Conservation Alliance's Community Based Monitoring Protocol

Conservation Alliance is working to mainstream biodiversity conservation into cocoa production around the Bia Conservation Area in Southwest Ghana. Cocoa production is a major economic activity and land use in the Guinean Forests of the West Africa hotspot, one of the world’s 25 biologically richest and most endangered terrestrial regions.

This report explains how to set up a community-based biodiversity monitoring system. The report lays out SMART indicators to use when conducting community and household level assessments, and explains how to integrate GIS. Protocols of the Sustainable Agriculture Network, IMS, and the Social and Environmental Management System are reviewed. The report also shares basic protocol for conducting field work, assessing knowledge and skills, and holding focus group discussions. Finally, a sample Conservation Cocoa Association internal inspection form is included, which can be used to assess on a farmer-by-farmer basis current farming practices, determine the ability of participating farmers to implement the recommended practices, capture their willingness to adopt the recommended practices and measure the modest impacts achieved on farms during the project duration.