Landscape-scale approaches for integrated natural resource management in tropical forest landscapes

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Integrated natural resource management (INRM) helps resource users, managers, and others to manage resources sustainably by considering, reconciling, and synergizing their various interests and activities. Although many social and environmental problems have to be tackled at a range of scales to be resolved successfully, INRM has particular relevance at the landscape level at which the interests of local people first intersect those of the outside world. We propose eight guidelines for building successful INRM programs: focus on multiscale analysis and intervention; develop partnerships and engage in action research; facilitate change rather than dictating it; promote visioning and the development of scenarios; recognize the importance of local knowledge; foster social learning and adaptive management; concentrate on both people and their natural resources, including biodiversity; and embrace complexity. Reviewing these guidelines in the light of experiences from three separate studies shows that most are being done, though more as a product of happenstance than design. The guidelines form a mutually reinforcing framework for building INRM, primarily through empowering local stakeholders to be more articulate advocates and active participants in their own development and conservation efforts.

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