Conservation projects at the landscape level in the tropics often require collaborative governance because there are many factors that may be involved with conserving and enhancing the ecosystem services with a landscape-based project. Yet as eloquently described in Collaborative Governance of Tropical Landscapes, significant issues remain in designing and implementing effective collaborative governance models for tropical landscapes. By surveying project implementation, measurement and attribution analysis across five tropical countries—Cameroon, Indonesia, Laos, Madagascar, and Tanzania—the authors have distilled common themes that provide for benchmarking successful landscape level forest conservation projects in the tropics.
1. Collusion between government and industry
2. National policy risk
3. Pluralistic governance challenges
4. Differing roles of men and women in governing non-timber forest products (NTFPS)
5. Lack of coherence between swidden agroforestry systems and national policy
6. Danger to hinterlands peoples from international sources such as carbon markets
While these themes are generally universal, successful local solutions can be developed and applied based on the local ecological, cultural, and government landscapes within the desired conservation area. For example, REDD (Reduction in Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation) funding may create incentives to bring resolution to these six common themes, or REDD funding may in fact create further conflict over these six common themes. To mitigate this risk, while furthering better understanding of how to implement Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) onsite, the authors suggest applying a benchmarking process to measure collaborative governance by asking the following 12 questions.
1. Do ways exist for stakeholders to submit input influencing decisions and decision-makers that impact them?
2. If these ways exist, what are they and how do they function?
3. Do each stakeholder group have the same type of access to influencing decisions and decision-makers that impact them?
4. Describe how each stakeholder group capacity to influence to engage occurs.
5. Do formal land-use categories reflect common practices as exhibited in the field?
6. Are stakeholder’s rights regarding land and forests clearly defined including access, to remove NTFPs, manage land, exclusion of others, and alienate forest lands?
7. How are these rights, as described in question 6, secured through customary and national laws?
8. How do different formal and customary governance functions function?
9. When regulations and customary law is applied, are effective sanctions applied, and if so, by whom and under what process?
10. Are conflicts effectively managed?
11. How is trust described amongst and between stakeholder groups including national, regional, and local governance structures, and industry?
12. What type of links occur between outside resources and local stakeholders? How is this fiduciary duty maintained?
In summary, these twelve measuring tools can assist with securing genuine participation of local and indigenous communities through effective collaborative landscape planning in the tropics.
How to order
Edited by Carol J. Pierce Colfer and Jean-Laurent Pfund
Hardcover: 285 Pages, $99.95
Publisher: Earthscan Publications
Gabriel Thoumi frequently contributes to Mongabay.com
(04/14/2011) Because recent research has shown that it is often the case that mangroves store more carbon than tropical forests–from 90 tons to 588 tons carbon from above-ground and below-ground biomass combined with net primary productivity of 7 to 25 tons carbon annually–while providing an estimated ecosystem services value of up to US$ 9270 per hectare per year, the timely publication of the World Atlas of Mangroves is an excellent reference for those of us working to protect mangroves globally. With information sourced from 1400 literature references, the atlas gives the reader the information they need so as to further understand mangrove ecosystems, and the opportunities to develop mangrove ecosystem conservation and carbon projects.
(03/30/2011) Real economic global results from decoupling economic growth from unsustainable natural resource management and inefficient industrial processes are the central themes of Cents and Sustainability. Implementing wealth creation strategies at the local, national, and international level is the primary economic theme, or modus operandi, of the 21st Century, as opposed to 20th Century wealth appropriation strategies. This begets the question do concrete auditable examples of wealth creation while sustainably managing natural resources at the national level exist?
(03/28/2011) That’s the message in Accounting for Sustainability: Practical Insights. The book represents the compilation of a five-year project—nicknamed “A4S”—sponsored by Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, that examined the feasibility of factoring industries’ impact on the environment into their economic spread sheets. Using case studies and interviews with leaders at major accounting firms, Accounting For Sustainability documents the bond between capitalism and environmental capital.