Introductory material

The designation of geographical entities in this publication and the presentation of the material do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of GTZ or the IUCN concerning the legal status of any country, territory, or area, or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.

The views expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect those of GTZ or the IUCN.

Publishing details

Published by: Kasparek Verlag, Mönchhofstr. 16, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany
Fax: (+49) 6221 - 471 858, E-mail: [email protected]
for the »Protected Area and Transition Zone Development Project« (ABS/LISTRA) implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) GmbH on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and for the IUCN–World Conservation Union Regional Office for Central Africa (ROCA).

Copyright © : (2000) by Grazia Borrini-Feyerabend, M. Taghi Farvar, Jean Claude Nguinguiri and Vincent Awa Ndangang.
Reproduction of this publication for educational or other non-commercial purposes is authorized without any prior written permission from the copyright holders provided the source is fully acknowledged. Reproduction of this publication for resale or other commercial purposes is prohibited without prior written permission by the copyright holders.

Citation: Borrini-Feyerabend, G., Farvar, M. T., Nguinguiri, J. C. & Ndangang, V. A.: Co-management of Natural Resources: Organising, Negotiating and Learning-by-Doing. GTZ and IUCN, Kasparek Verlag, Heidelberg (Germany), 2000.

ISBN 3-925064-30-3

Cover picture: Participatory mapping around Mount Kilum forest, Cameroon. Photo by G. Borrini-Feyerabend

Available from: GTZ–ABS/LISTRA Protected Area Management and Transition Zone Development Project, Postfach 5180, 65726 Eschborn, Germany
Fax: (+49) 6196 - 79-6190; E-mail: [email protected] , [email protected] , [email protected]
IUCN Regional Office for Central Africa, BP 5506 Yaoundé, Cameroon
Tel. (+237) 21 64 96, Fax. (+237) 21 64 97, E-mail: [email protected]
Kasparek Verlag, Mönchhofstr. 16, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany
Fax: (+49) 6221 - 471 858, E-mail: [email protected]

This book is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Moreno Chiovoloni, a social anthropologist who assisted the Réseau Cogestion (Co-management Network) on behalf of the IUCN Collaborative Management Working Group. Moreno facilitated a workshop on social communication in Somalomo (Cameroon) in June 2000. During his staying in the area, in the heart of the tropical forest, he contracted malaria. He died of cerebral complications less than a month later.

Moreno was a competent and engaged professional. He was also very relaxed and fun. The participants in the workshop and the collegues with whom he worked remember him with gratitude and lasting fondness.


Is it possible to go beyond what the State declares to be the best way to manage natural resources? If yes, how? To these questions GTZ and the IUCN attempt to provide some answers with this publication – a practical manual for natural-resource managers interested in negotiating multi-party agreements and institutions, and in learning by doing. The publication offers guidelines, checklists, concepts, ideas and a range of methods and tools to facilitate a co-management process. What it does not offer, and it emphasises could not be offered, is a set of hard-and-fast co-management rules.

For the IUCN, this publication constitutes an exemplary case of productive synergy between its Commissions and Secretariat. Indeed, the document is the result of a partnership between the Collaborative Management Working Group (CMWG) – a working group under the IUCN Commission of Environmental, Economic and Social Policy (CEESP) – and the IUCN Regional Office for Central Africa (ROCA), which operates the Co-management Project for Nature Conservation in the Congo Basin with GTZ sponsorship. The experience gained in this partnership deserves careful examination from the IUCN as a whole, also because it directly responds to the mandate of the IUCN Resolution 1.42 of the First World Conservation Congress (Montreal, 1996).

From the perspective of the German Development Cooperation, this publication perfectly fits its main policy tenets: achieving a balance between biodiversity conservation and development concerns. The publication emphasises the links between conservation and sustainable use of natural resources, on the one hand, and poverty reduction on the other. It also stresses the need to strengthen human and institutional capacities in GTZ's partner countries whilst learning from their local experience.

By making available co-management concepts, ideas, methods and tools, we hope to assist a variety of social actors striving to figure out «how best to manage natural resources». To all of them we wish good luck in the use of this volume, trusting it may lead to more sustainable and equitable approaches.

August 2000

Dr. Cornelis van Tuyll

Assitou Ndinga

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) GmbH
Head of Division Rural Development

IUCN–The World Conservation Union
Regional Director, Central Africa

Preface and Acknowledgements

This document was developed on the basis of five presentations given by Grazia Borrini-Feyerabend (GBF) at a workshop of the Réseau Cogestion (Co-management Network) in Maroua, Cameroon, in January 1999. The network was set up by the GTZ/IUCN project Co-management for Nature Conservation in Unstable Socio-political Conditions: "Learning by Doing" in the Congo Basin, to which the IUCN Collaborative Management Working Group is called to provide technical assistance (see Annex 4). After the presentations, GBF revised and completed the presentations and added the Annexes. A further extensive revision of the document was made together with M. Taghi Farvar (MTF) on the basis of field lessons presented at another workshop of the same network he facilitated in Buea, Cameroon, in November 1999. A final revision took place after yet another workshop in Somalomo (Cameroon), in June 2000. It included contributions from MTF and inputs, example boxes and the addition of an annex on the preliminary experience of the co-management project provided by Jean Claude Nguinguiri (JCN), Coordinator of the GTZ/IUCN project, and Vincent Awa Ndangang (VAN), Coordinator of the Réseau Cogestion.

This volume provides broad guidelines, methods, tools, concepts and ideas for co-management facilitators and partners. Practitioners engaged in promoting and facilitating co-management initiatives should however know (and usually do know!) that their specific context of work is more important than any externally devised set of instructions and guidelines. In other words, co-management processes are invariably experimental and ideas, methods and tools – including those provided here – need to be adjusted and bent around specific situations and environments. With this spirit in mind, this volume may be used with benefit by project officers, community members, government staff, NGO staff, members of CM Start-up Teams and others interested in participatory approaches to managing natural resources. Several members of the IUCN Collaborative Management Working Group (CMWG) are currently working on a more in-depth treatment of the subject of this volume, which should hopefully be available by the end of the year 2000.

The generous professional and personal encouragement offered by Kirsten Hegener, Coordinator of the "Protected Area and Transition Zone Development Project" (ABS/LISTRA) at the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) and of her GTZ colleagues – in particular Klaus Mersmann in Yaoundé and Welf Petram in Eschborn – has made possible both the co-management project in the Congo Basin and this publication. To her and to them goes the heartfelt appreciation of all the authors.

The advice and technical inputs provided by Eileen Babbit, Didier Babin, Marco Bassi, Dianne Buchan, Christian Chatelain, Paul Chatterton, Kevin Clements, Emmanuel de Merode, Alex de Sherbinin, M. Taghi Farvar, Andrea Finger-Stich, Hillarie Greening, Alain Karsenty, Lisa Naughton, Tom Nesbitt, Josiane Olff-Nathan, Elinor Ostrom, Yves Renard, Farhad Vania and Jacques Weber, as well as the conversations with these experts and friends, were very important in the preparatory phases of the first Congo Basin workshop, in 1999. GBF would like to extend sincere thanks to all of these colleagues, as well as to Thomas Barton and Will Allen, who generously dedicated their time to set an earlier version of this paper into Word format and post it in the Internet, a fact that prompted the reception of several interesting comments and ideas. The authors are also very grateful to Christian Chatelain and Moreno Chiovoloni – the CMWG members who provided technical assistance and written material for the workshops of the Réseau Cogestion, and to Joan Rita Larrucea, another CMWG member who provided excellent comments for the Spanish translation of this publication.

The hospitality of the Dja Projet (IUCN), the Waza Logone Projet (IUCN), the Korup Projet (GTZ), the Mount Cameroun Project (GTZ) and the Somalomo Project (ECOFAC) rendered possible the workshops that generated the exchanges and occasions to discuss the matters illustrated in this volume. To the professionals in charge of those projects goes the sincere appreciation of all the authors of this volume.

The participants in the workshops – Angèle Ankoh, Geneviève M. Anziom, Emmanuel Arrah, Frieda Arrey, Walters Arrey, Marie-Noëlle B. Asseo, Karin Augustat, Jeanne Balomog Ngono, Gervais Bangaoui Batandjomo, Mindjah Bibabissiel, Sonia Blaney, Moussa Boukar, Innocent Chia, Sylvain Dangolho, Christiana Diara Nyangono, André Djeumo, Elias Djoh, Ousmane Doubla, Harrison Ebong, Raphael A. Ebot, Régine Efandene, Samuel Ella Ella, John Etongwe Mesembe, Michael Ayuk Etta Atabe Ettanki, Valentine Eyabi Nzo, M. Taghi Farvar, Yolande Fouda, Ndian Gbeli Ddef, Kirsten Hegener, Fatimé Jolidon, Cyprian Jum, Albert Kembou, Martha Klein, Gilbert Koumba-Safou, Roger Kouokam, Annie Lefevre, R. Smith Llewellin, Henri Lo, Jean-Pierre Loemba, Noé Mabiala , Dieudonné Manga, Monono Matanga, Peter Mbile, Albert Mbio, Moïse Meboubo Sieh, Jean-Pierre Medjo, Thomas Megnengue, Réné Meigari , Luc Mendouga, Alain D. Meni Opono, J.C. Ottou Ottou, Michel Mentom, Saliou Miscouna, Georges Mouncharou, Placide Moussounda Nzamba, Léon Nkantio, Athanasius Nkwatoh, Roger Ntsoh Samson, Ntonga Nvondo, Placide Nzamba, Prosper Nzeh, Asundep Obi, Mambo Okenye, Christine A. Okoa, Octave Ondoua, Pierre Oyo, Phil Rene Oyono, Josiane Olff-Nathan, Emmanuel Sama, Dagobert Samba, Peter Sanga, Francis Sangwa, Prosper Seme, Emmanuel Tabi Arampe, Christine Tataw, Marcel Taty, Bertin Tchikangwa Nkanje, Belmont Tchumba, Elise Pierrette Toko Meno, Félin Twagirashyaka, Karin von Loebenstein, Bernard J. Yarissem, Maurice Yonta, Bernard L. Woloko and Parfait Zang Mvoua – enlivened the learning process with their knowledge, their doubts, their queries and their capacity to identify quickly the strong, the weak and the amusing side of every idea. Many thanks to them all! This work has been written for them, and for the colleagues facing similar co-management challenges throughout the world.

Comments and suggestions for improvement will be very much appreciated and acknowledged in future documents dealing with lessons learned and guidelines. Comments and suggestions may be sent by e-mail to the authors at: [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]


ABS/LISTRA: Protected Area Management and Transition Zone Development Project

BMZ: Federal German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development

CEFDHAC : Conference on Dense and Humid Forests Ecosystems in Central Africa (Conférence sur les Ecosystèmes de Forêts Denses et Humides d'Afrique Centrale)

CM: Co-management

CMWG: Collaborative Management Working Group (of the IUCN)

EU: European Union

GEF: Global Environment Facility

GTZ: Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit GmbH

ECOFAC: Programme for the Conservation of the Forest Ecosystems in Central Africa (Programme de Conservation des Ecosystemes Forestieres d'Afrique Centrale)

IUCN: The World Conservation Union

IA: Institutional actor (stakeholder)

NGO: Non-governmental organisation

NR: Natural resource

NRM: Natural resource management

UN: United Nations

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