Home » Nonfiction » Brian Child & Deborah Wojcik » Developing Capacity for Community Governance of Natural Resources Theory & Practice

January 09 , 2008

Developing Capacity for Community Governance of Natural Resources Theory & Practice


Community-based natural resource management (CBNRM) is a compelling concept that combines community custodianship of natural resources with sustainable development and poverty reduction. However, there is a large gap between the conceptual promise and actual performance of CBNRM. CBNRM is complex and challenging, and one of the major challenges is what we call micro-governance—how to replace the ubiquitous problem of elite capture within communities with genuine participation and equitable benefit sharing. This book is for people want to understand and implement CBNRM governance more effectively, including graduate students, scholars and practitioners. It is targeted most specifically at the scholar-practitioner who wants to draw upon micro-governance theory to know why and how to work with communities to implement sound local institutions. The perspectives and resources presented have been developed and tested over many years working with CBNRM communities in southern Africa. The book offers convincing evidence for preferring participatory democracy over representational forms of governance, and discusses how to manage the scale paradox that economies and ecologies are better managed at larger scales, but that larger representational institutions invariably forfeit critical public goods like participation and equitable benefit sharing. The book’s purpose is to provide the reader with the practical tools to operationalize “good governance” at the village level, in ways that are theoretically sound. It provides the reader with theoretical insights and practical lessons about micro-governance in the context of CBNRM, tools for designing and implementing conceptually rigorous community constitutions that enable communities to govern themselves fairly and effectively, and resources for developing the management and monitoring systems necessary to protect these conditions.
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