Sub-theme 9. Conservation, environmental justice and the commons
Adaptive Collaborative Management: From research to action for just and sustainable commons
Proven approaches to the sustainability of the commons suggest that a few core principles are key: work with local people as full partners, and support and strengthen their collective institutions, actions, agency, endowments and capabilities; co-learn, reflect and adapt; engage strategically across actors and scales. It also means building strong governance institutions and networks and alliances to defend the commons against land grabbing, incursions and other threats. Adaptive Collaborative Management (ACM) – developed by CIFOR-ICRAF in the early 2000s – is one effective approach.
ACM was conceived to address important challenges facing conservation and development efforts: top-down or externally driven programs, leading to actions that were not aligned with the local context or ended once the funding disappeared; inequities that left women and other marginalized groups out; and the need for unique, place-based solutions for every unique context. Its conceivers believed that “facilitating social learning processes might build on and strengthen local people’s abilities to learn from their own experiences, adapt to changing conditions more effectively and resiliently, and enhance their power to influence change.” Over time, ACM went further to address unequal power relations, both internally and externally, and to strengthen the resilience and adaptive capacity of local governance institutions, including the capacity to organize and resist threats to collective land, resources and territory.
By putting local people’s needs and preferences at the core, through deeply engaged participatory action research, ACM is by nature and design well-placed to counter inequality and injustice in the search for sustainable solutions. Two edited volumes (Colfer et al. 2021 and Colfer and Prabhu in press), as well as other recent research, have revisited a number of ACM experiences, reflecting on its potential and bringing the approach again to the fore, in a world seeking transformative solutions to climate, food systems and biodiversity crises. This panel invites presentations from ACM researchers who will provide reflections and evidence on experiences and outcomes and share insights for its potential contribution to such transformations.
Panel 9.8. A
1. Can Landscape Approaches save the commons?
Sustainable and equitable governance of natural resources in multifunctional landscapes is more important than ever. To this end, landscape approaches are developed integrating lessons from adaptive and collaborative management, where collaboration and collective action remains key. Yet these approaches are difficult to operationalize, especially when issues of justice have to balance the need for conservation. Some of these issues are local rights to areas with high conservation value or high carbon stock; identification of identification key actors and stakeholder driving or affected by deforestation; and or designing and conducting effective multi-stakeholder efforts. Using experiences from applying a landscape approach in Kapuas Hulu, Indonesia, we highlight these and other lessons, and discuss these in light of the context of political economy and environmental justice at different levels. We end with a discussion on possible options for the future
2. Adaptive Collaborative Management for Sustainable Forest Ecosystem Conservation in National Parks in Indonesia: Reflection and Transformation
The management of National Parks and conservation of protected species cannot be done without involving local and indigenous people living in and around the Park. One option is to develop and apply Adaptive Collaborative Management (ACM) involving both park authorities and the local community thereby manage the park as their landscape. A study conducted in three national parks in Indonesia show how ACM has been applied in three national parks in Indonesia
In Leuser, National Park, North Sumatera, local people developed the Tangkahan Ecotourism Organization (LPT) and set up a Community Tour Operator to manage ecotourism activities. LPT collaborated with the park authority, Fauna Flora International, and the National Park Authority. In 2006 this resulted in the Park authority giving rights to LPT to manage part of the park as an ecotourism site.
In Bukit Duabelas National Park, Jambi, the indigenous Suku Anak Dalam were involved in reviewing the zoning system to accommodate a traditional use zone. The Suku Anak Dalam are still largely dependent on the forest resources and integrating their traditional knowledge into an adaptive management will benefit them and the Park.
In Lore Lindu National Park, through ACM, new traditional use zones for 71 villages were formed, where communities are supported in developing ecotourism as alternative to illegal gold mining.
This research concluded that ACM is effective for monitoring, evaluation, learning and continuous improvement of the national parks management. Partnerships need to be developed fairly and transparently, and technical support as well as clear guidance on how to apply ACM are provided.
3. Community Forest of Nepal: How it maintains ecosystem services and copes with global warming?
Kathmandu Forestry College, Nepal
Community forestry is a participatory forest management system in Nepal. Till date, 20,000 community forests (1 million ha) forest is managed directly by the 1.5 million people. The current challenge in the country’s like Nepal is to focus the policy on climate change mitigation and adaptation. Research shows that the environmental services provided by the Community forests such as provisioning services, regulatory services, cultural services, supporting services, biodiversity conservation, water purification and regulation, soil erosion protection, forest recreation and carbon storage are gaining some attention and need to protect the future of the forests linking commercial market and climate change adaptation and mitigation issues activity to conservation objectives from past 30 years. Moreover, selling forest environmental services for coping with climate change should ensure an effective payment system in securing forest environmental benefits and their role in effort to eliminate rural poverty and also helps further climate change mitigation and adaptation. The government of Nepal is developing different policies and management plans how can get more benefit from the community forest such as Payment for ecosystem services, Carbon market, Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and degradation plus, eco-tourism, green jobs from the forest, etc which can make direct benefit to the community people and helps to cope with climate change.
Thus this presentation describes the evolution of community forest and how it helps to conserve water maintain hydrology and how to community cope with adverse climatic conditions and leading to a green economy and sustainable development. Community forestry is a participatory forest management system in Nepal.
4. Trust Building in a Multi-stakeholder Forum in Jambi, Indonesia
1CIFOR, Indonesia, 2Environmental consultancy company, Indonesia
Multi-stakeholder forums (MSFs) have gained attention due to their potential for more sustainable and equitable results. These participatory mechanisms have also been supported by donors and practitioners, based on the assumption that bringing different actors to the same table may help solve complex, shared problems including management of the commons.
In Adaptive Collaborative Management (ACM), MSFs are commonly used to support participatory decision making and as a mechanism to support ACM’s goals. Both MSFs and ACM are driven by similar goals including democratic principles, justice, and the empowerment of local communities. However, although collaboration and cooperation amongst participants are central to the success of both approaches, there is little reflection on how to support these interactions, including trust-building.
This presentation will explore the role of trust-building in ACM MSF in Jambi. We built on a literature review and interviews with various stakeholders to understand the dynamics of the MSF process. Using the trust framework from Stern and Baird, we identify the process through which trust was built among participants, how it impacted on participant’s perceptions regarding the MSF and on improved collaboration.
Our results show that, despite challenges faced by the MSF, ACM’s success can be attributed to the empowerment of local communities, unbiased facilitation and shared vision, all of which contributed to trust-building within the group, development of collective action and to the achievement of meaningful outcomes for all.
Key words : Multi-stakeholder forums, adaptive collaborative management, trust building, empowerment, cooperation, collective action, management of the commons
5. Gender and adaptive collaborative management in forested Ugandan landscapes
1School of Forestry, Environment and Geographical Sciences, Makerere University, Uganda, 2Association of Uganda Professional Women in Agriculture and Environment, Uganda, 3Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), Kenya
Forestry management in Uganda has traditionally been a masculine field though recent years have seen a number of changes in such management. With the introduction of participatory approaches such as Adaptive Collaborative Management (ACM) and Collaborative Forest Management (CFM), today women more commonly own and work in the forestry sector. Despite this, the degree of women’s involvement remains low in comparison to their male counterparts. In order to address this gender gap, this chapter examines three questions: (1) what determines men’s and Women’s participation in forestry management under different forest management approaches? (2)
How do men and women rate their quality of participation in forest management in public or private forestry spaces? (3) What do women and men harvest from the forest and how do they use income earned from the sale of forestry products? To answer these questions data were collected from a nationwide intra-household survey from 1,052 respondents across four agro-ecological zones, under multiple forest tenure regimes. The analyses show that the gender gap in participation and representation in community forestry in Uganda was minimized in communities where ACM was being implemented. The study recommends that forest adjacent communities should a) enter into participatory forest management arrangements with the forest owners/managers (national forest authority, local government or private forest owners) or b) be facilitated to form tree planting groups or associations by NGOs and local government forestry officials, as a means to increase women’s participation in forestry.
Panel 9.8. B
1. Facilitating social learning and adaptation for integrated landscape management
1CIFOR-ICRAF, Peru, 2CIFOR-ICRAF, France
Integrated landscape management (ILM) initiatives attempt to facilitate collaboration among distinct stakeholder, accommodate often competing production strategies, and balance tradeoffs to ensure the sustainable use of natural resources, as well as the equitable distributions of goods and services in the targeted landscape. The landscapes where integrated management is often proposed are typically heterogeneous. Also, the governance processes present in these landscapes function, or malfunction, at multiple nested scales. In such contexts, encouraging the actors involved to view the landscape as a conceptual commons in a challenge. Given the complexity of such efforts, social learning and adaptation are crucial elements in attempting to integrate management across scales and competing perspectives. This paper draws insights from seven ILM initiatives underway the Latin American-Caribbean region that are part of the global Landscapes for Our Future program supported by the European Union. It examines the nature of the proposed landscapes and the competing stakeholders involved in these efforts. It identifies challenges shared across these cases and discusses examples where collaboration among stakeholders has led to the exchange of experience and dialogue that are fundamental for social learning processes. Discussion of these case studies will identify strategies for better incorporating social learning within ILM to enhance adaptive management.
2. Using ACM in a volatile socio-economic context: Lessons and experiences from Zimbabwe
Marondera University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology, Zimbabwe
Top-down approaches have been used to manage forestry resources without much success. Resource degradation continues unabated, so are conflicts among resource users. Adaptive Collaborative Management (ACM) approach that promotes co learning and joint learning provides a plausible pathway out of these challenges. This study revied the effectiveness of the ACM approach in volative socio- economic and political situations. The study draws on experiences from Mafungautsi state forest, a pilot site for ACM in Zimbabwe where CIFOR used the ACM approach to address deep rooted resource use conflicts between the state and the local people, from 1999 to 2006- a period the country experienced unprecedented socio- economic challenges. Data was gathered from interviewing actors who were part of the ACM pilot project in Zimbabwe – including staff from the Forestry Commission, an arm of government responsible for managing all forests in the country, academia, civil society, resource users anf traditional leaders as well as a review of official documents. Findings from the study suggest that ACM has great potential to address most of the governance challenges encountered when managing resources in volatile situations. However, endurance of the ACM approach is limited in situations where vehement socio- economic and political processes prevail. In a crisis, the government show a predilection to revert to command-and- control mode of governance, while residuals and reconfigured elelements of ACM are evident at the local level. For ACM to succeed, there is need to galvanise support from actors located at different institutional scales and engage a neutral facilitator where mistruct exists among key actors.
3. ACM as a pathway to mitigate Jakarta’s flood impacts in a changing climate
1TYK research & action consulting, The Netherlands, 2National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN), Indonesia, 3IHE Delft Institute for Water Education, The Netherlands, 4Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands, 5Utrecht University, The Netherlands, 6Nijmegen Radboud University, The Netherlands, 7Parahyangan Catholic University, Indonesia
We propose to become part of this panel for sharing the content of the chapter we wrote in the volume on ACM experience edited by Colfer and Prabhu (2023). In this chapter we explicitly address ‘wicked problems’ by evaluating the appropriateness of ACM as tool to tackle Greater Jakarta’s flooding problem, significantly exacerbated by land subsidence and climate change. It builds on the lead author’s experiential involvement in the Jambi (Indonesia) ACM research site between 2000-2006, combining it with the diverse knowledges of her co-authors, including the more technical angle, and identifying likely challenges as we implemented a ‘thought experiment’. Our reflection is thus not the result of empirical work but shares the results of a thought experiment which we conducted as a team of experts. It first frames Jakarta’s flooding as a ‘wicked problem’ to then discuss the results of this experiment by questioning: i) Can ACM be applied given Jakarta’s flooding governance structure? ii) Will ACM’s social learning work for the flooding problem? And iii) if ACM were applicable, what operational indicators would apply? Our recommendation entails a 2-step ACM pathway: 1) Adjusting the current flooding governance structure, for which adaptive governance and leadership are needed with a long-term vision; 2) Shaping the enabling conditions for learning outside the policy system that stimulates creativity in and discovery of new problem framings. Given the crisis stage Jakarta’s flooding has reached, adaptation approaches such as ACM are needed to break the cycle of narrow, longstanding paradigms, policy beliefs, and maladaptive pathways.
4. Hoʻomalu Haleleʻa
University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, USA
In April 2018, a rain gauge in our project site, Halelea, a rural district on the Hawaiian Island of Kauai, set a new U.S. record for 24-hr rainfall (49.69 in), causing $19.7 million in losses. Despite loss of homes and property, community members saw the event, along with floods and landslides in ensuing years, as opportunities to learn and enhance resilience, not only on Kauai, but also in other vulnerable areas. The isolated Hawaiian Islands comprise a model social-ecological system with rich diversity in culture, rainfall, and ecosystems and traditional food self sufficiency underpinned by careful oversight of water resoures. There is a pressing need to reconnect residents with local waterways, while also supporting stewardship efforts with enhanced monitoring and communication tools, to enable communities to serve as caretakers of their water again. This community engaged research aims to enhance social and ecological community resilience to increasing flood risk through: 1) Collaborative Research: Working with community members to integrate diverse methods and knowledge of watershed changes to enhance local level stream management; 2) Restoration: Stream clearing of invasive species; 3) Monitoring and Communication: Improving availability of historical and real-time hydro-meteorological data to enhance understanding of flood hazards, and promote connectedness before, during, and after extreme events; and 4) Community Education and Training: Providing cross generational watershed based educational programs to enhance holistic resilience to future disasters. This project offers lessons for other communities living on the forefront of climate change and for community engaged and allied research bridging knowledge systems.