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Co-management of Natural Resources
Organizing, Negotiating and Learning-by-Doing

Grazia Borrini-Feyerabend ([email protected]), M. Taghi Farvar ([email protected] ), Jean Claude Nguinguiri ([email protected]), Vincent Awa Ndangang ([email protected])

This volume is designed to assist facilitators and partners of co-management processes. It provides guidelines for multi-stakeholder management of natural resources and describes in detail relevant concepts, methods and tools. The emphasis is on practical approaches and advice, in line with the experience gained in field initiatives promoted by GTZ and IUCN. The text is accompanied by definition boxes, example boxes, checklists, annexes illustrating participatory methods and tools of particular relevance for co-management processes, lessons learned, tips for action and a list of references and suggested readings. Readers are fully authorised to reproduce this paper in part or in total for non-commercial purposes, provided the source is quoted.

Citation: Borrini-Feyerabend, G., Farvar, M. T., Nguinguiri, J. C. & Ndangang, V. A.: Co-management of Natural Resources: Organising, Negotiating and Learning-by-Doing. GTZ and IUCN, Kasparek Verlag, Heidelberg (Germany), 2000.

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Co-management of Natural Resources

Publishing details
Preface and Acknowledgements

1. Overview

1.1. Co-managment
1.2. Concepts and approaches contributing to understanding and practicing co-management
spacer - Adaptive management
spacer - Pluralism
spacer - Governance
spacer - Patrimony
spacer - Conflict management
spacer - Social communication
spacer - Taking account of concepts, approaches and values in a co-management process: a schematic view

2. The preparatory phase

2.1. Assessing the need for co-management and the process feasibility
2.2. Assessing the human and financialresources available
2.3. Establishing a start-up team
2.4. Gathering information and tools (such as maps) on the main ecological and social issues
2.5. Identifying in a preliminary way the natural resource management unit(s)
2.6. Identifying in a preliminary way the institutional actors to participate in natural resource management
spacer - Identifying potential institutional actors: a checklist
spacer - The roots of entitlements: examples of grounds on which to claim a role in natural resource management
spacer - Towards empowered and responsible institutional actors: a schematic view
2.7. Launching and maintaining social communication initiatives
2.8. Engaging the institutional actors
2.9. Assessing the need for co-management and the process feasibility
2.10. Assessing the need for co-management and the process feasibility
spacer - Results of the preparatory phase
spacer - Promoting equity in co-managment: some examples and ideas
spacer - Including equity considerations in the process towards empowered and responsible institutional actors: a schematic view

3. The negotiation phase

3.1. Agreeing on the rules and procedures of negotiation
spacer - Main qualities and tasks of a good facilitator/mediator
spacer - An example of a set of rules for the negotiation process
3.2. Developing a common vision of the desired future
3.3. Ritualising the common vision
3.4. Reviewing the current socio-ecological situation and trends
spacer - Methods and tools for situation analysis
3.5. Agreeing on a common strategy towards the common vision
3.6. Negotiating management plans and agreements for each component of the strategy
spacer - Methods and tools to agree on a course of action
spacer - Agreements, disagreements, consensus and compromise
3.7. Agreeing on specific CM organisations
spacer - Functions and characteristics of co-management organisations
3.8. Legitimising and publicising the co-management plans,agreements and organisations
spacer - Results of the negotiation phase

4. The learning-by-doing phase

4.1. Setting to work the co-managment plans, agreements and organisations
4.2. Clarifying the entitlements and responsibilities of the institutional actors
4.3. Collecting data and information as described in follow-up protocols
4.4. identifying the main factors with an impact on natural resources and stakeholders, and experimenting with innovations
4.5. Evaluating co-management plans, agreements and organisations
spacer - Examples of process indicators for co-management
spacer - Results of the learning-by-doing phase

5. The co-management process: a summary view

6. Lessons learned and tips for action
spacer - Lessons and tips for all phases and seasons
spacer - Lessons and tips for the preparatory phase
spacer - Lessons and tips for the central phase of negotiation
spacer - Lessons and tips for learning-by-doing


1. Participatory methods and tools for co-managment
spacer - Street or village theatre (and film shows)
spacer - Community radioprogrammes
spacer - Land-use mapping
spacer - Historical mapping
spacer - Transect walks and diagrams
spacer - Trend analysis
spacer - Brainstorming
spacer - Structured brainstorming
spacer - Guided visioning
spacer - Problem-causes-effects tree
spacer - Analysis of strengths, weaknesses, opportunites and threats/limitations (SWOT)
2. Example of the 'common vision of the desired future' of a rural community
3. Example of a strategy (components and objectives) to achieve the common vision
4. Learning-by-doing: the experience of the Co-management programme in the Congo Basin
spacer - Activities
spacer - Results
spacer - Initial lessons learned

References and suggested readings

IUCN, GTZ & CMWG: The organisations and groups involved in this publication

Comments and suggestions for improvement will be very much appreciated and acknowledged in future documents dealing with lessons learned and guidelines. These may be sent by e-mail to the authors at: [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]

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