Participatory ecosystem-based planning and management: a resource manual for mid-level technicians and development workers

Participatory ecosystem-based planning and management: a resource manual for mid-level technicians and development workers

Management of natural resources (land, water, soil, vegetation) has multiple benefits. It not only provides ecosystem goods such as food, timber, fuelwood but also services like regulation of hydrological flows, erosion control, carbon sequestration and conservation of biodiversity. Sustainable management of natural resources in the upper catchments of the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH) is critical for both upstream and downstream communities.

One of the important aspects of sustainable natural resource management (NRM) is the active participation of local communities (women and men; rich and poor) and collaboration with relevant stakeholders during situation analysis, planning, implementation, and the monitoring and evaluation phases.

This manual is designed for NRM planning, as a reference material for development practitioners, researchers, and others who are involved in NRM and need to facilitate participatory NRM planning processes.

The participatory tools and methods presented in this manual have been tested and applied in Nepal, Bhutan, and India through two projects: the Kailash Sacred Landscape Conservation and Development Initiative (KSLCDI) and the Kangchenjunga Landscape Conservation and Development Initiative (KLCDI).

More specifically, the NRM planning addressed in this manual focuses on Participatory Ecosystem-Based Planning and Management, or PEBPM. The rationale for PEBPM with a village approach is twofold: (1) the complexity and specificity of hydrogeological, ecological, and socio-economic processes are best captured at the local level and (2) implementing intensive natural resource management interventions in critical locations, such as upland catchments or areas exposed to human-induced hydrogeological degradation, is more cost-effective than trying to control extended systems, such as landscapes or river basins.

The manual can be useful in two ways:
- To organize a training course for resource persons who will facilitate PEBPM.
- To serve as a reference document for those who already have a good understanding of PEBPM and wish to organize their own trainings and sessions.

The manual was co-funded by the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Nepal.