Story | 23 Dec, 2019

NRGF in 2019: Continued implementation, outreach and learning

CEESP News: by Jessica Campese (NRGF Co-Chair, CEESP) with Barbara Nakangu (GPGR Senior Programme Manager, NRGF Co-Chair) and Jenny Springer (GPGR Director). 

The Natural Resource Governance Framework (NRGF) initiative made important progress in 2019 in expanding outreach, supporting use of the Framework within IUCN secretariat programmes and learning. We look forward to continuing this work in 2020, including with an eye towards sharing experiences and enabling broader engagement at the World Conservation Congress. Hope to see you there!

Above: Participants discuss governance during an NRGF assessment with the IUCN
SUSTAIN project in Tanzania (November 2019, photo © Seline Meijer)

What is the NRGF? The Natural Resource Governance Framework (NRGF), co-convened by CEESP and the Global Programme on Governance and Rights (GPGR), is an IUCN initiative to provide a robust, inclusive, and credible approach to assessing and strengthening natural resource governance, at multiple levels and in diverse contexts. You can read more about it in this briefing and find additional information and resources on the NRGF webpage.

Expanding outreach: Part of our 2019 focus was continuing to get the word out about the NRGF and supporting broader engagement. As part of this, CEESP Chair, Kristen Walker, GPGR Director, Jenny Springer, and NRGF Working Group members, including Ed Barrow, Amran Hamzah, Pia Hernandez, Carmen Miranda, Maria Moreno, and Osvaldo Munguia, shared information about the NRGF at this year’s IUCN Regional Conservation Forums in Asia, Eastern and Southern Africa, Meso-America, Oceania, and South America.

For example, potential linkages between the NRGF and the Pacific Islands Framework for Nature Conservation and Protected Areas were explored in the CEESP side event on “Exploring social development, governance, and wellbeing” at the IUCN Oceania Regional Forum. In Mesoamerica, representatives of IUCN member Indigenous Peoples Organizations discussed the process they used to develop case studies and contribute inputs based on their priorities to the development of the NRGF.  We also began a webinar series, which will continue in 2020.

Participants explore and discuss elements of the NRGF at a workshop held during the Regional Members’ Forum in South America Photo: Kristen Walker

Above: Participants explore and discuss elements of the NRGF at a workshop held during the Regional Members' Forum in South America in August 2019 (Photo © Kirsten Walker).

Supporting use of NRGF: The NRGF is increasingly moving into implementation, e.g., facilitating natural resource governance assessments, analyzing the ways in which conservation initiatives address governance, and otherwise supporting rights-holders and stakeholders in identifying and addressing governance issues. Towards this end, GPGR and CEESP are working with IUCN secretariat programs to support NRGF use, including:

  • Facilitating governance assessments within the IUCN SUSTAIN program in Tanzania and Mozambique, reflecting on strengths and gaps with respect to inclusive decision making, equity and rights in the project. Work in Tanzania builds on the 2017 NRGF assessment.
  • Using the NRGF to guide a participatory reflection on the IUCN Shared Resources, Joint Solutions (SRJS) project in Uganda with implementing partners and community representatives, to identify lessons and inform future initiatives.
  • Developing NRGF-based guidance to enhance integration of governance issues in Restoration Opportunities Assessment Methodology (ROAM) (in progress).
  • Using the NRGF to reflect on governance issues in the Stabilizing Land Use (PLUS) project Land Use Dialogues.  

Continuing to learn: In 2020 and beyond, we will continue and enhance emphasis on reflection and learning, including to highlight the importance of natural resource governance and strengthen the NRGF.  

A HUGE thanks to all our CEESP, GPGR and Union-wide colleagues who helped make this a successful year of growth! We look forward to continuing this work in 2020, including in several events at the World Conservation Congress… We hope to see you there!

About the Author:

jessica campesePhoto: jessica campese

Jessica is a social science researcher, writer and activist with over ten years' experience working on natural resource governance and rights-based approaches to conservation. She has been a CEESP member since 2005 and has been involved in development of the Natural Resource Governance Framework (NRGF) since its inception. Jessica has worked with civil society organizations at the local, national, and international levels in the US, Tanzania, and Switzerland, among others, and is part of the Secretariat of the ICCA Consortium. Currently based in the Washington, D.C. area, she is a part-time consultant and full-time parent of two environmental-justice activists-in-training.