The webinar pandemic

The downside of virtual meetings The COVID lockdowns and travel restrictions have forced people to make more use of virtual meeting technologies.  People are organizing workshops, meetings and other kinds of interactions that in the past would have only happened by...

The inconvenient implications of community-driven development

Motherhood, participatory approaches and apple pie. I’m on the board of an organization that is in the midst of some soul searching about its role in natural resource management, land rights, landscape approaches, and community-based conservation.  These are things...

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...

False Dichotomies and Suspicious Phrases in Environment and Development

Trust in God AND tether your camel! In one version of the story behind this Middle Eastern proverb, which is sometimes attributed to the Prophet himself, two Bedouin herders get into an argument, one claiming that reality is harsh and that people have to take care of...