Capacity for Learning by Doing


The above consideration may suggest a need for heavy planning processes, but this should be avoided at all costs. It is much better to start immediately with a few experimental restoration activities on the basis of outcomes of the initial discussions amongst stakeholders. These trials will establish the credibility of outside stakeholders and will permit learning. They will greatly enrich ongoing stakeholder negotiations that should continue throughout the pro-gramme.The initial objective should be to build a community of interest groups that can experiment and learn together.

A sense of community or "social capital" can really enhance efforts to restore landscapes. Voluntary groups have accomplished some remarkable restoration achievements. People can work together and develop a shared passion for restoring the habitat of a rare animal or the beauty of a disfigured landscape. Such communities will fine-tune their objectives and adapt their programmes as they advance. They will provide an excellent mechanism for setting and updating goals and end points.

To get real "buy-in" from diverse interest groups, it is important to start small, provide outside inputs as drip-feeding, not as big cash injections, avoid setting up bureaucracies, and learn and adapt as you progress.

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