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Sharing Power: A few examples of the application of participatory methods in designing environmental policies

Documents sources

Borrini-Feyerabend Grazia, Pimbert Michel, Farvar M.Taghi, Kothari Ashish, Renard Yves et al, Sharing Power - Learning by Doing in Co-management of Natural Resources throughout the World, IIED, IUCN, CMWG, CEESP, 2004.

Some environmental policies established around the world have been designed through the application of participatory methods. What does it mean ? What were the objectives of the policymakers ? What population groups did they include in the process ? What were the procedures and methods used ?

CaseWhy was the process organised?Who was included?What procedures and methods were used? 
Innovative Development for Air quality in Santiago, Chile1. To render manageable a highly complex environmental problem. 2. To get the mutual commitment of the citizens and government to a plan that is legitimate and effective. 3. To produce a metropolitan plan and enable its participative management / implementation.Different participants at different stages, including government officers, NGO members, consultants, university researchers and citizens. (About one half of the instruments included in the plan that was produced came from the citizens proposals!)1. Workshops and discussion in small groups by representatives and citizens. 2. Action mapping. 3. Participatory formulation of plan. 4. A follow up conference towards participative management.
Land tenure policy change in Madagascar and GuineaTo inform policy decisions at the national level regarding land tenure policy and national resource management legislation.1. Direct participation of citizens in information production. 2. National academics, development workers and government staff involved in conducting case studies and rapid riral appraisals (RRAs), trained and facilitated by the Land Tenure Centre at Wisconsin University. 3. In guinea, the RRA facilitation teams included only government staff.Case studies prepared using participatory techniques were presented to multiple government and NGO stakeholders at various regional workshops.
Wetland management policy development in Pakistan and India1. To assess current impact of protected areas policies on local communities. 2. To revise managements plans in the light of interaction between local people and outsiders. 3. To initiate dialogue on policy reforms needed.Direct participation of citizens in information production and alternative management plan for protected areas.1. PRA training for government and WWF staff. 2. Appraisal completed in villages in National Parks in both India and Pakistan. 3. Public deliberations on reforms in wetland management regimes.
Gestion de terroir (GT- landscape management) process in Mali1. To negotiate land use plans (maps of the terroir delineating what resources exist and are to be used for what). 2. To train communities in natural resource management. 3. Possibly, to agree upon investments in natural resources. (These objectives were criticised as having been largely predetermined and bureaucracy-based.)Farmers, pastoralists, GT team members, and local government (to a limited extent).Teams of facilitators bring different stakeholders to reflect on local land use (within the terroir) and to develop plans for improvement through PRA methods. (A criticism to this method is that the frame for deliberation was set from above, thus it may not have been the most relevant unit for local livelihood, it might have been biased against pastoralists, etc.)
Citizens Panels in SwitzerlandTo locate a waste disposal site in the Canton Aargau.Citizens of twelve communities that offered potentially suitable locations for a waste disposal site were asked to take part in a citizen panel and met regularly over six months. The citizen’s Panel involved a random sample of the relevant potential site communities.Within the Panel, four committees were established, they got introduced to the issues, they discussed conflicting interpretations and different options, produced recommendations, discussed them in a supra-committee and made final recommendations available to media and public officials.