The Deliberative Landscapes Wanderer

Against IPAT

I recently had a lively conversation with my teenage daughter about our environmental footprint, a concept that she was studying in school.  Like a lot of young people, she is quite concerned about the direction the world is going, about how many planet Earths we...

When NOT to use a landscape approach

I am generally optimistic about approaches for environmental management and governance that are based on dialogue and deliberation, bringing together diverse stakeholders, and searching for common ground.  And I am, obviously enough, a believer in the potential of...

It’s not always a collective action problem

Commons thinking has had a profound influence on how we understand sustainability, land rights, and natural resource management.  This school of thought traces its origins most notably to Nobel laureate Elinor Ostrom and believes that under the right circumstances...

What religion has to offer sustainable landscapes

The nature-religion connection Those of us working toward sustainable landscapes should be ready, in fact should actively seek out, to engage with religion.  For huge numbers of people, religion frames what life is about and for and what is important.  It guides how...

When Participatory Approaches Mess up Your Plans

I never imagined that this man who had brought his herd into this other community’s pastures and flouted the community’s grazing rules, and whose actions had disrupted our training workshop would become a champion of our approach.   The Interrupted Workshop I had...

Problem Trees, Brainstorming and Storytelling

I’m sick of problem trees and brainstorming exercises. In initiatives based on a landscape approach, once the various stakeholders with some connection to the landscape have been brought together, often one of the first things they are asked to do is some kind of...