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U.Va. Institute for Environmental Negotiation Receives $375,000 Hewlett Foundation Grant to Aid Research in Environmental Management

November 12, 2001 -- The University of Virginia's Institute for Environmental Negotiation has received a $375,000 grant from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation to coordinate the work of the national Community Based Collaboratives Research Consortium.

Founded in 1999, the consortium serves as a forum for researchers, agencies, and community and environmental groups to share research findings concerning collaborative approaches to environmental management.

Across the nation, community groups increasingly are concerned about the impact of environmental management decisions on their livelihoods. In response, communities are taking active roles in decision-making processes concerning how natural resources are managed. Communities have formed their own collaborative groups to participate in advising government agencies about management plans involving a diversity of issues ranging from grazing to timber to endangered species.

"The uses, complexity and applications for collaborative environmental management have grown exponentially over the past five years, as has the concern about the appropriate uses for these processes," said Franklin Dukes, the U.Va.'s institute's director. The consortium provides an open and objective forum for all who are seeking to understand or apply collaborative processes."

The grant from the Hewlett Foundation will enable the consortium to fund collaborative research projects among universities and community groups and to develop new methodologies and protocols for conducting research.

The consortium, which will oversee the coordinating and awarding of research funds, is particularly interested in the environmental outcomes of these collaborative processes, Dukes said.

The consortium’s Web site, http://www.cbcrc.org, contains a database of research, books, journals, projects and contacts for use by researchers, community groups, agencies and general public. The grant will allow the consortium to further enhance the Web site’s capabilities by expanding the resource and project databases, adding new search capabilities and discussion groups and research forums. The grant also will fund workshops for researchers to coordinate and present their research.

"By providing a free and open forum for sharing and evaluating research findings, we hope to foster new understandings and, ultimately, better outcomes for communities and the environment," Dukes said.

The Institute for Environmental Negotiation (IEN) is affiliated with University of Virginia School of Architecture. The institute was formed in 1980 to provide mediation and consensus-building services to the public and private sectors concerning conflicts and policy choices about land use and the natural and built environment.

CONTACT: Franklin Dukes, (434) 924-1970

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Contact the Office of University Relations at (804) 924-7116. Television reporters should contact the TV News Office at (804) 924-7550.
SOURCE: U.Va. News Services

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