Collaborative management (co-management) in natural resources governance and development based on collective action was built as a criticism of the classical and neo-liberal approach in the development and management of natural resources. Collective action can be generally defined as practices that involve various actors/stakeholders that voluntarily engage in common actions to pursue a shared interest. Activities can include resource mobilization, program coordination, and institutional strengthening.
The classical approach views local communities and institutions based on collective action as a source of environmental degradation and a barrier to development. The main thesis of this approach is the use of the common property by the community to produce a tragedy of the commons (Hardin, 1968). According to this approach, local knowledge, participation, and community collective action are severely restricted, that is, only if it can support programs carried out by the government and experts who support the use of this approach.
Meanwhile, the neo-liberal approach emphasizes that the failure of the development and management of natural resources is due to the absence of effective economic incentives. The neo-liberal approach emphasizes the importance of shifting natural resource management from being strongly controlled by the state to giving more power to markets through deregulation. Local community members are seen as rational economic creatures, each of whom has the motivation to benefit as much as possible from the development and use of natural resources.
Both approaches that alienate collective action and collaboration between communities and various stakeholders have many weaknesses. The classic approach that only relies on human resources and government finances makes the government unable to reduce environmental degradation adequately and ensure the sustainability of the livelihoods of its citizens. The neo-liberal approach is still seen as a top-down approach. Economic incentives provided are often inadequate and not relevant to people's needs and perspectives (Mahonge 2010).
For these weaknesses, a populist approach was born which was later refined by a collaborative management (co-management) approach. The populist approach emphasizes the importance of active involvement and empowerment of local communities as a prerequisite for sustainable development and natural resource management. The emergence of this approach is influenced by the existence of empirical evidence that shows that traditional resource management systems in a co-ownership regime have contributed to protecting natural resources from over-exploitation and have played an important role in biodiversity conservation (Ostrom, 1990). These approaches regard local communities as rational beings not only from an economic perspective but also from an environmental perspective. Empowerment and participation of local communities as a key to nature conservation and sustainable development.
However, the results of further research indicate that not all communities have adequate resource strength in managing natural resources and carrying out sustainable development, including disaster management. They need collaboration with other stakeholders, especially the government, the private sector, and bridges from CSOs. With a co-management approach, the strengths of each institutional actor can complement the others (Islam et al 2020, Alipour et al 2020, Garza-Gil et al 2020, Islam et al 2019).
Disaster risk reduction (DRR) and sustainable development goals (SDGs)
In the framework of sustainable development, DRR is an integral part of social and economic development and is essential if development is to be sustainable for the future (UN 2015). This has been recognized by various documents related to DRR and sustainable development, from MDGs to the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation (Johannesburg, September 2002), to the "Hyogo Framework for Action (2005-2015)" and to the "Future We Want" (Rio, June 2012), to the Sendai Framework for DRR (Sendai, March 2016) and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (New York, September 2015).
UNISDR (2015) in a papery entitled Disaster Risk Reduction in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development — a reflection of the link between disaster risk reduction and development in the context of 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030-- has written that there are 25 targets related to disaster risk reduction in 10 of the 17 SDGs. This means that the success of the DRR will have an impact on achieving SDGs.
Collective action and collaboration in DRR
Even though they appear to be separate, in fact, all the targets and objectives of the SDGs related to the DRR must be carried out integrally by paying attention to the five "P" principles, namely people, planet, prosperity, peace, and partnership. The first three principles are related to ambition to balance the three dimensions of sustainable development (economic, social, and environmental), while the last two dimensions are the principle of the importance of collaboration and collective action in achieving them. Because of its importance, these two principles are explicitly stated in Goal 16 and Goal 17.
The Sendai Framework highlights the importance of collective action and collaboration between various stakeholders as an effort to share responsibility in DRR. This is done to share the resources owned by each stakeholder so that they can complement each other.
Empirical evidence on the importance of using collective action and collaboration on disaster risk reduction is contained in several research papers. Ireland & Thomalla who conducted research in Nepalganj, Nepal and Krabi, Thailand (2011) found the importance of the role of collective action in strengthening adaptive capacity. Social networks are the most important component in building adaptive capacity. Yuanjaya & Fajri (2019) found that the collective actions in Kampung Gambiran, Yogyakarta proved to be effective in reducing disaster risk. Collective actions undertaken by the local community with government and NGOs can improve the quality of the environment, encourage the emergence of environmental management innovations, and expand environmental awareness campaigns. March et al (2017) also mentioned the importance of collaboration and collective action in urban planning and recovery after a disaster.
Various researches conducted by researchers in the Human Ecology Cluster (Population and Environment), Research Center for Population, LIPI in various research schemes also show the importance of collective action and collaboration in disaster risk reduction. Hidayati et al (2019) and Abdurrahim et al (2019) show that aspects of collective action and collaboration are key to the level of community resilience. Jambi rural communities face the disasters of floods and haze from forest fires. Surtiari et al (2019) and Hidayati et al (2019) found the importance of collective action and collaboration in post-disaster resettlement recovery and livelihood development strategies in Palu, Sigi, and Donggala. Ross et al (2019) and Abdurrahim et al (2019) explained how the collective action and collaboration carried out by coastal communities in Selayar were very useful in conflict resolution and co-management which positively reflected disaster risk reduction. Hidayati (2018) mentioned the importance of the role of social capital in building collective action that can enhance community disaster preparedness and building back better in recovery in the people of Jambi, Bantul, and Aceh. Abdurrahim et al (2016 & 2015) suggested the role of collective action in building the capacity of urban populations to reduce the risk of disasters in cities. Abdurrahim et al (2014) showed the importance of collective action and collaboration in increasing the resilience of rainfed lowland rice farming communities in Indramayu.
Ali Yansyah Abdurrahim**
*Written in commemoration of Disaster Preparedness Day (April 26, 2020).
** Human Ecology Researcher in the Population and Environment Cluster, Research Center for Population, LIPI. Active in the National Research Priority Team on Natural Resources Governance, LIPI (2020-2024) and the SESAM Program, Wageningen University & Research (2020-2025). Email:
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