Paul Cowles, is a CBNRM specialist with over 25 years of international and domestic experience and 12 years of direct management experience. He specializes in helping communities conserve and sustainably manage their natural resources. He has lived and worked in sub-Saharan Africa for 17 years, leading teams of up to 90 employees to implement three multimillion dollar programs for USAID. He understands how to work with communities; making community capacity development the centerpiece of his CBNRM work. He sees effective CBNRM as requiring a blend of the social and biological sciences. Paul has been at the forefront of transforming Integrated Conservation and Development Projects (ICDPs) into broader landscape and ecosystem approaches: in the late 1980s he managed the Rumonge Agroforestry Project (CRS) in Burundi, an early iteration of the community based ICDP model; later, he led an ICDP in Madagascar and later helped the Malagasy National Office of the Environment develop a landscape approach to blending community forest management and conservation with development planning. On a project in Kenya, he worked to build the capacity of communities to better manage their natural resources and to develop and run profitable nature-based businesses in bio-diverse areas. He recently helped pilot a new Landscape Governance Mapping and Assessment Tool and presented findings at the 2012 World Conservation Congress in Jeju, Korea. He is currently working in Liberia running a community based forest management project.
Community-based natural resources management (CBNRM), Integrated Conservation and Development Projects (ICDPs) and community capacity building