Accommodating multiple interests in local forest management: a focus on facilitation, actors and practices

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This paper is concerned with three questions. When, if at all, is facilitation worthwhile? When dealing with local forest management, what exactly should facilitators focus on? How does empowerment fit into facilitation efforts? Two case studies, one concerned with the establishment of the Bahuaja-Sonene National Park in Peru, the other with the impact of changes in forest legislation on the Yuracare in the Bolivian tropics, are presented. The conclusion is that mismatches between competent performances rather than conflicts of interests between relevant stakeholders are most involved when problems arise. To overcome these, facilitation should address at least three types of accommodation processes: learning-in-practice, learning-across-practices and resource-use negotiation. Moreover, it should define itself within a particular context. Facilitation strategies should be defined according to the type of situation the stakeholders are in. Key elements for judging fundamentally different situations are suggested. Empowerment is seen as a necessary element for strengthening the stakeholders' capacity to act and interact effectively in their search for new options and solutions.

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