COMET-LA Consultation Panel highlights citizen participation as a key to good natural resource governance

  19 November 2014

COMET-LA considers it vital to establish dialogue with other local, national and international actors with a view to improving institutional permeability and acceptance and dissemination of the project's results, and to promote the actors' negotiation skills and make the results more relevant. The Spanish IUCN Committee (CeUICN) has therefore set up a Consultation Panel comprising 32 representatives of organisations, institutions and decision-makers with stakes in managing natural resources on different scales: local actors from the case studies, national actors from participating countries and international intermediary members from the 'learning arena'. The panel supports COMET-LA activities by sharing experience on community or participatory natural resource management, helping ensure that the project's results are useful in other socio-ecological contexts. Various queries concerning the project, its results and its ability to be copied in other areas or countries have also been brought before the Consultation Panel.

To that end, the Panel members agreed on the need to develop governance models that arise from communities' own needs, including the gender/ethnic cross element and involving the population in natural resource management. To meet this challenge, more inclusive legislation is needed to enable all citizens to take part in the public policy cycle, with systems for information, transparency and mutual rendering of accounts. Likewise highlighted is the importance of empowerment and capacity-building, which are necessary to ensure effective systems for community-based environmental co-management in Ibero-America, the working scope of most institutions on the Panel, and other regions.

These questions are studied in greater detail in the Policy Appraisal, a document which compares public policies on environmental matters involving the three case studies included in COMET-LA – three regions in Argentina, Colombia and Mexico with different models of community natural resource management.

Members of the Consultation Panel
A total of 28 institutions have joined to date, among them different national actors from the COMET-LA participating countries. In Mexico they are: the Environment and Natural Resources Secretariat of the Government of Mexico, the Institute of the Environment and Human Communities of the University of Guadalajara, the Regional Environmental Fund of Chinantla and Reforestamos México. In Colombia: the Intercultural Study Centre of the Pontifical Xavierian University – Cali Section, the SENA Nautical Fishing Centre, the FUNDAPAV Pacifico Vivo Agro-environmental Social Foundation, the Colombia Natura Foundation, the Alexander von Humboldt Biological Resources Research Institute and the Directorate-General for Climate Change of the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development. Lastly, in Argentina: the Foundation for Environment and Natural Resources, the Hola Pehuen! Television programme and the Natural Patagonia Foundation.
Thanks to the Consultation Panel, the COMET-LA project is being extended to other countries by means of national actors from Bolivia (Environmental Defence League), Germany (Socio-Economic Institute of the Leibnitz Centre for Agrarian Landscape Research) and Spain (six CeUICN member bodies – the Málaga AdM Sea Class, CEIDA University Centre for Environmental Dissemination of Galicia, Oxígeno, Mare Terra and Catalunya La Pedrera Foundations, and Municipal Government of Málaga).

The project has also drawn the attention of international intermediaries such as the ICCA Consortium and the IUCN central services in Switzerland, its regional offices in South America, Mesoamerica and the Caribbean, the Mesoamerican Regional Committee and the Commission on Environmental, Economic and Social Policy. For more information, please contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit