Governance and natural resource management: Key factors and policy implications: Emerging lessons from ICRAF- SANREM collaboration in the Philippines


D. Catacutan; D. Garrity; C. Duque

Type of Document:
Conference Proceeding or Document


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Abstract: The concept and practice of governance and natural resource management is emerging as a popular debate in the Philippines, as in many countries in the region. It is now widely accepted that Local Government Units (LGU) play a critical role in the management of resources within their jurisdiction. This debate is constructed from a combination of people, processes and structures under a diversity of circumstances. Hence, its pluralistic nature, necessitates participation more widely by various civil society sectors, including the scientific community.

Our collaborative work with SANREM/CRSP is a serious attempt to understand better the methodological, institutional and policy hurdles impinging upon the success of local natural resource management. The experience begun 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) of Lantapan. The NRMDP was recognized as a national model for locally led and research-based NRM planning by the Philippines National Strategy for Watershed Management (DENR-FMB, 1998). Inspired by the Lantapan experience, a scaling-up process was pursued in four municipalities in northern Bukidnon. The recently completed plans were legitimized with institutional and financial support– embracing the technological, institutional and policy aspects of resource management.

We concluded that there are socio-political and technical factors affecting the success and sustainability of local NRM. Four of these 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. However, to ensure that these conditions are met will require a virtual overhaul of programmatic areas of effective governance, as well as, setting a national level policy direction that proactively support the local enforcement of such policies. These factors are in fact, conditions predispose to sustainable NRM at the local level.

Additional Bibliographic Information

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

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