What are Environmental Negotiations?
Environmental negotiations are becoming more common as there is more recognition of the limits of natural resources.
While environmental negotiations will always be difficult because competing interests are involved, it is possible to use a cooperative approach that can benefit all parties. If good working relationships are developed and maintained, whatever problems emerge can be handled expeditiously. In the absence of trust, however, it is quite common for all sides to assume the worst about everyone.
Many environmental negotiations occur between corporate interests and individuals or communities. With little trust to begin with, companies make things worse when they do not ensure alignment between what their community engagement team in the field is saying and what corporate headquarters is ultimately willing to do.
However, dispute resolution in environmental negotiations is possible. Program on Negotiation faculty member Lawrence Susskind notes that dispute resolution works best when there are opportunities for joint fact-finding and they are managed by a facilitator or a mediator during environmental negotiations.
Joint fact-finding should be highly interactive, involving all the stakeholder representatives in specifying the questions that need to be answered, selecting the experts of various kinds who will be called on to help, and making decisions about which analytical methods should be used.
You can get a closer look at environmental negotiations in Pearl River, a seven-party, facilitated, multi-issue negotiation over the management of dams in a coastal basin.
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The following items are tagged environmental negotiations: