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June 2004

Announcement of a publication

Communication for development

A medium for innovation in natural resources management

This publication is a joint effort between the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Canada, and FAO's Communication for Development Group in the Extension, Education and Communication Service. The paper is for people engaged in the planning and implementation of Natural Resource Management (NRM) programmes and projects who are willing to put people at the centre of their work facilitating knowledge, information and participation.

One of the key challenges faced by rural development programmes is to address poverty alleviation, food security and environmental sustainability in an integrated manner. Fighting land degradation and desertification, halting deforestation, promoting proper management of water resources and protecting biodiversity require the active participation of rural communities through communication processes. For many years however, communication initiatives in support of environmental and natural resources management have mainly focused on the dissemination and adoption of technical packages. These efforts have met with limited impact.

Communication for Development offers an alternative. Its participatory approaches can facilitate the dialogue and exchange of knowledge and information on NRM, increase the community knowledge-base (both indigenous and modern), promote agricultural practices which are compatible with the environment, and develop awareness in policy makers, authorities and service providers.

The document presents, through stories and examples, the experience of many people and projects worldwide where communication methods and approaches have been applied to address NRM problems. These lessons will help decision makers, planners and practitioners understand why and how communication for development activities can support sustainable natural resource management and rural development efforts.

Click here to view the document (pdf format).



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