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Sharing Power: Learning by doing in co-management of natural resources throughout the world

At the heart of ‘co-management’ of biodiversity and natural resources is a process of collective understanding and action by local communities and other social actors. The process brings about negotiated agreements on management roles, rights, and responsibilities, making explicit the conditions and institutions of sound decentralized governance. De facto, co-management is about sharing power. When successful, it spells out the peaceful and intelligent ways by which communities and other actors overcome environmental challenges, take best advantage of nature’s gifts and share those in fairness and solidarity. When it fails, it ushers conflict, human misery and environmental damage.

This book is designed to support professionals and citizens at large who wish both to better understand collaborative management processes and to develop and enhance them in practice. It begins by offering a variety of vistas, from broad historical and equity considerations to in-depth co-management examples. The understanding accumulated in recent decades on the appropriate starting or entry points for co-management, pre-requisites for successful negotiations (such as effective social communication and internal organization of the parties) as well as rules, methods and conditions of the negotiations themselves are illustrated in detail. Methods and tools, such as practical checklists distilled from different situations and contexts, are offered throughout.

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