Who's Doing What with Community Field Research in the Pacific Islands?

Agenda 21. Chapter 10. Integrated approach to the planning and management of land resources.

"Governments at the appropriate levels, in collaboration with national organizations, and with support of regional and international organizations, should establish innovative procedures, programs, projects and services that facilitate and encourage the active participation of those affected in the decision making and implementation process, especially of groups that hitherto often been excluded, such as women, youth, indigenous people and their communities and other local communities."

"Provide the appropriate technical information necessary for informed decision making on land use and management in an accessible form to all sectors of the population, especially to local communities and women;

"Support low cost, community managed systems for the collection of comparable information on the status and process of change of land resources, including soils, forest cover, wildlife, climate and other elements."

As might be expected from the SWOT analysis, when Pacific islands governments and NGOs have followed the recommendations of Agenda 21 to include all interested parties at all levels in the decision making, research and implementation process, they have had remarkable success. Some sector by sector examples of the experiences of Pacific island governments with participatory processes give an idea of the current status of this methodology in the Pacific islands.

Here are some of the many examples of participatory efforts from the Pacific islands. Not all of them involve people in the community gathering, analyzing and acting on data; not all represent success stories:


Community Science Researchers

Assessment and management of land resources.

Conservation programs

An integrated coastal development project in PNG

Planning and Policy Making

What went wrong?

What were the best tips for success?