SUMMARY OF FORUM '97: NEW LINKAGES IN CONSERVATION AND DEVELOPMENT 16-21 NOVEMBER 1997
The Forum '97: New Linkages in Conservation and Development conference took place from 16-21 November 1997 in Istanbul, Turkey. The conference was sponsored by the Conservation & Development Forum, with a grant from the Ford Foundation and additional assistance from the Tropical Conservation and Development Program of the University of Florida, the Municipality of Sisli, Istanbul, and the Swedish Institute for Development Assistance. Approximately 400 individuals from 41 countries attended the Forum, representing universities and research institutes, government agencies, development and conservation NGOs, community groups, private foundations and international organizations.
Forum '97 was designed to review experiments in conservation and development over the past decade, highlight the most pressing practical problems in the field, and encourage open dialogue on the agenda for future research and action. Specifically, the objectives of Forum '97 were to: enhance cross-cultural understandings of conservation and development; develop a network of stakeholders, scholars, and practitioners who will collectively identify priorities for future research and action; identify key sites and institutions that offer valuable lessons for the field of conservation and development and ensure their representation in this dialogue; forge new partnerships for constructive collaborations at the regional and local levels; and identify problematic areas of conservation and development where opportunities exist for new advances.
The Forum had five overriding themes: Engaging Communities in Conservation and Development; Culture and Ethics in Conservation and Development; Conservation and Development in War and Peace; Business as a Partner in Environmental Action; and Institutional Pathways to Sustainability. Participants attended Plenary sessions and several conference sessions on each of these themes. In addition to the Plenaries and conference sessions, Forum participants attended a number of more informal workshops, as well as theater and dance performances and a film and video series addressing the linkages in conservation and development.
At the welcome reception on the evening of 16 November, Imren Akyut, Turkish Minister of Environment, greeted Forum '97 participants. She stated that the environment has the potential to unite all countries around a common goal, and is a matter that concerns not only governments but also individuals on a personal level. She stressed the need to accept a new environmental ethic to ensure that the needs of future generations are met. She said that in the 21st century, the most important agenda will consist of human rights, democracy, economic and environmental issues, and NGOs will play an important role in this agenda, particularly in public education and participation. She was pleased that this conference, which took into account the human, social, cultural, economic and political aspects of environmental conservation, took place in Istanbul, a city with important cultural and natural heritage but one also facing considerable environmental threats.
Talat S. Halman, former Turkish Minister of Culture, chronicled the rich history of Istanbul. He stressed the need to fight greed and malfeasance, to combine ethics with aesthetics, and to work hard with a sense of love and solidarity that should govern human as well as international relations.
Steven Sanderson, Conservation & Development Forum (US), welcomed participants, thanked the conference sponsors and organizers, and underscored the support given by the people of Turkey. He noted that the coming together of people with such diverse backgrounds was a kind of blessing. He called attention to the power of such an event meant to bring people together to learn from each other, to create innovative networks and to initiate creative interactions within those networks. He indicated that the challenge for participants at Forum '97 was to think the unthinkable and voice the unheard in terms of new linkages in conservation and development.
E. Walter Coward, Ford Foundation (US), said that Ford's involvement as a co-sponsor for Forum '97 stood as an indication of a new way of thinking about the linkages between conservation of the environment and the achievement of sustainable livelihoods for people. He noted that the challenge is to think about new ways to better integrate ecology, economy and equity. He hoped that Forum '97 would help to overcome the social, geographical and conceptual isolation faced by many people working on conservation and development issues, and called on participants to engage actively in establishing contacts. Quoting Margaret Mead, he said that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens could change the world.
ENGAGING COMMUNITIES IN CONSERVATION AND DEVELOPMENT
PLENARY A series of panelists addressed the Plenary on this theme. Ken Wilson, Ford Foundation (Mozambique), said he was delighted by the attention to artistic performances given by the organizers of Forum '97. He stated that an outside observer might notice that governments and institutions do not always represent a broad spectrum of values, and art is a means to fill this gap.
Fiore Zulli, Teatro del Ogro (Bolivia), emphasized the character of theater as a communication tool and noted how it helps other disciplines to enhance their impact. He raised the question of what theater is, and indicated that it is meant to stimulate imagination and to establish a link between actors and spectators.
David Simpson and Jane Lapiner, Human Nature (US), spoke of theater as a means to bring a community together and bridge differences among its members. They gave an example of how a musical comedy had served to bring together community members with diverging interests around a common cause in conserving King salmon in a community in northern California.
Ana Paula Reis of the Provincial Wildlife and Forestry Service, Alexandré Lourenço of the Programa de Activistas Culturais and David Abilio of the Compania Nacional de Canto e Dança (Mozambique) informed participants of a program in Mozambique through which artists engage local communities in conservation. This is particularly important in a country where a large portion of the population is illiterate and does not speak Portuguese. Dance is a medium with which the people are comfortable and through which they are able to communicate. The dance theater approach has been used in a campaign to encourage voting after the end of the civil war and is now used to educate people about the need to conserve resources for sustainable development. The actors go out in the country to talk to local people and learn from their experience, and this research is then integrated in the ballet. The ballet is also based on traditional dance forms.
Evaluating Eden: Lessons from Community-based Wildlife Management: The moderator introduced the International Institute for Environment and Development's "Evaluating Eden" project and said that its aim is to explore the myths and realities of local community participation in wildlife conservation. He indicated that IIED coordinated the implementation of the project in different regions of the world. Panelists presented case studies of community-based wildlife conservation and management in Central America, the South Pacific, East, West and South Africa and Southeast Asia. In each case, panelists identified key factors for the success of conservation strategies and the types of problems that had been encountered.
Participatory Approaches to Conservation and Development: Indigenous Peoples: Panelists presented projects that: use a multi-stakeholder consensus-based approach to sustainable fisheries management in British Columbia, Canada; incorporate indigenous knowledge and grassroots innovations in development action in Southern India; conduct research and information exchange on traditional land-use systems in Bolivia; provide development grants to US indigenous communities to build endogenous capacity, increase economic productivity and mitigate dependency on federal programs; and use a bottom-up, holistic, integrated approach to engage indigenous peoples in participatory development projects in Guyana. Participants discussed indigenous communities' conflicts with governments and corporations over resource-rich indigenous lands, and the perceived contrast between Western, "scientific" knowledge and indigenous knowledge.
Gender Issues in Conservation and Development: Panelists outlined studies on: differing incentives for women and men to participate in conservation projects in Peru; incorporating gender in natural resource management plans in protected areas in Ecuador; gender dynamics in subsistence and economic activities in extractive reserves in the Brazilian Amazon; women as gatherers of wild food plants and transmitters of this knowledge in Turkey; and empowering women through a community-based natural resource management approach in a CAMPFIRE program in Western Zimbabwe. Participants discussed awareness of gender issues among men, the need to consider ethnicity issues in conservation and development projects, and incorporation of gender issues at a regional level.
Mediation as a Tool for Natural Resource Issues: An Interactive Workshop: Participants explored conflict resolution through mediation with the goal of cross- cultural sharing of mediation concepts. The panelists explained the major advantages of mediation over litigation and arbitration, including: self-representation by parties; negotiation between parties facilitated by a neutral third party; the creation of solutions through compromise by both parties; and the possibility for reconciliation and long- term relationships between parties. Workshop participants discussed their own experiences in mediation, including: mediation to resolve a dispute between the Pueblo Indians and environmental organizations over land rights for communally owned Pueblo land in New Mexico; aboriginal land rights in Australia; mediation for cultivating popular participation in South Africa; limits to the effectiveness of the mediation process; the role of neutrality in mediation; how all interests can be represented in the negotiating process; the importance of preparing traditional communities for mediation with the "dominant culture;" and the role of NGOs as mediators in Tanzania.
Defining Communities in Conservation and Development: Panelists presented case studies on: nomads as agents of development in Turkey; an overview of wild-harvested products and foragers in Central Appalachia (US); natural resource use and management in a Bulgarian mountain village; and a critique of community-based conservation practices in India. The discussion focused on criteria used to define a community. Questions were raised on whether the definition of "community" should be based on legal and territorial boundaries, ethnicity, common culture and shared economic activities, or whether a more realistic definition warrants a flexible model combining factors such as these on a case by case basis. Points were raised on differences in community involvement in conservation practices according to the degree of dependence on natural resources for survival, alternative livelihoods, cultural values and political perceptions.
Reaching Consensus on Conservation Priorities and Forming Effective Partnerships: Panelists gave presentations on practical examples of consensus building in Ecuador, Papua New Guinea and Namibia. In the Ecuador case, the issue of land rights and indigenous territories was a major concern, in Papua New Guinea a meaningful cooperation was achieved between the local communities, WWF and Chevron, while in Namibia the conservation efforts of the government were initially opposed by the local communities and NGOs. Throughout the discussion, participants attempted to answer the following questions: who are the stakeholders and what are their interests; was a common agenda agreed to; and what partnerships were formed? One panelist stressed the importance of spending more time in dialogue with stakeholders at the outset of the process so they can reach consensus on common goals. Participants also discussed the issue of who to include in a consensus, knowing who the partners should be and what the benefits of partnership are likely to be.
Communication and Information Dissemination in Conservation and Development: This panel met in two consecutive sessions. In the first session, panelists made presentations on: the efforts of Island Press (US) to respond to the need for practical, tool-oriented, multidisciplinary information that translates technical, scientific environmental work for the lay audience; Television Trust for the Environment's (UK) work to promote global public awareness of environmental and development issues through film; Vanguard Communications' (US) use of communications as a tool to influence policy and to educate, mobilize, fund-raise and empower people to effect social change; and the evolution of the media in Nepal and the initiatives of the Nepal Forum for Environmental Journalists to educate the public and policy makers about environmental issues. Participants discussed: how to give a voice to the unheard; the importance of voicing criticism without alienating the audience or the opposition; the need for strategies and alternative information packages to confront the messages of mainstream and corporate media; and the need to build linkages between the grassroots and those with access to communication channels.
In the second session, panelists gave presentations on: resistance to the shrimp farming industry through the use of information technology networks; the Journalists Environmental Association of Tanzania's efforts to raise public awareness of conservation and development issues; community media and forestry in Central Appalachia (US); and a case study of wildlife conservation education in India. Participants discussed problems with consumer boycotts, underscoring the need to recognize negative economic impacts on developing country producers and the danger of oversimplifying such complex issues in communicating environmental messages to the public. One panelist stressed that communicators must reflect the complexity of environmental and development issues when advocating for change. Participants highlighted a tension between objectivity and advocacy that communicators of environmental information often face. It was noted that the communication of global environmental issues has been deficient and ineffective to date, particularly on global problems stemming from destructive activities of the North.
Engaging Communities in Conservation and Development of Coastal Resources: The panelists presented papers on: the establishment of North-South and South-South linkages in community-based conservation; monk seal conservation on the Turkish coast; community-based coastal conservation and management in Sri Lanka; and NGO experiences in coastal conservation projects in Turkey. It was noted that in Sri Lanka, local fishermen have set up a system where access to the best fishing grounds is rotated among three communities and allocated among the individual fishermen. In Turkey, success has been achieved by protecting a critical habitat of the endangered Loggerhead sea turtle, but institutional obstacles to integrated management of the coastline remain. The conservation of monk seals in Turkey has been a success in one area but a failure in another. A panelist listed the conditions that are necessary to ensure success, including: appropriate institutions; trust among the parties; protection of local rights; and economic benefits for the community. The ensuing discussion reflected the difficulty of engaging local fishermen in conservation without compensating them.
CULTURE AND ETHICS IN CONSERVATION AND DEVELOPMENT
Participants attended two Plenary sessions under this conference theme, on ethics and responsibility in environmental action and on culturally conflicting views of nature. Larry Rasmussen, Union Theological Seminary (US), spoke on ethics and responsibility in environmental action. He traced the history of three waves of globalization that have resulted in the current world order: colonization, development and trade liberalization. He explained the societal, geo-planetary and biophysical impacts of globalization and how they disrupt intact local communities, transform life forms and institutionalize the conquest of nature as the key to progress. He noted several transitions that must occur in order to address social and ecological problems, including: an economic transition to living off nature's income rather than its capital; a social transition to a far wider sharing of nature's income and wealth; an institutional transition towards increased international cooperation; a demographic transition to control population explosion; a technological transition to minimize environmental impacts; and a religious transition towards "earth keeping." He proposed moral norms for an ethic that addresses the social and ecological questions together, including: participation as optimal inclusion of all voices in society; a commitment to meet the basic material needs of all life forms; equity as basic fairness among nations, species, generations and genders; material simplicity and spiritual richness as the markers of quality of life; and responsibility on a scale that people can realistically achieve.
A series of panelists gave presentations at the Plenary on culturally conflicting views of nature. Anna Tsing, University of California - Santa Cruz (US), discussed divergent concepts of conservation between North and South, social justice goals and bio-centric science objectives, and urban activists and village or tribal leaders. She underlined the importance of partnerships and stated that cultural differences provide diversity, dynamism and creative energy.
Terry Fenge, Inuit Circumpolar Conference (Canada), explained the struggle of Inuit populations to maintain traditional culture in the face of changing Arctic policy and their success in adapting to change by maintaining autonomy and retaining rights for oil and mineral extraction, harvesting and land management in their territories. He said the largest environmental threats to Inuit populations are climate change, the loss of animal product markets due to the animal rights movement, and bio-accumulation from food source contamination. He stressed that Inuit culture provides protection to the Arctic and should be preserved.
Ullas Karanth, Wildlife Conservation Society (India), discussed the competing needs for conservation of large wildlife and agricultural, hunting and commercial activities in India. He stressed the importance of understanding the ecological needs and long-term population dynamics of communities of large mammals in order to develop appropriate conservation programs.
Warrika Rose Turner, University of Adelaide (Australia), discussed the cultural heritage of indigenous Australians and contrasted indigenous views of caring for the land with non-indigenous views. She suggested that the conflict portrayed as one between the state and aboriginal peoples over land and resources is actually a conflict of world views, cultures and core values. She highlighted the success of cross-cultural awareness programs and stressed the need to identify the causes of conflict rather than simply continuing to treat the symptoms.
Amita Baviskar, University of Delhi (India), used eco- development in the Great Himalayan National Park in India as an example of cultural conflict over conservation. She described how the park's establishment created a conflict between wildlife conservation and the customary rights of local communities. She stressed the need for openness and dialogue to bridge the divides between the state and indigenous communities to change the politics of conservation.
In an ensuing discussion, participants emphasized that relationships between indigenous peoples, environmental organizations and the state vary significantly in different national political contexts. The importance of building alliances to bridge culturally conflicting views of conservation was stressed. One panelist pointed out that in some cases, the campaigns conducted by environmental NGOs have engendered suspicion by indigenous groups.
Culture, Conservation and Development: In this session, one panelist spoke on how efforts to develop communities or nations economically has undermined peoples' cultural and spiritual development and suggested that culture is the missing link between conservation and development. Other panelists addressed the importance of including community- based knowledge in land management, providing alternative income sources for local populations, considering local culture and granting land rights for sustainable development in the Ngorongoro Crater conservation area in Tanzania and the political, cultural, sociological and ecological dimensions of protected areas in the Brazilian rainforest.
Cultural and Spiritual Values of Biodiversity: Panelists discussed cultural, moral, spiritual and traditional values involved in biodiversity. Case studies were presented on: traditional agricultural methods used by Peruvian populations in the Andean mountain range as viable alternatives to conserve biodiversity; agricultural and wildlife harvesting practices in West Java, Indonesia according to cultural values and spiritual beliefs of local populations; and the approach to natural resource management and use by the Zuni Nation in Arizona adapted to historical environmental constraints. Points were raised on the close inter-linkages between cultural and biological diversity and differences in understandings of the relationship between humans, nature and creation according to spiritual beliefs.
Community-based Wildlife Management: Experiences from Africa and Latin America: Panelists discussed: the vast variation in wildlife use regimes, from commercial purposes to hunting for local demand; the variation of institutional capacity between countries; the differences between the organization and objectives of community-based management systems that originate spontaneously from the community and of those fostered by the government; and the variability of pressure on biological resources depending upon, inter alia, human population density, extent of wildlife exploitation, the basis of local economies, wildlife use regimes and hunting techniques.
CONSERVATION AND DEVELOPMENT IN WAR AND PEACE
Eugène Rutagarama, International Gorilla Conservation Program (Rwanda), discussed factors that influence conservation during and after armed conflict, including the uncertainty of government, the establishment of a new government, the international community's attitude towards the conflict, and the efficiency of international assistance. He described the establishment of the national reserves system that protects habitat for endangered mountain gorillas, elephants, rhinos and giraffes in Rwanda and the impact of the recent civil war on these protected areas. He cited several causes of the regression of conservation efforts during the civil war, notably rebel force camps in a national reserve that caused destruction of gorilla habitat due to road construction and fuelwood consumption, refugee migration through and to natural reservations and the resettlement of repatriated refugees in protected areas. The major post-war threats to these parks consist of pressures on land resources from high population densities and growth rates, timber demand for new construction, wood demand of refugees, and deforestation from fires. He said that conservation is difficult in the post-war period because the government is preoccupied with more pressing short-term concerns.
War, Peace and Conservation: This panel convened over the course of two sessions. In the first session, panelists considered: whether or not conservation during war is a luxury; obstacles to conservation during war; the integration of environmental considerations into army mandates; and the roles and responsibilities of NGOs, governments and relief agencies in mitigating the devastating consequences of war on conservation. Panelists' presentations addressed: the need to replace the "paternal" relationship between relief agencies and recipient populations with a relationship that is inclusive of stakeholders' concerns; overpopulation, resource scarcity, poverty and economic crisis as causal factors of war in Rwanda, as well as the uncertainty of funding for conservation after the war when other issues are more pressing; the impact of war refugees' migration on conservation in the Ituri forest in the Congo; and the ecological impacts of war and infrastructure building in the Condor range during the border conflict between Ecuador and Peru.
In the panel's second session, a presentation on conflict in Chiapas, Mexico addressed the history of colonization, land tenure, conflict, resource extraction and conservation, and the impacts of war, including land invasions, deforestation to secure land tenure, infrastructure building to accommodate armies and a decline in enforcement of environmental laws. Other presentations examined experiences and obstacles to conservation in other war-devastated regions, documenting impediments to natural resource reconstruction programs in Mozambique following sixteen years of war, such as refugee migration and resettlement, loss of social structure, landmines and weak government institutions, as well as the impact of conflict on wildlife populations in the Congo. Participants discussed: the potential environmental impacts of military efforts to control drug trafficking; the Mexican government's efforts to solve the land tenure problem; and the balance of responsibility between national governments and institutions.
BUSINESS AS A PARTNER IN ENVIRONMENTAL ACTION
Rebecca Adamson, First Nations Development Institute (US), addressed culturally conflicting views of nature. She said that in traditional indigenous models of resource management there is no hierarchy, but rather ancient wisdom, trophic webs, energy flows and "kinship-based enoughness." She highlighted that First Nations strike a balance between people and the land and control demand and supply of natural resources. Customary law determines where to hunt and when to hunt, and decrees that the resources belong to everyone but no one can sell them,that the mere act of being born guarantees access to all resources, and that all access is negotiated on the basis of supply rather than exclusion. This approach stands in marked contrast to industrialized values of individual competition and ever- growing demand, to the world of pure finance where corporations have to compete for capital, where numbers and competition are key and where the players with the most money have the advantage. She questioned whether this society can sustain itself and asked if as a society we can reflect beliefs that we can all live and prosper by. She stressed that interdependency is returning as a fact of life and we should draw from ancient wisdom for our future.
Financing Conservation and Development: Panelists presented case studies on the development of community trust funds to address human needs in the Cao Hai nature reserve in China, strategies for sustainable community enterprise development through self-sustaining commercial infrastructure as a conservation tool in the South Pacific, promotion of wildlife conservation outside of designated areas in Kenya through the creation of economic incentives for communities, including revenue and benefit-sharing programs, conservation of endangered wildflower species in Turkey through exportation of sustainably cultivated wildflower bulbs, and the importance of conducting research on the sustainability of harvesting before business plans for marketing wild products are carried out.
Business as a Partner in Environmental Action: Panelists highlighted innovative approaches that combine conservation and business components through presentations on: the Marine Stewardship Council, which brings together the stakeholders to promote sustainable fishing practices; Ecotrust's bank that educates environmentally conscious producers about the "green market," better business practices and access to loans; and the Canadian Roundtable on the Environment and the Economy is a program that brings together environmentalists and CEOs of major corporations to foster better understanding between the two groups. Some participants asked how fair labor practices could be included in efforts to balance business and the environment.
INSTITUTIONAL PATHWAYS TO SUSTAINABILITY
The Plenary session on this theme was organized in the form of a panel. Anil Gupta, Honeybee Network (India), stressed the importance of understanding the processes through which rules and institutions evolve. He noted that the transaction costs of enforcing agreements will be lower if more time is invested in negotiating good agreements at the outset. He highlighted the potential for innovation at the grassroots level, but stressed the need for an optimal level of isolation to allow for innovation and for new ideas to emerge.
Kuldeep Mathur, Jawaharlal Nehru University (India), underscored the need to understand traditional and local knowledge before formalizing rules and internalizing them in institutional structures. He said the relationship between the state and community institutions must also be taken into account. He added that the characteristic context of the rise of community institutions is one of contestation with the state, where these institutions often emerge to assert rights to natural resources in situations where the state has restricted these rights. Noting that institutional processes respond to the social context, he remarked that community institutions are expressions of democracy, but are constrained in many societies. He stated that innovative institutions need to negotiate with the state for support and with other community institutions.
Jeff Romm, University of California - Berkeley (US), explored institutional innovation and how context affects the patterns it takes, with implications for forms of innovation on a larger scale. He explained institutional innovations through five cases of community forestry in northern California and southern Oregon. He noted that in each of these cases rapid institutional innovation had taken place through community action with the aim of achieving sustainable forestry. He said that these cases illustrate how community-based actions and innovations can transcend the local context and have implications on much larger scales, such as government policies and legislation at the national level. He pointed out that these were somewhat isolated cases because in other instances there can be barriers to innovation such as politics and lack of financial means.
In the ensuing discussion, participants considered: means of resolving the conflict between industry and environment; the tension between spontaneity and the "routinization" that occurs with the institutionalization demanded by the drive for sustainable development; the ability of large- scale federations to represent large groups of different communities; and whether pathways to institutional sustainability run through NGOs in the long term or if NGOs are a reflection of the breakdown of institutional processes and are therefore epiphenomenal.
Issues of Governance in Conservation and Development: Panelists delivered presentations on: the root causes of conflicts over natural resources in Kenya and Uganda, including resource scarcity, population growth, inequitable access to resources, and changing ecological conditions; the impact of trends toward international regimes and local community-based control as challenges to nation-state governance; the effectiveness of environmental conservation under a responsible authority compared with current environmental exploitation under popular rule in India; and the history of the Chinese environmental regulatory system, challenges to the enforcement of these laws, new law enforcement programs and drafting and reform of environmental law in China.
Empowering Local Communities: Citizen Fora at the World Bank and NAFTA: Panelists described the World Bank Inspection Panel, a mechanism to improve transparency and to hold the Bank accountable for violations of its policies and procedures. Two of the ten claims filed to the Panel thus far were outlined, the Itaparica claim in Brazil and the Yacyreta claim in Paraguay. Panelists also described the cooperative quasi-judicial mechanisms of NAFTA's North American Commission on Environmental Cooperation, which were established to enhance enforcement of environmental laws, as well as the Cozumel Pier (Mexico) claim filed to this Commission. Participants discussed: precedents in jurisprudence emerging from these claims; tensions between international and/or community oversight of environmental regulation and national sovereignty; the lack of information at the grassroots level and the fear of reprisal when organizing around human rights issues in some countries; and the importance of facilitating access to information about the Bank's procedures for affected people.
State, Private Sector and Community Partnerships for Conservation and Development: The moderator noted that in the past, alliances between the state, private sector and community had been unproductive, however, recent evidence supports that these stakeholders can interact positively. Participants presented case studies on successful partnerships for conservation and development in: forest management in Mozambique; urban watershed management in the Philippines; the role of universities; and interactions between NGOs and public institutions in Brazil. Key factors for the establishment of successful and sustainable partnerships that were identified included: identification of mutual benefits and short-term and long-term objectives; ability to conduct continual assessment; and institutionalization of partnerships when warranted. Points were raised on the comparative advantages of universities in the establishment of partnerships due to their neutrality and long-term approach to education, research and capacity-building.
Landed Property Rights in Mountain Regions: A panelist highlighted the important role of the market and the difficulty in counteracting it to ensure that property rights are assigned to support sustainable resource use. It was noted that recreation and tourism are not always appropriate and in some cases should be prohibited. One panelist stated that conflicts over rights are often related to agriculture and that in the past, wars were waged to protect agricultural investments. Participants wondered how to adopt a more consensual approach and noted that the opportunity costs of not cooperating should be examined.
In addition to the conference sessions on Forum '97's five main themes, participants attended several sessions addressing specific case studies that illustrate these themes in practice.
Engaging Communities in Conservation and Development: Case Studies: Panelists presented papers on the following issues: pastoralism and conservation in the Ngorongoro conservation area in Tanzania; integrating conservation and development through local community participation in managing the Goksu Delta protected area in Turkey; engaging communities in conservation and development in Botswana; and TEMA's experience with integrated conservation and development projects in several Turkish villages. The discussion focused on the importance of getting local communities involved as full-fledged stakeholders. Several participants stressed that conservation need not conflict with the interests of local communities.
In a second session of case studies on engaging communities in conservation and development, participants made presentations covering: the design of sustainable resource management models at the community level in Costa Rica; the reintroduction of nutritionally valuable indigenous wild food plants, indigenous agriculture knowledge systems, cash crops, food from woodlands and medicinal plants in Kenya; civil action for environmental preservation, combat of erosion and forest fires and restoration of environmentally degraded areas in Turkey; and conservation and development of island mangrove ecosystems in India.
Local Communities and Protected Areas in Latin America: Panelists presented three case studies of protected areas in Latin America: the Maya biosphere reserve area in Peten, Guatemala; the Beni biological station/biosphere reserve in Bolivia; and the Tambopata-Candamo reserved zone in Peru. They discussed key aspects for the management of reserved areas, including the number and type of inhabitants, geographical location, ecological characteristics, legal and institutional frameworks and the degree of local community participation. Problems were identified and varied according to specific political, socio-economic, cultural, institutional and legal conditions in each of the reserved areas.
Conservation and Development in Ukraine: Panelists discussed: the development of environmental business in Ukraine; greening the economy as a principal path toward sustainability; environmental ethics and responsibility in trade processes; strategies for environmental rehabilitation in mining and industrial regions; and engagement of communities in environmental processes. Points were raised regarding the relationship between environmental policies in Ukraine and its transition to a market economy. In this respect, the moderator indicated that Ukraine is at an initial stage where development is taking priority over conservation, but noted that the country is striving for a shift of emphasis in the future. Comments were made on the types of economic incentives being used for the "greening" of business in Ukraine. Specific examples of incentives and strategies for environmental rehabilitation in the mining sector were given. One participant highlighted the irony of so-called ecotourism to the Chernobyl disaster site.
Community-based Management of Forest Resources: Panelists gave presentations on: community forestry in the Philippines: paradoxes and perspectives in development practice; livelihoods and local determination in natural resource management in upland forest communities in Thailand; jump-starting a grassroots forest industry in northwest California; and economic versus conservation impacts in the commercialization of the ivory nut in northeastern Ecuador. The debate that followed concentrated on the issue of knowing what sustainability actually means and whether a community-based management approach is always preferable. A panelist noted that sustainability is more a utopian ideal than an actual goal in itself. The participants also agreed that community-based approaches should be launched before resources are completely degraded and that this form of management is still too rare and needs to be applied in more cases.
Community-based Irrigation Management in Southern India: The panelists' presentations focused on: watershed movement; relevance and modeling of tank irrigation for other countries; strategic alliances between government, NGOs and the community; and the rise and fall of traditional water harvesting. The discussion focused on rights, fiscal measures, grassroots democracy, local knowledge and wisdom, coalition building, corruption and the politics of policy-making. Participants felt that there are many good examples where institutions and charismatic leaders can make a significant difference in irrigation management.
Local Participation in Protected Areas Management: The Cayambe-Coca Ecological Reserve in Ecuador: Panelists presented background information on the Nature Conservancy's PALOMAP project, and outlined lessons learned from the project, including the need to link conservation projects directly to threats to protected areas and the need to understand that the type of participation influences the effectiveness and equity of the conservation initiative. Panelists presented case studies of participatory conservation in the area, including the Oyacachi thermal baths ecotourism initiative and land-use zoning in Sinangue. In the ensuing discussion, it was emphasized that legal aspects of projects need to be examined carefully, particularly regarding rights and title to land. An understanding of who controls resource management and the involvement of the right stakeholders were highlighted as central to the development of conservation initiatives.
Involving Communities in Conservation and Development Programs in Brazil: Panelists presented case studies on: a participatory management plan in the Jau National Park; "agro-ecological possession" of land, protection of the Amazon and land rights; sustainable forest management in the Xikrin do Catet; indigenous land in the eastern Amazon; and participatory forest management in the Tapajos National Forest. Discussion focused on the types of institutional and regulatory frameworks being used to ensure community involvement in the management plans for each of these ecologically fragile areas. Presentations and comments addressed the need for strong legislation to protect indigenous populations' rights, including land tenure and difficulties encountered in harmonizing past and present legislation on natural resources. A new notion of land possession in the Brazilian Amazon was introduced ("agro-ecological possession"), which entails sustainable use of forest resources by dwellers in areas of common use.
Community Water Management: Participants discussed the findings of the International Secretariat for Water from research and workshops conducted on water management in different regions of the world. Participants agreed that lessons learned on successful water management entail the need to: involve all stakeholders in decision-making processes; integrate economic, social and environmental concerns; consider indigenous water systems and knowledge; and establish adequate institutional and regulatory frameworks. Water as a political, ethical and gender issue was discussed. Points were raised on the need to involve women in decision-making given their traditional role as water gatherers and users.
Community Participation in Protected Areas Management in Post-Apartheid South Africa: Presentations were made on a new policy for the management of national parks in South Africa based on a community-based approach to conservation, and problems posed by land restitution policies and laws with respect to protected areas. A case study was presented on community involvement in the definition of policies for the control and protection of elephant populations in the Kruger National Park. Participants discussed the opportunities and challenges to protected area management posed by the shift to a democratic system in South Africa. It was noted that key aspects of the new political system, such as broad community participation and equitable distribution of power and economic wealth, had influenced the approach to protected area management. A panelist mentioned recent laws for the restitution of land tenure to communities and indigenous populations that had been deprived of their rights during the apartheid system. He said that land that had been appropriated by the state in this way had often been converted into national parks or protected areas. He pointed to the conflict that now arises between the conservation of protected areas and land restitution laws that are implemented.
State Policy and Community Participation in Forest Management and Conservation in Mainland Southeast Asia: Panelists presented case studies on: the role of Dai traditional beliefs in biodiversity management in southwest China; conflict management in the Nangunhe nature reserve in Yunnan Province, China; and forestry policies and local communities in Vietnam. Participants discussed problems ensuing from privatization and decentralization, such as the destruction of common property regimes caused by privatization of forest land. The differing enforcement mechanisms of the state and communities and the unpredictability of tenure were highlighted as forces hindering sustainable management of forested land. It was noted that while the recent creation of several nature reserves in the region reflects an increasing concern for conservation, local people are being deprived of their rights to resources.
Creating Community-based Coastal and Marine Conservation in Northwest Mexico: Panelists gave presentations on: indigenous community-based marine conservation; communities and conservation in coastal marine areas of northwestern Mexico; and the Upper Gulf of California biosphere reserve. Participants discussed aquaculture projects, programs to assign marine tenure rights to indigenous communities, issues involving women in eco-tourism and building local capacity. Participants agreed that four issues need to be addressed: selecting a diversity of project sites; building capacity of local NGOs and communities; creating a coalition of NGOs, local stakeholders and government to formulate an agenda for action; and determining the funding requirements of these actions.
In addition to the regularly scheduled conference sessions summarized above, the Forum designated November 19 and November 21 as open workshop days in which participants were encouraged to organize their own working sessions in order to carry forward discussions, ideas and collaborative possibilities that arose during the course of the conference. A number of these workshops are summarized below.
Marine Conservation Issues in the Mediterranean and Black Sea: Panelists indicated that pollution in the Black Sea is a local, national and international issue. The most crucial issues in this area are marine pollution, overfishing and the introduction of alien species. Local NGOs have begun addressing these problems, and the six states that border the Black Sea have simultaneously joined in an international cooperative effort. One participant said that it was particularly important that all the sectors came together at this Forum to strike a proper balance between conservation and development. A dialogue was initiated with representatives of NGOs from Ukraine, Georgia and Romania. It was highlighted that NGOs must work together if they want to achieve significant results. Panelists also discussed oil and detergent pollution, currents and endangered species of the Turkish straits system. Some participants said that more data collection was needed before decisive action could be taken. One panelist then gave a presentation on the effects of an oil spill in the Marmara Sea and highlighted the absence of adequate infrastructure to respond to such disasters. In the concluding discussion, a participant remarked that science is not enough and that NGOs have already been successful in participating in the Black Sea Environment Programme and must now engage in more practical actions.
Evaluating Eden: The workshop moderator recalled that "Evaluating Eden" is an IIED project on community wildlife management (CWM) being implemented in different regions of the world. Participants discussed factors that had been identified by the regional review teams of the "Evaluating Eden" project as being crucial to CWM, including: institutional capacity; the cost-benefit ratio; impacts on biodiversity; definition and identification of the concerned "community;" incorporation of traditional ecological knowledge; intra-community differences and inequalities; donor influence; land rights; human population density; geographical location; and buffer zones.
In considering how to evaluate whether CWM is effective, participants agreed that the initial step was to identify the goals that had been set for a given project. The ensuing discussion focused on the type of criteria used to set and implement those goals. Some participants suggested that CWM goals could be considered on two different levels: biodiversity conservation and the resulting community benefits and well-being. Other participants pointed out the need to disaggregate the goals of a given project to determine whether they are compatible or contradictory. The definition of baselines was also identified as key to evaluation. Some noted the importance of community involvement throughout the life of the project, from setting its goals to evaluating its outcomes.
The issue of indicators as a tool for evaluation was also addressed. Some participants were of the view that indicators should be measurable in the field, either qualitatively or quantitatively. There was agreement that indicators should serve to measure the success of a given project. It was noted that the second phase of the "Evaluating Eden" project involved case studies in different regions as a means of evaluation. In this regard, participants pointed to the need to identify a common set of indicators to allow comparison between case studies. After extensive discussion, participants agreed on a list of quantitative and qualitative indicators that regional project coordinators could use when assessing case studies, including: is the community satisfied with and/or supportive of wildlife conservation; who in the community is satisfied and/or supportive and who is not; are wildlife populations increasing, and which species specifically; is habitat conservation being enhanced; are underprivileged people receiving benefits and being empowered; are culturally important goals being met; are financial benefits greater than costs; is livelihood security increasing; and what is the degree of community ownership and participation in the project? Criteria for case study selection were also addressed, including geographical location, ecological, social and ethnic representation, availability of information and local contacts.
Mediation as a Tool for Natural Resource Use: Facilitators distinguished mediation from litigation and arbitration as a means to resolve conflicts. It was noted that mediation offers room for creativity and flexibility whereas legal processes are more restrictive. Participants discussed how to reach equitable solutions when mediating between parties with differing degrees of power, noting that a primary function of an intermediary is to attempt to equalize these imbalances of power in finding solutions. The importance of access to information in negotiating resolutions was highlighted. Participants engaged in a game where they divided into groups and were provided with a bag of Tinker toys, which represented a limited resource. They were to develop a plan to build the highest structure possible with the toys, and then were given a limited time to carry out their plan. Participants discussed ways in which the game mirrored the mediation process, identifying the use of information-gathering, learning and innovation, unwillingness by some parties to participate, a lack of cooperation between groups, and time pressure to reach a solution.
National Environmental Funds as an Option to Finance Conservation and Development Activities: The panelist presented a framework for successful national environmental funds, outlined their benefits and highlighted models of existing funds in several countries. Workshop participants described experiences with establishing and governing environmental funds in Guatemala, Mexico, Honduras, Bolivia and Indonesia. Several topics were touched upon in the discussion that followed, including: private sector funds; alliances between international institutions, governments, private donors and environmental organizations for establishing and managing funds; the need for civil society representation in fund management; and fund-governing structures including government agencies, NGOs, and a combination of NGOs and governments.
New Directions in Community-based Conservation: Approaches and Tools: Representatives from the World Wildlife Fund, the Nature Conservancy and the Southern Africa Network presented lessons learned from their respective conservation initiatives. Common lessons included the importance of balancing organizational objectives with partners' objectives, maintaining the perspective of the project in the "larger picture," incorporating realistic planning and clarification of responsibilities; linking international policy work with project level work; making connections between national and international policies and local actions; building institutional and local capacity; applying lessons from the field to policy creation; and effectively linking policy analysis and advocacy work.
Drawing on these lessons, recommendations were made for future program design, including: development of conservation initiatives appropriate for mitigating local area threats; incorporation of monitoring and evaluation elements in programs; establishment of mechanisms to avoid exacerbating conservation threats; improvement of communication and collaboration between donors and implementers; employment of a holistic approach to project design and implementation; adoption of an adaptive management style; and development of approaches that address multiple issues. In the discussion that followed, participants explored: how realistic and attainable program goals are; the importance of local participation; the need to extend donor time horizons; the importance of addressing public policy issues such as land tenure; the validity of the protected area model for conservation; linkages between environmental services for local communities and biodiversity conservation; the question of whether biodiversity or development comes first; and the need for institutional and organizational collaboration to meet the multiple development needs of communities.
World Bank Inspection Panel: During the workshop, participants held an informal discussion about the workings and politics of the World Bank and the independent Inspection Panel. Participants discussed particular projects of concern, as well as practical problems in filing claims. It was explained that local citizens can request an independent investigation by the Inspection Panel into the Bank's role in a project, and to determine whether the Bank has violated its own policies and procedures.
Ethics and the Environment: Workshop participants identified ways through which moral and ethical issues intersect their work. They discussed different scales of environmental ethics, at personal, community, institutional, national and international levels. It was noted that while the Earth Charter represents one avenue through which to establish an environmental ethic at an international level, concrete solutions about what communities can do to address the environmental realities that confront them cannot be found within such a general conceptual ethic. Participants debated whether there is a need for a universal environmental ethic or many different ethics that reflect different local histories and cultural and spiritual values. Participants underscored that, with regard to resource use, many individuals and communities face a dilemma between short-term survival needs and long- term security. It was agreed that basic needs must take precedence, but capitalist and socialist modes of production should not be replicated, so the question becomes how to incorporate environmental ethics into economic models to make them more sustainable. The time it takes to cultivate and integrate such ethics was also noted as problematic given the pressing nature of environmental issues.
Interdisciplinary Training for Conservation and Development: Participants discussed interdisciplinary programs they are involved with and stressed the need for and importance of training natural resource managers, economists, policy makers and scientists in an interdisciplinary manner to understand the cross-sectoral nature of environmental problems and the need for multi- faceted solutions to these problems. Participants considered how to connect and integrate academic training with fieldwork, emphasizing the need for fieldwork to be politically informed and socially relevant and for social science to be scientifically informed so that the two are symbiotic. They discussed means of assessing whether interdisciplinary programs are successful and how to incorporate such assessments for continual program improvement. Participants agreed to communicate electronically to exchange information on evaluation methods.
Non-Renewable Resources, Local Communities and Protected Areas: Participants discussed the issues of property and human rights surrounding large investment projects of non- renewable resource exploration and exploitation in areas of high biological and cultural diversity. Participants shared lessons learned from mining and oil projects in Papua New Guinea and current problems in the Ecuadorian and Peruvian Amazon. The ICDP project being implemented in Papua New Guinea through a consultation process between Chevron, WWF and local communities was discussed. Participants emphasized that two major questions remain open for future collaborative work: how to strengthen local communities and NGOs in their relationships with large corporations and states, and what are the criteria to make mining and hydrocarbons compatible with long term resource planning?
Steven Sanderson, Conservation & Development Forum (US), thanked the organizers and supporters of the conference, the CDF Board, Forum participants and the people of Turkey. He stated that the social question has become global and the ecological component has been added, and both have situated themselves in societies in flux. He highlighted some of the key themes of the Forum -- knowledge, power, stories and discovery; the incommensurable contexts of truth; the professionalization of conservation and development; the contradictions of success; "siren songs" of development; the remapping of the world; and the missing link of economics in conservation and development -- and how they surfaced through conversations undertaken at the conference. He asked participants to consider how the Forum might progress as an organization after the conference. He appealed to participants to be self-aware and self-critical and to invest in new linkages in conservation and development both by recommending courses of action and by claiming a role in the Forum's future.
The Plenary was then opened for comments. Several participants remarked on the success of the conference and the value of international cross-pollination. Some noted that developing countries and civil society were underrepresented, and some expressed hope that future conferences would be more participatory and open to the public. Participants called for conferences to be held at the grassroots and regional levels. Others highlighted the need to promote sustainable consumerism as an element of conservation; stressed the importance of incorporating population concerns in discussions on conservation; suggested holding conferences to inform people about how to access funding; and underlined the need to relate international conventions, meetings and negotiations to the local level. Participants agreed that the powerful partnerships forged at the Forum must be maintained and cultivated, and stressed the importance of furthering the experience by taking the spirit of the Forum home and sharing it with colleagues, friends and family.
THEATER AND DANCE PRESENTATIONS
In seeking new ways to bridge cultural understandings of people and their environment, Forum '97 highlighted the possibilities that non-traditional forms of communication, such as theater, dance and film, offer for cross-cultural exchange. During the conference, Forum participants attended three theater and dance performances that explored the meanings of conservation and development within their respective regional and cultural contexts.
El Cuento del Karai is a play by Teatro del Ogro (Bolivia). The performance portrays a white man in search of mythical tales of ancient and true wisdom who is found in a Guarani village naively asking that the local people reveal to him the secrets of their "religious way of living." The objective of the play is to express the original teachings of a distinct people in a universal language. Teatro del Ogro, now based in Bolivia, was founded in Italy in 1989 with the goal of creating theater that could be performed in schools, urban neighborhoods, small villages and universities, adapting the works to the spaces available and working with actors and collaborators of varied cultural origins.
The Wolf at the Door, by Human Nature (US), is based on the story of the reintroduction of wolves into Yellowstone National Park. It is a three-person musical comedy that reveals how the wolf, freed from the weight of mythologies, can guide us and help us overcome our fears. The Wolf at the Door offers perspective on elements of our society that are antithetical to both the wild and to a sustainable way of life, and points at ironies that could twist environmentally and socially beneficial initiatives into parodies of their best intentions. The members of Human Nature have been part of a leading effort in the Western US to restore the health and productivity of an entire watershed community.
The Spirits Are Now Happy, by Programa de Activistas Culturais (Mozambique), is a ballet based in visually powerful dance, movement and rhythm. The production argues that respect for the forest is an integral part of Shona society and culture and that outsiders and locals are using forests unsustainably and need to alter their attitudes, rediscover and/or reshape their values and take community action to better manage the environment. It was developed as the result of a request by the Provincial Forestry and Wildlife Service of Mozambique for a piece that could be part of a rural extension and dissemination program within the Chimanimai Mountains community-based resource management program. The ballet is being performed in villages that have expressed interest in the initiative, where forest communities have very strong traditions of forest stewardship and where most of the rainforest areas are sacred and closely managed but are currently threatened by external logging and other commercial use interests.
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