Uniting Science and Participation

x / Barry Pound, Sieglinde Snapp, Cynthia McDougall, and Ann Braun

Earthscan, IDRC / 2003-01-01

ISBN: 1-84407-026-3 / 260 pg.
e-ISBN: 1-55250-071-3

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Management of local resources has a greater chance of a sustainable outcome when there is partnership between local people and external agencies, and agendas relevant to their aspirations and circumstances. Managing Natural Resources for Sustainable Livelihoods analyses and extends this premise to show unequivocally that the process of research for improving natural resource management must incorporate participatory and user-focused approaches, leading to development based on the needs and knowledge of local resource users.

Drawing on extensive and highly relevant case studies, this book presents innovative approaches for establishing and sustaining participation and collective decision-making, good practice for research, and challenges for future developments. It covers a wide range of natural resources – including forests and soils, and water and management units such as watersheds and common property areas and provides practical lessons from analysis and meta-analysis of cases from Asia, Africa and Latin America. It offers insights on how to make research participatory while maintaining rigour and high-quality biological science, different forms of participation, and ways to scale up and extend participatory approaches and successful initiatives.

This book will be invaluable for those professionally involved in natural resource management for sustainable development, and an essential resource for teachers and students of both the biophysical and social science aspects of natural resource management.


Barry Pound is a farming systems and livelihoods specialist at the Natural Resources Institute, UK. Sieglinde Snapp is Assistant Professor of Integrated Crop Management at Michigan State University, USA, and works with farmers in applying biological principles to the design of resilient systems. Cynthia McDougall is a social scientist at the Center for International Forestry Research, Indonesia, focused on enhancing equity and livelihoods in community forestry. Ann Braun is an agricultural ecologist focused on mentoring participatory and user-sensitive approaches to research, supporting learning processes and promoting ecological literacy.​

IDRC Books
Knowledge, innovation, and solutions to improve the lives of people in the developing world
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