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Integrating Local Values in Natural Resource Assessment: A review of assessment tools

Krystyna Swiderska


As part of its cross-Programme work on Natural Resources, IIED set out to ‘develop and refine integrated methodologies for assessing NR potentials, priorities and impacts’ which focus on the needs of the poor and environmental limits, and which make the trade-offs apparent. To this end, a review of NR assessment tools was conducted to examine approaches for integrating local people’s assessments of natural resources, which reflect local values and priorities, and ‘expert’ or scientific assessments, which usually inform policy making and planning. The review drew largely on research and experience in different IIED programmes1 in a process designed to promote internal learning, whilst consolidating IIED’s knowledge on this issue for a broader audience. This report presents the findings of the review, and identifies key challenges for improving the integration of local values in NR assessment, as well as priorities for further research. The review process involved an internal workshop held in February 2003, interviews with research staff and a review of selected internal and external literature. Papers were prepared for the workshop examining different NR sectors and assessment tools, together with tables reviewing the integration of local and expert values in different sectors/tools.

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