Co-management agreement

Published: 17 August 2015
Last edited: 17 June 2021

The co-management agreement is a document consisting of everything agreed to during the negotiation process including management and governance elements. It can be seen as written evidence of the partnership among local actors. The management part specifies the six ‘W’: who can do what, where, when, how and how much. It provides general conditions; specifies natural resource management rules and regulations in each zone, rewards, penalties, the reporting schedule and implementation terms and monitoring. The governance part specifies key actors for decision making and their responsibilities.


Alliance and partnership development
Co-management building
Scale of implementation
Phase of solution
Review phase

Enabling factors

Stakeholders need to understand the purposes of the co-management agreement. They should also see the need to adapt it to better reflect the changing situation of resource conservation. The co-management agreement should be developed through negotiation among organised partners. Therefore, community development to turn passive groups of individuals into a true community should be given attention throughout the establishment of co-management agreement and its subsequent adaptation.

Lessons learned

The co-management agreement is subject to modification during the learning-by-doing process. Key actors involved in shared governance should understand the need to modify the agreement based on lessons learned during implementation. The co-management agreement provides the basic principles for the co-management partnership among key actors but does not limit their collaboration in making joint decisions to specific terms and problems mentioned in the agreement. Partners, such as authorities and communities, should continue to discuss and deal with any issue raised during their partnership. The co-management agreement is not the same as a fixed form of a benefit sharing mechanism even though it consists of sections specifying what resources can be collected by people and their responsibilities in forest protection. Instead, a co-management agreement is the result of negotiations and has a lot to do with adaptive management and governance issues.

Do you want to share your inspirational story?

Have you been inspired by a solution or building block on PANORAMA? Then share your experiences and tell us how you have been inspired and what you did to replicate a solution! What was needed in order to adapt the solution to your context? Tell us how you enabled a successful knowledge transfer to create more positive impacts for a healthy planet!