Following the passage of California's Sustainable Groundwater Management Act in 2014, the Salinas Valley Basin faced the challenge of creating a new, local management agency to oversee the critical basin. This Groundwater Sustainability Agency would be responsible for developing a sustainability plan for the basin and implementing it over the coming decades. But before that, the basin needed to come together to determine just who would be involved in such an agency and, just as importantly, how they would come to those decisions.
The Harvard Negotiation & Mediation Clinical Program interviewed CBI Senior Associate Toby Berkman, an alumus of the clinic, for its most recent newsletter. In the interview, Toby discusses his background, his work with the HNMCP, and how that work has translated into practical experience at CBI, where he deals with very complex mediations, multi-stakeholder engagements, and helps parties delve into the often thorny issues that are at the root of their conflicts.
Sometimes designing a legitimate dispute resolution process requires examining both company responsibilities as well as deeper structural problems given the country and operational context. No easy thread to tie.
In California, where I live, rarely a week goes by when the headlines aren’t putting a magnifying glass on the climate shifts in the West and their impact on our natural resources and people. We face stressed natural resources – and a series of heated debates among citizens, government, industry, and environmentalists about how we should allocate our scarce resources. Because of conflicting stakeholder perspectives, agencies do what they can with the information they have and often find themselves in gridlock, unable to define a clear path forward that won’t face strong opposition.
Consider editing a major planning document with 5 federal agencies, 3 agencies each in 6 states, 15 non-profit organizations, three to four layers each. That equals ninety commenters and thousands of comments over multiple drafts. That’s any author’s nightmare! Comments come in late. Multiple commenters from a single agency contradict one another. A new high-level commenter suddenly demands a host of changes without any context, history, or understanding of why you are where you are. This is the reality for many planners, coordinators, and technical writers in multi-stakeholder processes.
CBI mourns the passing of founding Board member and Harvard faculty member Howard Raiffa. Howard served with dedication, generosity, wit, and insight on CBI’s Board from our founding in 1994 until 2000. A seminal thinker in the field of negotiation and decision analysis for more than 50 years, Howard contributed both analytic rigor and practical advice to CBI, helping our organizational development and sharpening our thinking about many projects. We salute his accomplishments and remember his contributions to our work with gratitude.
Following years of monitoring, management, and meetings, the Masschusetts Division of Fish and Wildlife Services and the U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife Services released a new Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) for the piping plover, a small bird that makes its home on sandy shorelines and rocky beaches. The HCP outlines a flexible approach to managing habitats for the bird while promoting long-term conservation, as the document is intended to cover the next 26 years.
Given our recent work to better understand how greater transparency around extractives revenues might affect Indigenous Peoples, and CBI’s body of work in company-community consensus building, we were invited to atten
The Forum on Inclusive Nigerian Development (FIND) recently convened a meeting on April 12, 2016 to draw together representatives from states' economic management teams, development agencies, financial services, economist, media members, and civil society groups. The drastic fall in global oil price has massively impacted the Nigerian economy and shows no signs of booming back in the near future.
Across mineral rich and developing regions of the world, substantial natural resource wealth rests with Indigenous and tribal communities. And yet, throughout the world, Indigenous Peoples have historically suffered disproportionately from negative impacts of extractive activities in their territories: : lack of consent, control, recognition, and benefit, and even outright theft and violence.