Learning journals facilitate and assess learning as it helps in deepening the learning quality and learner’s understanding of the learning modules and materials (Moon, 2003). One of its intentions is to learn from the readings, processes undertaken or some examples shown or discussed during the day’s sessions. The requirement for the course Community Natural Resource Management to make a learning journal provides each student an opportunity to cogitate the whats, hows and whys of the information and principles presented. The first four weeks in the CNRM discussions covered the topics of defining what is CNRM (its principles, some examples of community resource management projects, and social learnings), approaches to community natural resource management, understanding communities and stakeholders, and understanding the power, influences and struggles in the CNRM.
This learning journal will be presented in two phases for each week’s discussion: first, my learnings on the readings and lectures; and second, my understanding and interpretation of the group dynamics.
My expectations for the CNRM During my course planning with the OEP Coordinator, I was asked on what area of interest in environmental management I will focus on. Basically, my job back home requires me to provide technical assistance to local government officials and ensure that national policies are implemented down to the levels of the communities. Although environmental management is just one of the many aspects of my work, I expect that the principles in community management of natural resources can and may be applied in other aspects of local governance. Nevertheless, the idea of dealing with the communities and looking into the interests of stakeholders, policy making, power definition, factors that affect the effectiveness of CNRM for stakeholders and interest groups and the dynamics of group interaction are some of the areas that I am very interested on. Hence, I expect that the discussions on these topics can further broaden my perspective of effective and appropriate community and resource management.
Reflections on the Subject Materials (lectures/ readings and case studies)
Week 1 (July 30, 2013)
CNRM : Definition, examples and the social learnings Community natural resource management is defined as managing an ecosystem or a natural environment with the active involvement of the community and other stakeholders. CNRM can be a group of locals preserving the cultural and indigenous land, water, forest; interest groups or multi-stakeholders taking care of a particular natural resource; government or private entities sponsor and facilitate activities in a particular community to manage a natural resource. It involves the following values : 1. pluralism which encourage diverse and varied ideologies, interest and concerns in the area from both within the community and from outside its territorial boundaries; 2. entitlements which acknowledge the legal mandates of government or privately owned properties; 3. transparency in its transactions, equity, fairness and impartiality among the stakeholders; 4. active and dynamic civic participation whereby consenting the strong involvement of civic society thus, improving harmony and complementation of expertise and capabilities of institutions and communities in goal setting and decision making. The principle of co-management in the CNRM is described as having two or more stakeholders that collaborate, express and agree amongst themselves equal shares of governing and managing a certain natural resource (Borrini-Feyerabend, Farvar, & Ndangang, 2000). It provides for the equal sharing of interest, influence, opportunities and privileges as well as fair part in the responsibilities and obligations through information and financial resources in CNRM. Further, it is in a views of achieving