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Environmental Leadership through Participatory Management for Natural Resources Workshop

The University of Belize Environmental Research Institute (UB ERI) and the Syracuse University (SU) Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs offered training sessions aimed at increasing skills in environmental leadership through participatory management. There is increased recognition that effective governance of protected areas requires participation by stakeholders in decision-making, including those at the local level. This workshop was essential in enhancing participant’s skills in community engagement and collaboration.

The four-day effort was facilitated by Professor Catherine Gerard (SU), the Director of the Program for the Advancement of Research on Conflict and Collaboration (PARCC) at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and was accompanied by Ms. Giselle Borland, the UB ERI’s Training Officer, who has a Master’s in Management from the University of the West Indies and who has been delivering conflict training and engaging in community outreach over the last two years.

Participants benefitted from a one-day session tailored to the needs of their organization by working in teams to gain skills in analysing conflict, developing timelines of the conflict and brainstorming solutions. The final day brought all organizations together to explore participatory methods and discuss ways of increasing public participation from the various communities the organizations interact with. Specifically, the training dealt with: · Interest-based Negotiation: How to separate positions from interests and how to use positions to create multiple solutions. · Conflict Analysis: Looking at different angles to uncover the roots and interpretations of a conflict. · Participatory Design and Facilitation: Options for different levels of citizen involvement; facilitation techniques for generating ideas and reaching agreement.

A total of twenty-five participants from the Belize Forest and Fisheries Departments and the Belize Audubon Society attended the workshop.

You can view this and other stories in the UB Imprint.

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