The human impact on the planet is the result of innumerable conscious and unconscious decisions and actions that affect nature. In turn, these decisions and actions have to do with our own values and knowledge, and with our capacity to exercise power, authority and responsibility with direct relevance to nature. The one word that encapsulates all this is “governance”…

What is it about?

Governance for the conservation of nature is about the decisions and actions that shape our interaction with nature and add meaning to our lives. It has to do with culture – our worldviews and values — but also with might – our capacity to carry out and enforce decisions. It has to do with policy (stated intentions backed up by authority) but also with practice (the direct acts backed by technologies and means). In addition, it has to do with the complex web of conditions— understanding, communicating, negotiating, allocating power and resources—which create matches and mismatches between what is prescribed and intended and what is actually done. Broadly understood as just noted, “governance” is a timeless phenomenon that humans experience in their interaction with nature.

Why should we care?

Today, in the era of Anthropocene, the phenomenon is reaching extreme proportions and consequences, with humans altering the conditions of the entire planet. It has thus become crucial to understand governance and enhance its potential to deliver an harmonious and wise interaction between people and nature— an interaction that can spell the conditions of our collective wellbeing but also of disasters and tragedies. This page is dedicated to the results of some important attempts that the Consortium members have devoted to this crucial task. It includes links to three short films and a number of publications in various languages. You can also explore from here the results of the Governance Stream at the World Parks Congress of Sydney, 2014, co-organised by the Consortium. See, in particular, the overall Conclusions of the Stream, identifying three crucial directions of work and twenty specific initiatives.

Key Resources on governance
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ICCA Consortium Policy Brief no 5

The term ‘inclusive conservation’ has recently been adopted by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) in its 2018-2020 programme for biodiversity financing. In this context, the ICCA Consortium proposes a definition of ‘inclusive conservation’ and specific recommendations for legislators, policy makers and other conservation actors willing to pursue it. Read more ▸

Other Recommended Resources
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First published on 05/25/2016, and last updated on 01/16/2018