Following several seminal events in 2004, and based on CMWG member feedback, the CEESP Co-management Working Group (CWMG) has now officially evolved into a Theme on Governance, Equity and Rights (TGER). This web page on Shared Governance remains at the disposal of people who would like to discuss only shared governance and co-management related issues and post co-management related papers and ideas. Below, please review a brief history of our evolution from CMWG to TGER, and see some new CMWG papers and publications!!
The 3rd World Conservation Congress (WCC) in Bangkok (November 15-25, 2004) was an important moment for the Collaborative Management Working Group (CWMG) of CEESP, and we have many reasons to celebrate:
The Working Group has been active for 8 years, throughout which it steadily grew in size and engagement. The Group held a special meeting on November 16th and the coherent variety of work subjects and unfailing commitment of our members energized everyone in sight. In particular, the members celebrated the fact that the co-management approach is now firmly included in international policy—most notably in the Programme of Work for Protected Areas of the Convention on Biological Diversity, but also in the policy of the IUCN and its members and partners.
Some of the major publications developed with the collaboration of hundreds of CMWG members were launched at the Bangkok Congress, including:
- Sharing Power: Learning by Doing in Co-management of Natural Resources throughout the World (500 pgs);
- Issue no. 13 of Policy Matters, dedicated to History, Culture and Conservation (308 pgs);
- Indigenous and Local Communities and Protected Areas: towards Equity and Enhanced Conservation (112 pages); and
- Briefing Notes— no. 4 on Mobile Peoples and Conservation, no. 5 on Community Conserved Areas, no. 6 on Governance of Natural Resources, and no. 7 (produced in 2 languages) on recommendations about the key motions for the IUCN Central American members
CMWG members participated actively in the WCC Conservation Forum, and were among the organizers and prime movers of most initiatives related to conservation, equity and human rights.
The Congress approved, by a large margin, all Motions that were devised with the help and support of CMWG members; these include—among others— the Resolutions on Governance of Natural Resources, Food Sovereignty, Community Conserved Areas, the Landscape/seascape Approach, and two Resolutions on Indigenous Peoples and Conservation.
The IUCN elections in Bangkok were also kind to our members. They reconfirmed Taghi Farvar as Chair of CEESP and brought Marija Zupancic Vicar and Claudio Carrera Maretti into the Council. Many CMWG members supported the election of Nik Loupokhine as Chair of WCPA and Valli Moosa as President of the Union, and members are convinced that the collaboration with them will prove effective in the years to come.
Importantly, the Congress approved a new CEESP mandate whereby the CMWG is to continue its work with a revised and expanded role.
During the Conservation Forum, CMWG held a round table discussion on issues of Governance of Natural Resources within IUCN, which had implications for the future of the CMWG. In the light of the mounting interest on such issues as well as on equity in natural resource management and human rights objectives versus conservation objectives (both at the Congress and in the conservation community in general), the roundtable explored the possibility of CMWG enlarging its sphere of interest and transforming itself into a Theme dedicated to issues of Governance, Equity and Human Rights. As a matter of fact, much of the work of CMWG in 2003 and 2004 has been already related to governance of natural resources- with a specific focus on community conserved areas (CCAs) and co-managed protected areas (CMPAs). Governance of natural resources was addressed extensively in the Governance Stream of the World Parks Congress ( Durban, September 2003). Please see the Final report for the World Parks Congress - Workshop Stream III: Governance of Protected Areas compiled by Diane Pansky. Individual papers are available at IUCN headquarters. See also the entire proceedings of the stream, now fully available also by the care of Diane Pansky.
All the participants in the roundtable agreed that expanding our focus to include natural resource governance, equity, and rights would be a logical evolution of our group. Some, however, recommended that the technical specialist group on co-management should not be allowed to disappear as it can continue to provide an important role. For instance, the contributions and dedication of CMWG members has been critical to producing unique documents such as Sharing Power: Learning by Doing in Co-management of Natural Resources throughout the World), and requests for CM expertise are regularly received by the group. Could a renewed group maintain its vocation towards CM and, at the same time, open up new areas of concern? If so, how? The roundtable in Bangkok considered these questions also in the light of the fact that another CEESP (and WCPA) group— TILCEPA— is concerned with governance, equity and rights, although only for the specific case of protected areas.
After the Roundtable, CMWG members at large were invited to express their views and preferences via e-mail about whether CMWG should transform itself into Theme on Governance, Equity and Rights (TGER) or whether it should remain focused on co-management of natural resources within a larger TGER entity. Suggestions on structural arrangements and thematic focus for the future of our Working Group were also requested.
About 40 replies were received, 23 of which included a completed questionnaire. While this response rate did not capture a large percentage of the CMWG total membership, respondents varied terms of gender and geography (7 women, 16 men; 13 countries of which about half were from the South). An analysis of these answers revealed that most CMWG members were interested in expanding the subject matter of the group into Governance, Equity and Rights, but that many members also wish to maintain the debate and exchanges regarding the specific focus on co-management.
Following CMWG member feedback, and in tune with the new mandate of CEESP approved at Bangkok and by the CEESP Executive Committee (May 11-12, 2005), the Co-management Working Group has now officially evolved into a Theme on Governance, Equity and Rights. This web page on Co-management, however, remains at the disposal of people who would like to discuss only co-management related issues and post co-management related papers and ideas. For instance some new papers have just been uploaded below. Please visit them!
The CMWG discussion list has also officially changed into a TGER discussion list. Members can send in messages to CMWG@indaba.iucn.org, or to the new name TGER@inadaba.iucn.org. In both cases, all the messages will appear with the subject matter starting with [TGER]. Senders, however, may still wish to send messages relevant only to co-management and identify that in the subject line. For instance, they could simply have them begin by ”CM”: and follow that with the appropriate title. In the receiving mailboxes, the subject line will appear as “[TGER] CM: title”. For messages related to issues of governance at large, equity and human rights you would not need to add anything in particular to the title.
We hope the CMWG members will appreciate and enjoy the broader area of focus and will become even more active in the life of the group. Any suggestions or advice on how this could be done will be very much appreciated. Please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org
EVALUATING GOVERNANCE: A Handbook to Accompany a Participatory Process for a Protected Area. By Peter Abrams, Grazia Borrini-Feyerabend, Julia Gardner and Pippa Heylings
Prospects for co-management in Nsumbu National Park, Zambia—a poster by CMWG member Matthew Fossey, Department of Geography, Lancaster University
Tribals and Tigers: Will the Forest Rights Bill Save Both? By Ashish Kothari and Neema Pathak
CMWG organized a side event on governance of protected areas at the Seventh Conference of Parties to the CBD in Kuala Lumpur ( Malaysia) in February 2004 (COP 7), and distributed governance-related pamphlets and literature. CMWG members also participated in the technical meeting that preceded the Conference of Parties to the Convention: SBSTTA (Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice).
CBD COP 7 produced a Programme of Work on Protected Areas that includes a full element on Governance, Participation, Equity and Benefit Sharing.