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Using theatre in participatory environmental policy making (PLA 55)

In: PLA 55 Practical tools for community conservation in southern Africa. Guest editors: Brian Child and Brian Jones.

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Tamara Guhrs, Liz Rihoy and Miranda Guhrs describe how theatre has been developed as an important communication tool ranging from local villages to international conventions. In the early 1990s, southern Africans were intensely frustrated when solid technical arguments for sustainable use proved so ineffective at international fora. They experimented with the use of local theatre to communicate the importance of sustainable use and the political economic implications of conservation internationally. This proved so successful that community theatre was rapidly modified as a tool to address technical and controversial issues at the local level, and was used to communicate with national policy makers.

Keywords: CBNRM, conservation, policy, poverty, marketing, tourism, quota setting, revenue distribution, monitoring, mapping, theatre, finance, training.

Participatory Learning and Action (PLA, formerly PLA Notes) is the world's leading series on participatory learning and action approaches and methods. PLA publishes articles on participation aimed at practitioners, researchers, academics and activists. All articles are peer-reviewed by an international editorial board. See: www.planotes.org

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