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During September 2003, 49 individuals working in the field of communication and natural resource management (CNRM) came together for an on-line discussion jointly moderated by the FAO and The Communication Initiative. This e-forum was based on a review of the book "Communication and Natural Resource Management: Experience/Theory"[1] presenting short case studies, reflections and exercises to guide readers through a self learning process about CNRM and how to improve its impact in the field. As a part of the same process, participants analyzed the main results of the e-forum and made recommendations for future action. Altogether there were over 100 substantive contributions.

The on-line discussion, focused on the relation between theory and practice, questionning principles and guidelines which frame successful CNRM practice, and ways to improve the use of communication for sustainable NRM. This document has been prepared to capture the discussion providing both a summary of the main points and themes as well as the entire discussion for those who wish to review the comments in detail. It is organized in five chapters. The first chapter provides an overview of the e-forum process and the rationale for the discussion. Chapters 2 and 3 cover: the reflections and questions that served as a framework for the e-forum; summaries of the main discussions along with quotes from the participants, and the evaluation discussion which was used to draw conclusions and outline for future actions. Chapter 4 includes guiding principles for the work in CNRM, ideas and suggestions for improving the impact of CNRM activities, and recommendations to further develop the field of CNRM. The fifth chapter contains the full text of the contributions to the e-forum presenting the richness of the debate as a whole as well as individual perspectives and opinions.

We hope that you will enjoy this book and get inspired about perspectives and ways to make communication effective at the field level to promote sustainable natural resource management.

Ester Zulberti
Extension, Education and Communication Service

[1] The book "Communication and Natural Resource Management: Experience/Theory is available on line at:

The Communication Initiative: [HTML] [PDF]

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