1.2 Navigating the Handbook

The Handbook consists of six sections. The information is organized in such way that the content can be quickly scanned to find relevant material to meet specific needs. Note, that while it may be beneficial to read the Sections in sequence, it is not necessary. While the content may be of interest to many audiences, such as novices considering community based monitoring, experienced scientists and local residents wishing to improve their community based monitoring practices and resource management agencies just to name a few, not all Sections are of equal value to all readers. The summary below is offered as an aid to navigation.

The Handbook is not intended as a step-by-step instruction manual and readers should use it as one of the many resources necessary for the successful development and implementation of community based monitoring activities.

Section 1: About the Handbook

This section contains general information that may be of interest to diverse audiences as it outlines the political and scientific context, in which this Handbook was written. It specifically addresses:

  • Major developments that paved the way for community based monitoring • Timing for developing the Handbook
  • How this work was initiated
  • How it relates to broader Arctic research.
  • The importance of recognizing different knowledge types and their application in community based monitoring

Section 2: Selected Community Based Monitoring Basics

This section is intended for those who are developing or thinking about developing community based monitoring activities and covers terminology, methodologies, and the decision-making process:

  • Community based monitoring Decision Tree as a tool for the selection of types and methods to meet project needs
  • Process of selection of community based monitoring approaches
  • Activities commonly described as community based monitoring
  • Relationships between types of community based monitoring and their methods

Section 3: Review of Community Based Monitoring Basics

Eight projects employing various forms of community based monitoring are reviewed here. This Section could be of interest to anyone who wants to learn about existing community based monitoring projects. It also could be of value for community based monitoring practitioners wishing to learn from the experience of others. The review is in the form of interviews asking a suite of questions concerning the:

  • Utility of community based monitoring in each specific project
  • Role of geographical, cultural, and socioeconomic circumstances and their impact on community based monitoring outcome

Section 4: Recommendations for Community Based Monitoring Development

This section is especially important for those who are new to community based monitoring . It has some practical recommendations based on the experiences gained by the projects reviewed in Section 3, as well as by the author, such as the:

  • Summary of recommendations derived from the interviewed projects
  • Planning, implementation, and reporting phases of community based monitoring

Section 5: Conclusions

Policy makers, natural resource managers, funding agencies, educational establishment and other interested parties are invited for a broader discussion on the issues raised in the Handbook. The Conclusion focuses on the:

  • Main points presented in this Handbook that are of particular importance
  • Broader challenges and opportunities that exist for community-based monitoring

Section 6: Resources

An array of helpful additional information and web links are listed.