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Chapter 6. NEGOTIATING THE CO- MANAGEMENT AGREEMENT AND ORGANISATION

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Document begins: Chapter 6. NEGOTIATING THE CO- MANAGEMENT AGREEMENT AND ORGANISATION 6.1 Agreeing o on tthe rrules aand p procedures o of n negotiation Negotiating among social actors is the heart of the co-management process. It is wise to invest as much energy as possible in it, as the co-management agreements and organisations are generally as good as the process that generated them. Typically, the social actors involved in the negotiation face two main challenges. The first one is process-related and concerns "communication" in its richest sense. How can a partnership be developed among people who, besides having different interests and concerns, often do not share the same values, attitudes, capacities, ways of working, reference systems and languages-- in a word, people who belong to different "cultures"? This implies overcoming serious communication difficulties, both verbal (co-management meetings have been known to need to accommodate five or more languages!) and non-verbal. And yet, communication difficulties are not insurmountable, and plenty of examples exist of collaborative agreements among groups that, at the beginning, appeared very distant or even incompatible (see Box 6.1). The secret, if one is there, seems to be a combination of determination, time, resources and an encouraging social environment. 188 ...

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