Governance and natural resources management: Key factors and policy implications

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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.



Local policy, Government policy, Laws and regulations, Economic impacts, Decentralization, Administration, Natural resource management, Local governance, Environmental law, Local government units, Socio-political factors, Technical factors, Local policy, National government, Local financial investment, Local technical capacity, Political culture, National mandate, Governance


Paper presented to the SANREM-CRSP Research Synthesis Conference, 28-30 November 2001, Athens, GA.