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Title 'If you saw it with my eyes' : collaborative research and assistance with Central American forest steward communities / Peter Leigh Taylor [and others]
Published Bogor Barat, Indonesia : Center for International Forestry Research, ©2008
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JSTOR Sustainability    View Resource Record  

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Description 1 online resource (v, 47 pages) : color illustrations, color maps
Summary Communities are making unprecedented gains worldwide in forest resource access and management rights. A new conservation actor, the forest steward community, is emerging in Central America as an effective collaborator in forest conservation. How best to support and strengthen this community-based conservation actor while minimizing external dependency? This paper discusses an experience with innovative participatory research in Guatemala and Nicaragua that aimed to strengthen community capabilities in natural resource management. The Grassroots Assistance Project trained community members to document and critically reflect upon local experience with forest management and external assistance. Together with regional context studies undertaken by professional researchers, these local 'autosystematization' studies made possible comprehensive documentation of the multiple dimensions of communities' resource management, identification of their strengths and vulnerabilities and discussion of future strategies. Their endeavours also reveal an emerging alternative 'accompaniment' approach to technical assistance, which promotes a high level of partnership between communities and external institutions, in contrast to traditional assistance, which often creates dependency. Technical 'accompaniment' emphasizes long-term social processes, shared learning, community empowerment, validation of local knowledge and continual strengthening of organizational capabilities. It also suggests organizing assistance to pursue closer proximity to communities and their processes, flattening of technical staff hierarchies, flexible response to community input, more horizontal information exchange, and incorporation of social process indicators into assessment. Employed in combination with more traditional assistance approaches, the technical 'accompaniment' approach holds promise for strengthening communities' capabilities as key allies in protecting and managing the environment for the future
Notes "Forests and Governance Programme no. 14/2008."
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references
Notes Print version record
Subject Forest management -- Central America
Forest policy -- Central America
Forests and forestry -- Central America
Sustainable forestry -- Central America
Forest management.
Forest policy.
Forests and forestry.
Sustainable forestry.
Central America.
Form Electronic book
Author Taylor, Peter Leigh, 1959-
Center for International Forestry Research
Forests and Governance Programme
ISBN 9789791412506
9791412502