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November 2004

Communication and Natural Resource Management

An E-forum on perspectives, principles and future directions


Throughout September 2003, 49 individuals working in the field of communication and natural resource management (CNRM) participated in an on-line discussion jointly moderated by FAO and The Communication Initiative. This e-forum was based on a review of the book “Communication and Natural Resource Management: Experience/Theory” which presents 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 part of the same process, participants analysed 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, questioning principles and guidelines which frame successful CNRM practice and ways in which to improve the use of communication for sustainable NRM.

The resulting publication has been prepared by The Communication Initiative in collaboration with the FAO Communication for Development Group in order to capture the discussion; it provides 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.

Click here to view the document.

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