As an approach to mediating human–environment interactions, the co‐management of natural resources influences a diverse array of geographic endeavors. This article chronicles the development of the concept from its historical roots to the more recent past, where it has gained prominence as a tenable solution in situations of competing property claims and as a model of environmental governance. In surveying more that 15 years of experience with co‐management, we draw attention to several points of contention or debate, including concerns about power‐sharing and representation in co‐management arrangements, and the imprecise use of the term. Despite these tensions, the concept of co‐management continues to evolve and is attracting increasing attention. In probing the frontier of this subject, we highlight theoretical developments, evaluative challenges, cultural and ethical sensitivities, and the need to embrace uncertainty and complexity through adaptation and learning. Concluding reflections recognize the multifaceted nature of co‐management, potential benefits, and importance to geographers.
Geography Compass – Wiley
Published: Jul 1, 2007
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