The Community-Based Natural Resource Management Network
Home > Section About > Category Web site > Group CBNRM Net
This Group presents the mission, rationale, architecture, design, organization, governance, legal, and content of CBNRM Net and its web site.
Although very complex and an idea and process whose exact content possibly defies easy classification because it is applied to so varied contexts, nonetheless we have to try and narrow in on it a little. If nothing else, we should try and establish, at the very minimum, the common foundation, values, principles and approaches that underlie its many and varied uses. The following is a preliminary effort at giving a brief overview of and introduction to the subject of Community-Based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM). It is in the nature of this task that it - in and of itself - should be understood as a process that will reflect and incorporate developments within this emerging field as they take place (see also Category Overview).
CBNRM Net and its portal website is the collaborative work of an international group of CBNRM practitioners, managers and researchers, brought together through recent learning and networking initiatives on CBNRM and common property resource management (see Category Overview, Page Background). The activities are supported and coordinated by the Norwegian non-profit CBNRM Networking.
The practical and intellectual roots of CBNRM are many, and often far apart. People come to this subject from different fields of training, live in different cultures, work in different sectors, face different problems, and have different means at their disposal. What increasingly brings them together is a common set of ideas about the outcome, about what they want to achieve, and the understanding that they can learn from each other .
CBNRM is an approach to managing renewable natural resources, it encompasses a large amount of regional and local variation, it is an evolving agenda, and it involves much learning by doing.
These are core aspects of CBNRM:
Why CBNRM Net?
Globally, there is increasing interest in CBNRM in connection with concrete project activities. This arise in connection with a diverse set of problems at the local level and the efforts to address them, including poverty, lack of equity in access to resources, and environmental degradation. CBNRM is increasingly seen as a way to address these and other problems, and achieve environmental and social sustainability at the local level.
From this preliminary activity four major questions and issues are emerging that need to be addressed in more detail:
Currently, CBNRM practitioners are linked only to a very small extent, and a broad and focused effort to address these and other issues has not been possible. The CBNRM Net portal website is a means of connecting CBNRM practitioners and other stakeholders across countries, cultures, languages, regions, and sectors, and provide the tools and services necessary to address these important issues. CBNRM Net will address CBNRM in developing countries as well as in countries in transition. This capability to network and manage global CBNRM knowledge will lead to important synergies and advances in analysis and understanding, and subsequently to better results on the ground.
CBNRM Net's mission
CBNRM Net's mission statement is available in Group Mission statement.
What is CBNRM Net?
CBNRM Net currently consists of more than 500 CBNRM stakeholders globally, located in the public sector, in civil society/NGOs, and in the private sector. CBNRM Net is a network of people - a community of practice - whose members share information, knowledge and experiences. Beyond its membership, CBNRM Net serves the emerging global CBNRM community of practice. As CBNRM practitioners, we are all increasingly facing the same problem, namely that we would like to learn from the work of colleagues - that often are working on the same or similar issues in another country and/or region - who have made their own unique experiences, including failures and successes. It is a fact that there is almost no sharing of experiences and learning between us. CBNRM Net aims to contribute to establishing a global networking capability geared to achieve this. That is, CBNRM Net aims to facilitate the flow of information and knowledge on CBNRM between its members, and across projects, sectors, countries and regions. The types of knowledge include, among others: (1) Conferences, meetings and workshops, (2) Research, (3) Tools (analytic and practical), (4) Literature (grey and published), (5) Projects and other applied activities, (6) Training and capacity building, (7) Case studies, and (8) CBNRM documents that can be made available for downloading on the website (as PDF files with regular 40-bit RC4 security). To succeed in this, we are dependent upon all of us taking part, that is, sharing knowledge about our own work. CBNRM Net, as a global network of CBNRM practitioners, accordingly depends upon the active participation of all its members in order to achieve this. However, some members have some more specific responsibilities.
Organization, governance and legal
CBNRM Net has a very flat two-tiered structure. Besides the members, there is an Advisory Council. This advisory body has broader functions that include some those found in a traditional Board. Due to the nature of how CBNRM Net functions and operates, however, there is little need and few opportunities for many of the traditional tasks that elected Boards are charged with performing. The Advisory Council consists of persons that are appointed in their own personal capacity, and not as a result of election. Appointees serve as long as they wish. There is no internal division of labour among members, with the exception of the Cordinator, who is responsible for managing the website, which represent the chief means of communication between members. Advisory Council members receive no remuneration. In practice, the Advisory Council – in plenum or through its individual members – provide advise to the Coordinator on the running of the network, as evident in the day-to-day management of the website. All communication between members takes place by means of email.
The members of the Advisory Council are:
CBNRM Net is a not-for-profit. It is registered as the sole activity of the Norwegian firm CBNRM Networking, with the registration number NO 981 666 895 in the Bronnoysund Register Centre.
Knowledge, knowledge production and knowledge management
Along with the emphasis on user involvement and user management, the other fundamental premise and foundation for CBNRM Net is production of CBNRM knowledge. It is crucial to produce new CBNRM knowledge, in order to expand the knowledge base, to learn, and to train. There are, basically, three levels at which knowledge is produced, namely: (1) projects and other applied activities, (2) countries, and (3) regions. To each of these three levels there are corresponding knowledge products, including: (1) Case Studies (Category Cases), (2) Country Overviews (Category Countries), and (3) Regional Overviews (Category Regions).
The knowledge products on each of these levels are coordinated in terms of how they are structured. The goal is that knowledge produced on one level can be utilized by, and feed into, knowledge produced on the other two levels in a seamless way. To give an example: knowledge input into preparing a country overview will come from the local level and the relevant regional level. Vice versa, country level knowledge will be important background for preparing both case studies and regional overviews.
The target group
All users of CBNRM Net are involved, in one capacity or another, with CBNRM, including practitioners, policy managers, policy makers and researchers. There will be a special emphasis on practitioners working at the local level with concrete CBNRM activities.
Geographically speaking, there is an emphasis on developing countries and countries in transition, and initially there will be a special focus on Sub-Saharan Africa.
CBNRM Net, including the Web site, as a complete, integrated and adaptable CBNRM knowledge management tool, is presented as a service to the global CBNRM community of practice.
[material to be added]