Locally-led natural resource management: proceedings of a regional workshop 8-9 November 2001, Valencia City, Bukidnon, Philippines uri icon

abstract

  • Watershed Management is one of the major concerns of local communities including local governments and their partner civil society sectors. In Bukidnon for instance, the Provincial Government has been proactively pursuing its Watershed Management and Development Programmes in partnership with private organizations, research institutions, the academe and the civil society For the last two years, multi-stakeholder meetings have been conducted to share experiences, lessons and strategies, and to enjoin public participation, with the end view of establishing a critical mass for effective local natural resource management (NRM). A decade after the Philippine Decentralization Law, significant improvements were achieved in the arena of fiscal administration, resource generation, infrastructure development, and social services among others. On a national scale however, minimal progress has been seen in the area of local NRM. Our early hypothesis states that there are methodological, institutional and policy hurdles that constrain the development and success of local watershed and NRM. The basis upon which devolved environment and natural resource functions are effectively implemented lies with an effective social-institutional infrastructure that is directly in charge of delivering NRM services at the local level. The lack of it, lends itself to unsustainable NRM programmes, aggravated by leadership changes and political transitions. But, while the Philippine Local Government Code of 1991 provides the basis for local NRM, it is interesting to note that this is not necessarily the driving force for many Local Governments Units who have made breakthroughs in local NRM. Our case studies reveal that recognition of responsibility for producing environmental goods is not enough. It goes beyond the normal practices of governance, and is intertwined with political culture, political will and leadership. This implies the need for long-term education and managing the political culture, through a pragmatic approach that directly links NRM with good governance. Our tasks are enormous compared to the modest resources available to perform them, but sharing small successes, experiences and lessons through meetings like this will hopefully narrow down the knowledge gap in effective local NRM

publication date

  • 2002