Attempts to manage natural resources through collaboration rather than competition, by agreements rather than conflict, have become the touchstone for many who see these efforts as the harbinger of global sustainable development. The received wisdom suggests that participatory natural resource management projects work because traditional knowledge of the resources and existing social structures can be utilised to develop more effective strategies for resource use. Participation is a flexible and adaptable concept, which can reflect local circumstances and priorities. The contributors to this volume advise caution as well as optimism for projects conducted in this way. By drawing on the experience of NGOs, national governments and donor sectors as well as academic researchers this volume analyses the theory and practice of participatory natural resource management and demonstrates the value of constructive dialogue between all those involved.

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