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It is crucial to determine the rationale, or the underlying principles, for establishing a relevant networking capability to serve the global CBNRM community of practice. This rationale will have to reflect the views and standpoints and, ultimately, the needs of CBNRM stakeholders, in particular practitioners.
Among other sources, the reports of the regional working groups among participants in the May 1998 international CBNRM workshop contain very explicit recommendations as to what is needed (see Item International CBNRM workshop [Washington D.C., USA], and Category Regions). According to available information, including the needs among different stakeholders in the global CBNRM community of practice, key elements of this emerging rationale are:
- As the field of CBNRM grows, including the increase in activity on several levels and sectors throughout the world, it becomes increasingly difficult to achieve and maintain overview over all activities. Overall knowledge management will become very difficult, thus hampering the exchange of experiences and the furthering of CBNRM. Because of this, it becomes important to devise integrative mechanisms on a high abstract level to facilitate such overview, to enable knowledge management, to maintain internal coherence and integration, and to aid CBNRM in developing in a broad, informed and unified way
- Advanced CBNRM networking activities are optimally suited to societies and cultures were political and societal values and organizational principles support a certain degree of freedom in managing affairs at the local level. Such values and principles include accountability, governance and transparency. CBNRM, in turn, will have optimal impact in such societies and cultures, and will nurture such values
- CBNRM activities are characterized by three main factors that determine the character of a networking capability: (1) activities take place on the local level, with links to the outside, but are nonetheless largely unknown to all but those directly involved, (2) CBNRM knowledge production and use is located in different domains, including: countries, cultures, ethnic groups, languages and sectors, and is thus fragmented, and (3) CBNRM activities are processual in nature, with often vaguely identifiable beginnings and ends
- CBNRM networking should aim at meeting the needs for knowledge, practical advice and management at the local, sub-national and national levels
- CBNRM stakeholders are, at one and the same time, both users of CBNRM knowledge and producers of such knowledge. This means that stakeholder participation and involvement in such networking will be crucial
- Stakeholder involvement should aim at CBNRM knowledge management and knowledge sharing. To achieve optimal results it is necessary to organize such networking capabilities on several levels, from the local through the national and regional to the global level. This, in turn, necessitates an overall and thorough approach to CBNRM knowledge management and knowledge sharing
- CBNRM is based on collaboration between stakeholders, in a structural and processual sense, in two main types of configurations: (1) horizontal collaboration and (2) vertical collaboration. In CBNRM Net's knowledge management structure these two separate types of collaboration are referred to as, respectively, cooperation and co-management (see Group Structural terms)
As the global CBNRM community of practice is growing in numbers and strength, the need for such networking, and for relevant knowledge management and knowledge sharing services and tools, is increasingly being called for. This is so particularly among practitioners in developing countries and countries in transition.