Co-management of natural resources entails sharing authority and responsibility among government agencies, industry associations and community-based institutions. Policymakers and development agencies have embraced the approach because of the potential to improve the effectiveness, efficiency and equity of management efforts focused on common-pool resources such as forests, pasturelands, wetlands and fisheries. Yet even in places where the need is clear and the policy framework is well-designed, conflicting stakeholder interests and disparities in power and capacity mean that co-management approaches can be difficult to implement. This brief shows how a structured dialogue process can support local institutions to participate more effectively by providing an inclusive platform for resource management decisions, building trust and catalyzing collaborative actions.
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