Can Learning Based Approaches Take Root in Natural Resource Management? Reflections from the world of practice.


Practitioners and scholars with long experience in the field of natural resources management have written the chapters in this publication. These chapters also cover a broad range of experiences in applying adaptive collaborative approaches in natural resource management. They encompass diverse resource sectors, country contexts (Asia, Africa, Latin America), and capture a diversity of strategies used to deal with varied concerns and issues of natural resource management and innovation. Almost all chapters share a conclusion that an adaptive and collaborative approach is not only inevitable in the contested world of resource governance, but it can also lead to better outcomes in terms of livelihoods, policy and resource sustainability, if applied appropriately. In particular, the authors reflect upon four categories of challenges to applying Adaptive Collaborative Approaches (ACA) - personal/attitudinal, institutional, cultural, and policy and underlying regimes.

What is common to all chapters is that all authors take a reflective approach to writing and analysis: making explicit their own assumptions, surprises, successes, failures and learning while applying the ACA in various situations. Here, we took an inspiration from Einstein that great science is the refinement of thinking in practice. The contributors bring unique strengths of various forms of writing agency and different vantage points to see, experience and reflect - from local practitioners, international programme leaders, academic researchers, action researchers, trainers to policy advisors. The authors also share a concern that moving away from traditional linear models of research and technology transfer to ACA involves even more challenges, in terms of managing complex social relations, framing learning and incorporating learning into action. This means that authors are not just describing cases out there, but also bring their own reflections to applying ACA approaches.

After an introduction, the chapters are:-

  • Chapter two: The Emergence and Conduct of Adaptive Collaborative Management (ACM) at the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR)
  • Chapter three: Erosion of Farmer Field Schools in Ecuador: Politics of Agricultural Science and Development Practice
  • Chapter four: Enabling an Adaptive Learning Network of Local Communities for Integrated Floodplain Management in Bangladesh: Challenges and Lessons
  • Chapter five: Can Adaptive Collaborative Approach Improve Livelihoods? Reflections from the Experience with Nepal's Community Forestry
  • Chapter six: Can Adaptive Collaborative Management be Applied in Contested Forest Landscapes? Experiences from Zimbabwe
  • Chapter seven: Learning Through Action: Reflections on Action Research in Natural Resource Management
  • Chapter eight: Challenges and Prospects of Learning Based Approaches in Natural Resource Management


Ojha, H.R.; Hall, A.; Rasheed Sulaiman V (Editors). Can Learning Based Approaches Take Root in Natural Resource Management? Reflections from the world of practice. Final Publication 1, Research Into Use Programme (RIU), (2011) 117 pp.

Can Learning Based Approaches Take Root in Natural Resource Management? Reflections from the world of practice.

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