Local Environmental Management in a North-South Perspective

Issues of Participation and Knowledge Management, Swiss Priority Programme Environment


Flury, M.,
Geiser, U.

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How can weaker sections of the society exercise their rights and participate in the management of their physical environment? What factors enhance the development and adaptation of knowledge in view of sustainable natural resource management in rural as well as urban contexts? What roles do development agents such as public administration, community development organisations, training and research institutions, and international development agencies assume in these regards?
Centralised, expert-led environmental management has lost its acceptance by those affected. Therefore, solutions are increasingly searched for through “participation”, i.e. by considering the capacities, interests and concerns of citizens and local communities.
The authors of this book present practical approaches. Case studies are located on the one hand in southern countries, i.e. Burkina Faso, Chad, Ethiopia, India, Kenya, Madagascar, and Vietnam, and on the other hand in the “North”, i.e. Switzerland – thus attempting a comparative analysis of similar approaches in different settings. The first part of the book focuses on innovative ways of participatory management. In the second part, the authors look at how knowledge links to actual practices of natural resource use, at the conditions of production and adaptation of new knowledge and at the role of agents of development to improve knowledge management.