forest sector, and are often denied the opportunity to participate in decisions about their land and resources, which causes conflict.

These poor communities rely on forests for fuel wood, building materials and even food in times of extreme stress so are severely affected by its mismanagement.

The aim of the new project is to empower communities and provide models of good practice to involve local people in decision-making and help them influence the management of their livelihoods.

Professor Philip Dearden, the Head of the Centre for International Development and Training said: "We are delighted that the centre has won this project, which builds on the work of other African initiatives we are currently delivering”.

Project Manager Dr Aurelian Mbzibain said: "I’m very much looking forward to the challenge of delivering the project which really aims at building capacity of a range of stakeholders in Cameroon and Central African Republic and giving voice to poorer communities in each country.”

CIDT is working with European partners to provide materials on legal reform, capacity building and curriculum development.

They will be preparing training materials for in-country courses to assist those in rural areas and will work with rural universities to develop training materials for forestry departments.

A national project launch event will be held in Cameroon later this month.

ENDS

Since 2010 CIDT has annually run an Improving Forest Governance (IFG) course in the UK that brings together frontline staff from major timber producing countries. CIDT is a self-financing, social enterprise within the University of Wolverhampton. It has a 40-year track record in helping people-centred sustainable development by working in partnership to develop the skills of individuals and institutions through education and training, research, consultancy and programme management.

For more information please contact Emma Pugh in the Media and Communications Office on 01902 322736.

Date issued: Thursday 13 March 2014

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