Public Education and Participation: The Foundation of Success for CRM in Developing Countriesby L. Hale, Univ of Rhode Island, Narragansett, United States,
Abstract: If initiatives in coastal resources management (CRM) are to succeed and be effective, not only must they be technically sound but they must be accepted as necessary, reasonable and fair. Well conceived public education and participation programs are essential in creating a context in which effective resource management is possible. Public participation and education have been essential ingredients in US CRM programs for almost 20 years. In developing countries, such programs are less common and certainly less accepted by the government agencies responsible for resources management. Through a cooperative program between The University of Rhode Island and the US Agency for International Development, the Coastal Resources Center has been assisting Ecuador, Sri Lanka and Thailand to formulate and implement strategies to manage their coastal resources. In all three nations, initial skepticism about the essential role of public education and participation in such programs has been overcome and robust and diverse programs implemented. In this paper the approach and role of public education and participation in each of these three nations' programs is reviewed. The paper concludes with recommendations for intiating such programs in other countries.
Subject Headings: Resource management | Public participation | Developing countries | Coastal management | Government | Team building | Colleges and universities
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