Governance and natural resources management: Key factors and policy implications
Catacutan, Delia C.
Garrity, Dennis P.
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Local Government Units (LGU) play a critical role in the management of resources within their jurisdiction. Our collaborative work with SANREM/seeks to understand better the methodological, institutional and policy hurdles impinging the success of local natural resource management. The experience started in Lantapan in phase 1 of SANREM, with the aim to better integrate environmental knowledge in planning and decision-making at the watershed level. SANREM supported an LGU-led planning process for the development of a five-year Municipal Natural Resource Management and Development Plan (NRMDP). The NRMDP was recognized as a national model for locally led and research-based NRM planning by the Philippines' National Strategy for Watershed Management. Inspired by the Lantapan experience, a scaling-up process was pursued in four municipalities in northern Bukidnon. We concluded that there are socio-political and technical factors affecting the sustainability of local NRM. Four sustainability factors to successful NRM emerged from our study. These are: clear local financial investment, enhanced local technical capacity, sound political culture conducive to NRM, and a supporting National Mandate. To ensure that these conditions are met will require pressures for a virtual overhaul of programmatic areas of effective governance, as well as, setting a national level policy direction, and local level enforcement of such policies. We aim to translate these factors into policy statements communicated at the national level for wider impacts.
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