As part of the special 50th edition of PLA Notes, this article highlights key lessons from experiences on livelihoods and natural resources. The three key themes identified are: participatory learning and action for local adaptive management of natural resources rooted in indigenous and local knowledge and skills; bureaucracies and organisations ought to challenge themselves and become learning-oriented organisations; and that facilitating and encouraging individual and collective learning for inclusive and equitable participation in natural resource management requires action at various levels (local, national and international). The article also provides short information about a couple of case studies, such as fishing associations and the co-management of freshwater ecosystems in Sweden, an example from the Solomon Islands and community integrated pest management in Indonesia. The article then focuses in on learning by doing, creating inclusive platforms and the shift from participation to transformation. Exploring the challenge of social learning for local adaptive management, the author looks at transforming knowledge and ways of knowing as well as the challenges of institutional reform. The article concludes by looking at the emerging challenges for national resource management and participation in a climate of globalisation, and suggests that bold innovations will be needed to strengthen the voices of the weak in setting research agendas and framing policies, create safe spaces and participatory processes that can scrutinize corporations and æexpertÆ knowledge, and support the emergence of transnational communities of inquiry and coalitions for change.
International Institute for Environment and Development