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Stakeholder analysis in support of sustainable land management: Experiences from southwest China
- Wang, Jue, Aenis, Thomas
- Journal of environmental management 2019 v.243 pp. 1-11
- case studies, decision making, guidelines, land use, planning, rubber, stakeholders, sustainable land management, China
- Land management includes the actions of different stakeholder groups at different scales, from local measures to regional land use strategies to land use policies. For sustainable land management (SLM), particularly in its planning stage, it is essential to know stakeholders and, ideally, to involve them in decision-making, or at least to understand a given situation from their perspective in an attempt to target their problems and interests in solution development. Although stakeholder analysis (SA) has been adopted in various projects with the aim of grasping stakeholders' perceptions and encouraging their deeper involvement in land management, the “how to” remains unclear. Current guidelines for SA remain vague and fail to lead practical application. One reason is the complexity of land use itself. SA is case specific for each project and requires highly flexible project management that adjusts methods and instruments according to given conditions. This article provides a practical example and discusses experiences from a sustainable rubber management project in Southwest China. This case study shows how, to a certain extent, “usage-oriented” SA can support joint decision making in SLM. With a more general aim, we reflect on the process and its management. As a result, we identify some core management issues: the heterogeneity of stakeholder groups with their multiple interests, stakeholders’ involvement in decision making, the necessity of iteration, and adjustments with respect to cultural context.