This paper outlines some of the factors affecting participation in environmental projects.
The paper argues that participation is in part hindered by the contemporary definition of environment, which has a "nature" and "dryland/ wildlife" bias and tends to neglect relationships between people and natural resources.
The way in which participation is also stifled by a failure of projects and programmes to take into account special aspects of local communities is also examined. Three aspects are considered in detail to illustrate this point : the importance of ownership, management and control of common property resources, the relationship between gender and the environment and the appropriateness of units such as, "village", "community" etc as organisational foci for environmental projects and programmes.
Lessons to be learned from Integrated Rural Development programmes with regards to integration and oganisation are outlined.