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Finn Danielsen, advisor

Ecologist, Nordisk Fond for Miljø og Udvikling, Denmark

Finn Danielsen, advisor

I’m an ecologist based in Denmark. I work with community-based natural resource management and monitoring. I collaborate with natural and social science colleagues from many countries. In the Philippines and Tanzania we’ve established locally based resource monitoring schemes; these guide forest/wetland management at the village level and are being sustained without external assistance. We are now testing local monitoring tools in Arctic Greenland.  In 2005, I edited a 320-page special issue of Biodiv. and Conserv. on locally based resource monitoring schemes and their: (i) cost, (ii) sustainability, (iii) accuracy, (iv) promptness of decision-making, and (v) potential for enhancing local stakeholder capacity and (vi) for tracking large-scale trends (www.monitoringmatters.org, click “publications”). By examining published resource monitoring schemes, we’ve found that the scale and speed of implementation varies according to the degree of people’s involvement (J. Appl. Ecol., in press). We’ve shown that investment in participatory monitoring methods can be 4-6 times more effective than a similar level of investment in conventional scientific methods in generating conservation management interventions. Recently, we’ve suggested a typology of monitoring categories, defined by their degree of local participation, ranging from no local involvement with monitoring undertaken by professional researchers to an entirely local effort with monitoring undertaken by local people (Cons. Biol.). In relation to REDD+, we’ve documented that community members can monitor tropical forest biomass and forest degradation as reliably as scientists, but at half the cost. We are now comparing the accuracy of local and scientist-executed resource monitoring across five developing countries.