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Manuals | June 28, 2022

Managing Natural Resources

A SMART Skills Manual

Small-scale farmers in developing countries depend heavily on their natural resources: water, soil and the broader ecosystem. They need to use these resources wisely so they can continue to produce crops and raise animals.

This manual shows how field agents, extension workers and program managers can help farmers manage their natural resources. The seven lessons, available in English, French and Spanish, cover the following topics:

  • Engaging the community
  • Understanding the community context
  • Identifying and engaging stakeholders
  • Mapping natural resource problems and opportunities
  • Making a natural resources management plan
  • Managing natural resources projects
  • Monitoring progress

Each lesson includes guidelines, exercises to do with a group of farmers or with development agents, and quizzes to test your understanding.

This is one manual in a series on SMART Skills—the skills that field agents need to help farmers in developing countries improve their livelihoods. A companion manual describes how to help them understand their natural resources and why they should manage them in a sustainable way.






Exercise 1a. Why are natural resources important
Exercise 1b. Setting goals
Exercise 2a. Vulnerability analysis
Exercise 2b. Mapping natural resource conflicts
Exercise 2c. Seasonal calendar
Exercise 2d. Transect walk
Exercise 3. Stakeholder analysis
Exercise 4a. Drawing a social-resource map
Exercise 4b. Gender roles and responsibilities in natural resources management
Exercise 4c. Identifying hotspots or problem areas
Exercise 4d. Problem tree analysis
Exercise 5a. Choosing solutions
Exercise 5b. Developing a natural resources management plan
Exercise 6. Adaptive management and most significant change
Exercise 7a. Developing a monitoring plan
Exercise 7b. Gender analysis matrix
Exercise 7c. Costs and benefits of managing natural resources